The Call of Duty League Stage 1 Major Qualifiers made its debut on streaming platform Twitch over the weekend and recorded 190,000 peak viewers, according to Esports Charts.
The qualifiers will continue until December 11th, however, the opening weekend is already in the top 10 of most-watched Call of Duty esports events in history.
The tournament marks the first time the Call of Duty League is available on Twitch. The viewership peak happened on Sunday, during a match between Florida Mutineers and Optic Texas, which was seen by almost 193,000 viewers. This was the first event of the 2023 CDL season, and it attracted more viewers than both the 2022 Kickoff Classic (80,000) and the 2021 Kickoff Classic (107,000), the inaugural events for the two previous seasons.
The event serves as the qualifier for the first Major tournament for the 2023 CDL season, which will take place December 15th to 18th in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The League, which started in 2020, was available exclusively through YouTube for the last three years. This is due to an agreement signed between Call of Duty developer Activision Blizzard and YouTube. The return to Twitch was met with praise, but only time will tell if the absence from YouTube hurt overall viewership.
The Call of Duty League sees 12 city-based teams compete in the latest iteration of Call of Duty, one of the world’s best-selling FPS games. The teams include Atlanta Faze, Los Angeles Thieves, OpTic Texas and others supported by notable esports and sports brands.
Interestingly, the same agreement between Activision Blizzard and YouTube also included Overwatch and the Overwatch League. The Grand Finals of the 2022 Overwatch League season was broadcasted on YouTube, and saw impressive figures, due to the addition of rebroadcasting. The CDL does not allow community streamers to rebroadcast the tournament as of now.