In context: This week Astro Gaming and the US Army appear to have ended their sponsorship of the Call of Duty League. This appears to be yet another loss for Activision Blizzard amidst a lawsuit accusing the company of being host to widespread discrimination and sexual harassment.
Charlie Intel spotted yesterday that Astro Gaming’s logo had disappeared from the Call of Duty League (CDL) website. It was still there as recently as August 11. Then earlier today, the US Army’s logo also vanished. This leaves the Call of Duty League with four sponsors, Zenni Gaming, Scuf, Mountain Dew, and USAA.
This comes just a week before the Call of Duty League Weekend, which runs from August 19th to the 22nd in Los Angeles. The CDL website calls it “the most epic moment in Call of Duty esports.”
Astro and the US Army haven’t given a reason for ending the partnership with the CDL yet, but they’re not the first companies to stop sponsoring games from Activision Blizzard since the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against the company last month for allegedly hosting a “frat boy” culture of widespread sexual harassment and discrimination.
The CDL website on August 11th (above) and August 13th (below)
Last year, Astro announced it was extending its CDL sponsorship through the 2022 season as the league’s official headset and mixamp.
Last week, T-Mobile also withdrew its sponsorship from the CDL and the Overwatch league. Competitive Overwatch also appears to be bleeding sponsors such as Coca-Cola, Cheez-It Grooves, and Pringles. The president of Blizzard and three senior developers have also since left the company.
According to the lawsuit, female employees at Activision Blizzard earned less than their male coworkers for similar work, were more slowly promoted, and more quickly fired. Women at the company had to constantly fend off unwanted sexual comments, groping, and other advances. This prompted Activision Blizzard employees to stage a walkout at the end of last month in a call for change.