Online tournament organiser GameBattles to shut down in 2024

14 November 2023


(ESI Illustration) Image credit: Gamebattles

Online tournament website GameBattles has announced it will close its platform on January 15th, 2024.

Founded in 2003 and then later acquired by MLG (Major League Gaming) in 2006, GameBattles is a company that has been deeply integrated into the Call of Duty community for years.

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GameBattles hosted ladders, leagues, and tournaments which catered to players of all levels. It was often seen as a more competitive style of matchmaking compared to Call of Duty’s in-game offering.

Alongside its community involvement, the company was responsible for establishing a tier two circuit in Call of Duty and running tournaments in multiple titles for Activision Blizzard, including Overwatch and Call of Duty: Mobile.

In 2016, MLG was acquired by Activision Blizzard, the publisher of Call of Duty, for an estimated $46m (~£37m).

The closure of GameBattles follows a period of change at Activision Blizzard following its acquisition by Microsoft last month. Additionally, Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League is also officially over after teams voted to exit the competition last week.

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The announcement of GamesBattle’s closure also signals the end of MLG’s last active branch. Chris Evans, an Operations Supervisor at GameBattles, stated on X (formerly Twitter): “Our team learned yesterday that Activision Blizzard has decided to shut down GameBattles, the last remaining branch of MLG, by mid-January. The entire team at GameBattles has been notified that we’re all being let go as part of the closure.”

“This didn’t have to happen. There’s so much untapped potential with MLG, GameBattles and the future of Esports. I hope one day both MLG & GB get the attention and internal support they deserve.”

Under GameBattles’ announcement, many notable personalities and stakeholders within the Call of Duty scene have publicly reacted to the news. This includes former COD World Champions Tyler ‘TeeP’ Polchow and Austin ‘SlasheR’ Liddicoat, esports host and former MLG VP of Programming Chris Puckett, and former MLG senior member Adam Apicella.

It is currently unknown what Activision Blizzard plans are for the future of MLG and GameBattles.

Dafydd Gwynn