Call of Duty League is bringing fans back to live events

The Stage V Major will be the first CDL tournament with a crowd since March 2020.

USA TODAY USPW / reuters

Sixteen months after the last event with a live crowd, the Call of Duty League (CDL) is once again opening its doors to fans. The Stage V Major tournament takes place at the end of the month, and it will host the league's first live matches with fans since March 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down everything.

All 12 CDL teams are expected to take part in the tournament, which runs from July 29th to August 1st. It takes place at Esports Stadium Arlington in Texas, home of the 2020 season champs Dallas Empire. Fans will be able to attend during the final two days, with a weekend pass costing $59. The league returned to in-person events without fans last month.

The CDL and the Overwatch League (OWL), both of which are run by Activision Blizzard, planned to hold matches in each team's home city in 2020. That format didn't last long before the leagues were forced to shift to online-only play for the season. That was a significant blow for both, but perhaps more so the CDL, which had only just started its first season. Esports are far more enjoyable with a crowd, and the future's looking rosier for live events.

OWL, meanwhile, is running a few events with fans in China this season. Envy Gaming, which owns Dallas Empire and OWL's Dallas Fuel, held an event at Esports Stadium Arlington last month with the Fuel playing on stage and Overwatch League fans in attendance.