Esports Arena: 'Call of Duty' League Will Open in Minneapolis; Na'Vi Blasts Epic Games for "Not Supporting" Teams

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'Call of Duty' World League's championship in 2019

Elsewhere in competitive gaming: Former Overwatch League Seoul Dynasty coach joins Philadelphia Fusion and frontrunner 'League of Legend' team Fnatic is eliminated from championship tournament.

Esports Arena is a curated weekly roundup of the biggest stories in the world of online competitive gaming.

The opening weekend of Activision Blizzard’s new Call of Duty League will be held in Minneapolis in late January, the company has announced. The event will be hosted by the city’s home team, the Minnesota Rokkr, at the Minneapolis Armory. All 12 Call of Duty League teams will compete throughout the weekend, with other fan and player experiences taking place around the first sets of matches. 

“It is an honor to host the inaugural weekend of the Call of Duty League,” Jonathan Wilf, part owner of the Minnesota Rokkr, said in a statement. “We have been craving an esports event of this caliber in Minneapolis-St. Paul. With the success this community has in hosting world-class events, we are excited to put on an incredible fan experience to launch the Call of Duty League.”

The opening weekend also will feature the first Call of Duty Challengers Open of the season, allowing amateur teams to compete in an open-bracket format. Online ladders and tournaments for Challengers players will begin in November, with a total prize pool of $1 million available throughout the season. 

Elsewhere, esports organization Na'Vi has announced that it will no longer compete in Fortnite due to the “unprofitability of the title.” Team manager Mykhailo “M1ke” Palamar made the announcement on behalf of the team, placing some of the blame on Fortnite publisher Epic Games: “Unfortunately, despite huge interest in the discipline on behalf of the players ... publisher Epic Games does not support the esports clubs, completely ignoring their interests." 

Na’Vi’s Fortnite team was founded in January.

Here’s what else is happening in the world of esports.

Former Liquid DOTA 2 Squad Sticking Together

Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi, a prominent DOTA 2 player formerly of Team Liquid, has revealed via Twitter that the now-defunct Team Liquid DOTA 2 team will stay together under a new organization to be announced soon. The next qualifier on the DOTA 2 schedule is the WePlay! Bukovel Minor in January. 

Fnatic Eliminated From League of Legends Worlds 2019

The League of Legends World Championships have seen a major team ousted from competition as Fnatic was eliminated in the quarterfinal stage by FunPlus Phoenix. Fnatic, the No. 2-seeded team from LoL’s League European Championships division, was able to tie the set at two games a piece before FPX defeated them in the fifth and deciding game. Four teams currently remain in the tournament: China’s Invictus Gaming will face fellow Chinese team FunPlus Phoenix, while South Korea’s SK Telecom T1 will take on Europe’s G2 Esports. The semifinals are set to begin Saturday, with the finals taking place in Paris on Nov. 9-10. 

Former Seoul Dynasty Coach Joins Philadelphia Fusion

Kim “KDG” Dong-gun, the former head coach of the Overwatch League’s Seoul Dynasty, has signed on as the new head coach of the Philadelphia Fusion. Dong-gun led the Dynasty to an eighth-place finish in the 2019 season and previously served as a coach for Mosaic eSports. The move comes at a time of major change within the Fusion organization, as the team recently released most of their coaching staff and roster, with only Lee “Carpe” Jee-hyeok seeing his contract extended. The transition will soon be completed, however, as Overwatch League teams must submit a roster of a minimum of eight players by Nov. 15.