LAN works: Call of Duty League’s first Arlington major sets records



Value of the Tip (0-100)

If the team is not in the TOP list:

The Call of Duty League’s decision to hold its first live audience event at the home of OpTic Texas, Esports Stadium Arlington, paid dividends, breaking records viewership and on-site concession sales for a Major. Viewership on its YouTube stream peaked at roughly 186,000 concurrents, a record according to the league. While final numbers weren’t yet available, a company spokesman told Sports Business Journal said that the event, which saw over 1,800 fans Sunday of the four-day series, broke concession sales records.

“The success of this event is validation of Arlington’s investment in Esports Stadium Arlington,” Geoff Moore, president and COO at Envy, told SBJ. “With almost all ticket buyers from outside of Arlington, and more than half from outside [Dallas-Fort Worth], this is the sort of event that Arlington was always banking on. Destination-based esports events have a home in North Texas.”

According to information obtained by SBJ, 42% of ticket sales were from Dallas-Fort Worth. Fans from Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, Miami, Chicago, and New York City bought more than 6,000 tickets for the four-day event. Saturday and Sunday were also sellouts.

The new record for concurrent viewers was set during the OpTic vs. FaZe Clan finals, based on first-party data from YouTube Analytics.

“The tournament-style format creates an experience of unexpected hype where fans can see their favorites clash and underdogs make a run in a way that traditional sports on appointment-based viewing cannot replicate,” said Envy CEO Adam Rymer. “That type entertainment experience — the LAN competitive environment coupled with a live and lively crowd — ultimately make for a better product for viewers watching on broadcast, too.”

Celebrities such as Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz and Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, along with impromptu autograph lines and photo ops with several OpTic streamers and entertainers, set the tone that this was a top-tier event — a look that esports leagues everywhere are trying to capture. As far as sponsors and their activations, Mountain Dew, Aim Lab, Razer, and Scuf were quite visible. Fans got 3,000 Razer-branded thundersticks as well.

OpTic Texas defeated the Atlanta FaZe in the finals to win the event, taking home $200,000.