Call of Duty League Team Owner Is Currently Suing Activision Blizzard for $680 Million

Call of Duty league team owner is currently suing Activision Blizzard for $680 million. Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodrigues and Seth ‘Scump’ Abner sues Activision Blizzard for the company’s unlawful 100 percent monopoly over professional Call of Duty tournaments.

Call of Duty League Team Owner Suing Activision Blizzard

Call of Duty League Team Owner Suing Activision Blizzard

Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez, CEO of OpTic Gaming, and retired OpTic player Seth “Scump” Abner are suing Activision Blizzard, alleging monopolistic practices related to the publisher’s Call of Duty esports league. The lawsuit, seeking $680 million in damages, claims that Activision Blizzard’s “unlawful 100 percent monopoly” over the league forced them into financially damaging partnerships in order to compete.

Before the establishment of the Call of Duty League (CDL) in 2019, competitive Call of Duty tournaments were organized by independent third parties, allowing any team to participate. However, the CDL changed this structure, offering only one annual tournament with limited spots and requiring franchising fees in the millions of dollars.

The lawsuit reveals that teams had to pay $27.5 million for a franchise slot and pass 50 percent of merchandise and event ticket sales revenue to Activision Blizzard. Moreover, the publisher had exclusive rights to lucrative sponsorships, restricting teams and players from securing their own deals.

What the Suit Alleges

The suit also alleges that Activision Blizzard prohibited teams and players from participating in non-league tournaments and restricted players’ ability to secure individual sponsorships. It highlights an instance where players were forced to sign agreements without legal counsel review or risk being removed from their team just days before the league’s start.

Other Times Activision Blizzard Has Faced Accusations of Anticompetitive Behavior Regarding Its Esports Leagues

This isn’t the first time Activision Blizzard has faced accusations of anticompetitive behavior regarding its esports leagues. In 2023, the publisher settled a suit with the US Justice Department over its Competitive Balance Tax, which fined teams for paying players over a certain amount. The tax was scrapped amid a DOJ investigation into its potential to depress player wages.

The lawsuit underscores the ongoing tensions between esports organizations and publishers over control, revenue sharing, and player rights, highlighting the challenges in navigating the rapidly evolving esports industry.

Claims of the Lawsuit

The new lawsuit as you should know builds on these very claims. “Activision secured a 100 percent monopoly over the market for professional Call of Duty leagues and tournaments, used that market power to eliminate competition, and forced team owners and players to either exit the market entirely or accept draconian anticompetitive terms that were favorable only for Activision and its monopoly,” it reportedly argues.

What Activision Blizzard Spokesperson Has To Say About This New Development

Activision Blizzard spokesperson Delaney Simmons in a statement to The Verge wrote, “Mr. Rodriguez (aka OpTic H3CZ) and Mr. Abner (aka Scump) demanded that Activision pay them tens of millions of dollars to avoid this meritless litigation, and when their demands were not met, they filed. We will strongly defend against these claims, which have no basis in fact or in law.

We are disappointed that these members of the esports community would bring this suit which is disruptive to team owners, players, fans, and partners who have invested so much time and energy into the Call of Duty League’s success.”



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