Though Sony may be stepping away from E3 2020, brand recognition for PlayStation continues in a variety of other ways. One of the most notable is Sony’s continued partnership with Activision and investment in the Call of Duty League. PlayStation branding is all over Call of Duty League, both in person at each event and on the live streams, and that simple act of placing the PlayStation and PS4 logos at prominent intervals means it becomes a household name for Call of Duty League’s massive audience. The entire event is played on PS4 Pro consoles as well, so this isn’t just Sony slapping the PlayStation name on a few banners. This is a $500 million investment into the league to make sure “PlayStation” remains front and center.
The Call of Duty League is heading into its third weekend for the 2020 season. This weekend’s tournament will take place in Atlanta at the Gateway Center Arena, starting February 22 and running through the 23rd. Home franchise Atlanta FaZe remains undefeated so far this year, thanks in part to popular FaZe team members Chris “Simp” Lehr and Tyler “aBeZy” Pharris. They hope to continue that streak as they hit their home turf.
CDL will also feature even more celebrity appearances throughout the season. Staying with the Atlanta theme, Atlanta rappers Lil Yachty and Offset will be featured as guests during this weekend’s event. Both icons are celebrity partners of FaZe Clan. There will also be a guest appearance by Slim Jxmmi of Rae Sremmurd.
Call of Duty League recently announced Hype Battles, celebrity matchups that help break up the pacing of each weekend tournament. The League’s first Hype Battle was originally set to go down at the Minnesota opener, featuring Michael B. Jordan and Andrew Wiggins vs, Karl-Anthony Towns and rapper Vince Staples, but Kobe Bryant’s death that weekend prompted them to cancel the Hype matches.
While it’s unknown if Sony’s sponsorship of the Call of Duty League will continue into next season, it can be assumed that continued investment to make the PS5 the platform of choice would be a smart marketing move as the next-gen console launches. Call of Duty League has an enormous audience, and one that doesn’t always intersect with the traditional “gaming” audience, so it’s a way to capture a whole corner of the market that is otherwise uninfluenced by platform exclusives and other features that might win the rest of us over. Simply seeing Call of Duty being played professionally on PS5s could be a huge selling point for a large number of people.
Alongside PlayStation, Astro is also a main sponsor for the event. Call of Duty League’s third weekend opens on February 22, 2020 in Atlanta at the Gateway Center Arena. You can watch the event via live stream exclusively on YouTube, thanks to a new partnership this year between Activision and Google.