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Activision Blizzard sued for “illegal monopoly” on Call of Duty esports events

Esports organization Optic has filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard. The reason was the Call of Duty esports league, over which the studio allegedly had an “illegal monopoly.” As compensation, the “victims” demand that they be paid $680 million.

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The plaintiffs are Optic CEO Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez and former Call of Duty League player Optic Texas “Scump” Abner. They accuse Activision Blizzard of “laying the foundations of a monopoly” in January 2016 by acquiring Major League Gaming, thereby eliminating its biggest competitor.

 

The lawsuit states that Activision stopped licensing other tournament and league organizers to allow its Call of Duty league to become the only one, then limited the league to 12 teams and required a $27.5 million entry fee from each potential team, as well as an “Activision-approved corporate partner.”

 

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Activision told Rodriguez it would never allow him to own or manage a team on his own. During a conference call, an Activision executive bluntly told Rodriguez that he was not the “type of owner” Activision wanted in the league. Activision made it clear to Rodriguez that he would have to “collaborate” with billionaire investors who were “similar” to Activision’s ethos or exit the market altogether.

 

These investors’ company (Envy Gaming) allegedly demanded a 92.5% stake in Optic, giving Rodriguez a choice: give up control of the team or undermine its value.

 

Activision Blizzard said that Optic’s claims have no basis. The company is ready to defend itself in court.

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