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New York CDL event draws big viewership

Sportsnaut
Jan 26, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Fans react as the Minnesota Rokkr battle the Toronto Ultra during the Call of Duty League Launch Weekend at The Armory. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Call of Duty League Stage 4 major, held in New York in mid-July, drew record CDL viewership numbers for a non-championship event, Sports Business Journal reported on Thursday.

According to esportscharts.com, viewership peaked at 152,615 for the losers-bracket fourth-round match between the Atlanta FaZe and OpTic Texas. That ranked second for the season behind a match involving the same two teams in the CDL Stage 1 Major.

The final, won 5-3 by the Los Angeles Thieves over the host New York Subliners, drew 102,298 viewers.

A total of 2.14 million viewers watched at least some of the action in the $500,000 event from July 14-17. According to the Subliners, the average viewership of 60,195 ranked third best ever for a CDL tournament, trailing only the 2022 CDL Stage 1 Major (record 69,925) and the 2021 CDL Stage 1 Major.

The tournament also drew an in-person crowd of 9,400 to Kings Theatre in Brooklyn over four days.

“The elevated experience that (Subliners parent organization) NYXL created, the Cinderella sports run of the New York Subliners, and the incredible energy of a NYC crowd quickly gained a lot of attention online, which I’m sure helped fuel the record viewership,” NYXL chief revenue officer Kai Mathey told Sports Business Journal. “The sensational Major 4 will definitely help drive higher viewership for champs next week.”

The Minnesota Rokkr tied for ninth (last place) in the Stage 4 major, ending their season, as only the top eight teams in the standings qualified for the Aug. 4-7 season-ending playoffs in Los Angeles. Still Rokkr chief operating officer Brett Diamond remains optimistic about the future.

“We have enormous confidence in Call of Duty as a league franchise and the original premise of the ability to build around a local and national fanbase,” Diamond said, according to SBJ. “It’s something we are still really excited about heading into next season.”

Diamond was particularly encouraged by the engagement he saw when Minnesota hosted the Stage 2 Major from March 31-April 3.

“That passion and that energy that our fans showed at Major 2 really surpassed all of our expectations,” Diamond said, per SBJ. “We see it time and again at watch parties.”

–Field Level Media