Activision says changes to the the COD League 2023 season are designed to give esports teams and players greater flexibility around their rosters.
Activision, announced that the Call of Duty league year for 2022 would officially end at 11:59 PM PDT on August 21, and the 2023 Call of Duty year would start as soon as 12 AM PDT on August 22.
The esports development company said the date was set with the intention of equipping players “not under league contracts with the flexibility to sign with any team in the League.”
It also aimed to “incentivize investment by team owners in player development within the competitive Call of Duty ecosystem outside of the League.”
At the end of the 2022 CDL year, players whose contracts did not extend to the 2023 season would become free agents and could market their skills to other teams in the league.
They can also turn in requests for transfers to the league office. The league revealed that players and potential teams were allowed to talk about contracts before the league year officially began. However, they were prohibited from entering into “any formal agreements or make binding commitments to do so outside the permitted windows.”
The rules further state that a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years are applicable to all long-term contracts. All players in long-term agreements were expected to be signed for as long as a year and be paid accordingly.
The CDL 2023 season mandated that they least pay be $55,225, in addition to retirement and healthcare benefits. The esports teams are also supposed to give the contracted player a minimum of 50 percent of their earnings directly. However, they were free to provide a higher percentage if they thought it was necessary.
Besides the parts of the rules protecting signed players, gamers who had non-guaranteed contracts were also given some insurance. The league explained that depending on the number of days the player had left until their release, they would receive a buyout.
The rule read, “if there are at least 60 days remaining in the term, the minimum buyout fee would equal 60 days’ salary plus any earned but unpaid bonuses and prize money.”
The CDL rules for the 2023 season also shed light on players contracted by teams to play for 14 days. It limited the number of times an esports organization could contract a player for such a short time without signing the player for the next season, with the limit pegged at twice.
Outlines for the two-way contract for players who will perform in both the CDL and the Challengers were also mentioned. The league revealed that the number of two-way players would have no limit.
However, it instituted a mandate that ensured that only two two-way players would be placed in each Challengers group. The two-way players were also branded ineligible to play in Challengers until at least seven days after being a part of the CDL.
The ruleset posted by the CDL also emphasized the language used outside the league’s development. The CDL explained that a significant reason for the rule was to “incentivize investment by team owners in player development within the competitive Call of Duty ecosystem outside of the league.”
The actual start date of the 2023 season is yet to be revealed. However, it could be in line with the start dates of previous seasons of the Call of Duty League, which are usually announced early in the New Year. Modern Warfare 2 is also gearing up for release on October 28.