The new league year will kick-off in late August.
Just a few days removed from the end of the 2022 season, which saw the Los Angeles Thieves claim the season championship, the Call of Duty League has released its roster construction rule set ahead of the official start of the 2023 league year.
The 2022 Call of Duty league year officially ends on August 21 at 11:59 PM PDT and the 2023 league year begins at 12:00 AM PDT.
On the 22nd, CDL free agents can enter into any contracts with any teams within the league. With the start of the new league year, teams are able to explore trades with other CDL organizations and can submit trade requests to the league office.
The CDL will allow teams and players to discuss potential contracts ahead of the start of the league year but may not enter into any formal agreements or make binding commitments to do so outside the permitted windows.
The league states that all long-term contracts will have a minimum term of one year with the maximum being three years.
Players will receive at least the league minimum, which for the 2023 season is $55,225 USD, along with healthcare and retirement benefits. Teams are also required to pay out at least 50% of earnings directly to players, though could pay more if they elect to do so.
There is also protection for players signed to non-guaranteed contracts, ensuring a buyout will be paid to the player in case of release from the team. The league states if there are at least 60 days remaining in the term, the minimum buyout fee would equal 60 days salary plus any earned but unpaid bonuses and prize money.
There will also be a maximum amount of 14-day contracts offered to players in the 2023 season. If a team signs a player to two 14-day contracts next season, the team may only sign the player if they sign the player to the team for the rest of the season. The league also outlines two-way contracts for players competing in the CDL and Challengers, similar to the National Basketball Association and its G-League counterpart.
There is no limit to the number of two-way players, although a limit of two two-way players per Challengers team will be instituted. If a two-way player competes in a CDL match, the player is ineligible to compete in Challengers until seven days after their last match in the CDL.
One of the most interesting parts in this ruleset posted by the CDL is the language used around development outside of the league. One of the objectives of these rules, according to the CDL, is to incentivize investment by team owners in player development within the competitive Call of Duty ecosystem outside of the league.
Competitive CoD as a whole needs the support of its premier league and this could be both an acknowledgement and step in the right direction.
There have been numerous complaints surrounding the state of the Challengers scene but hopefully this is a sign that the CDL is going to invest in its version of the minor leagues.
While there has been no news on a 2023 CDL start date, Modern Warfare 2 will release on Oct. 29. There has been buzz the season will start sooner than it has the last three.