ASTRO Gaming & US Army ends sponsorship of Call of Duty League amid lawsuit controversy
Activision Blizzard Esports division appears to be taking the biggest impact from external partners over the harassment lawsuit with sponsors opting out of partnerships with the Call of Duty League and Overwatch League.
The latest sponsor to end its relations with the Call of Duty League is ASTRO Gaming (and now U.S Army).
ASTRO Gaming’s logo has vanished from the Call of Duty League site, alongside the U.S Army logo. These two logos used to appear to the left of ZENNI Gaming’s logos.
Here’s a look at the new sponsorship strip section on the CDL site, with ZENNI Gaming, SCUF, Game Fuel, and USAA still partners.
Update August 13 – 1PM ET: After we posted this article, the logo sponsorship section on the Call of Duty League site was updated again to remove the U.S Army logo. The CDL now has only four sponsors left as CDL Champs approaches.
ASTRO Gaming was a long time sponsor of Call of Duty esports, dating back to its early days. The company was the official headset sponsor of the Call of Duty League and Call of Duty Challengers.
Per Activision’s initial announcement of the CDL back in 2020, ASTRO Gaming “extends its sponsorship of Call of Duty esports through the 2022 season.”
Instead, the sponsorship has ended just before the CDL’s biggest event of the year, Call of Duty League Championship. The Championship event will take place August 19 – 22 at the Galen Center in LA.
The U.S Army started its sponsorship of the CDL with the inaugural season in 2020. The U.S Army was the presenting sponsor of all schedule related assets on the CDL site.
Their logo has now been completely removed from the site.
Activision Blizzard has declined to comment.
ASTRO had in broadcast segments for the Call of Duty League including the main ASTRO Gaming Listen In, allowing fans to hear team comms during intense moments of matches.
ASTRO also was the presenting sponsor of the Call of Duty League MVP Award, which was awarded at the end of the Champs event. Since the partnership has ended, as early as this week, the CDL’s site MVP page no longer shows the ASTRO Gaming logo.
The site before August 10th:
The site as it appears now, available to view here:
ASTRO & US Army are the latest two sponsors of the Call of Duty League to drop, after T-Mobile distanced themselves a few weeks back.
ASTRO Gaming partnered with the CDL to sell custom-designed CDL team headsets on their website. That collection has been deleted from the site.
The Call of Duty League is not the only Activision Blizzard league facing backlash. The company’s Overwatch League has lost 5 sponsors over the last two weeks, including Coca Cola, State Farm, IBM, Kellogs, and more.
The sponsorship drops comes as Activision Blizzard is being sued by the state of California for sexual harassment and diversity in-equality across the company, with many instances coming out of Blizzard’s side.
Activision Blizzard responded to the suit with Blizzard President J. Allen Brack resigning and putting Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra as co-leaders of Blizzard.
The company still faces immense pressure from employees to change some of the practices, like removal of attribution clauses and changes to the law firm that is investigating the allegations at the company. So far, Activision Blizzard executives have not met their demands.
We’ll continue to keep everyone updated as more information on the lawsuit and sponsorships happen.