The esports team Evil Geniuses has announced that it’s withdrawing from competitive Call of Duty. The team, which emerged victorious at the Call of Duty World League Championship in 2018, taking the win for the game’s World War II season, has posted about the future of its Call of Duty gaming on its website – and the team’s decided not to enter the Pro League 2020 season.
The announcement (via ESTNN), which given the team’s victory only last year, is pretty surprising, says, “We’ve enjoyed competing in COD under the Evil Geniuses name for years, and unfortunately, we won’t be bringing the EG name to the forthcoming CWL Pro League 2020 season, or competing under the banner of any of the city-based franchises.”
“We’re extremely proud of the work that we’ve been able to put into Call of Duty, and our results within the space”, the team says, adding that it’ll make sure that its players and staff get to continue participating in COD “through new homes, and other opportunities.”
The statement didn’t specifically talk about the reasons behind the decision, other than mentioning work defining the team’s priorities going forward, but some people on Reddit have discussed some possible factors. User Iagos_Beard highlights that the cost of a spot in the Call of Duty franchise league was reportedly $25 million per team, according to a report earlier this year by ESPN. Citing some Twitch viewership stats, the user suggests that the cost versus benefit aspect of competing in the CWL could have potentially factored into the decision, saying “I don’t blame EG in the slightest”.
Though not confirmed as the reason, this could make sense, given that the Evil Geniuses team has struggled to make similar progress to last year in the current 2019 Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 season, having only taken a top ten spot in the recent CWL Miami, as ESTNN highlights. The statement also references the team’s desire to “keep developing a strong Evil Geniuses brand that is capable of supporting all our projects.”
Given that Evil Geniuses also enters teams for Fortnite, Rocket League, and other games, it’s possible that their priorities going forward will see them focus more on these titles.