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Call of Duty
Call of Duty

Johanna Faries named Call of Duty Esports commissioner

In anticipation of the upcoming franchised Call of Duty League, Johanna Faries has been named the Commissioner for Call of Duty esports by Activision Blizzard.

Faries has already been the Head of Call of Duty Esports for over a year, having started the role in 2018. Prior to that, she worked at the NFL for over 12 years across business development, sales, consumer products, retail marketing, and fan development.

Credit: Activision

In an interview on the Activision blog, Faries discussed her new role and things we can expect to see as a result.

"During my initial phase on the job, my team’s focus was really on setting a new product vision for Call of Duty as a city-based franchised league and to design an experience that we believe can grow to become one of the biggest sports leagues on the planet. Now that we have begun to sell franchises to ownership groups all over the world, it’s less about going from a white sheet of paper to what we have shaped now, and more about operating and managing this competitive ecosystem in a best-in-class way."

That’s not to say we aren’t still editing," she confirmed. "I think every sports league is always in ‘edit’ phase even decades in! But now that we have a strong product vision and business model to share, and have sold in several team franchises in the process, we can now shift gears toward the planning and execution phase of our work. The role of Commissioner oversees all aspects of those dynamics and the key stakeholders involved in making the system go, so it’s a broader platform for management than where we were back in August when the focus was primarily internal-facing and design-driven."

She also re-confirmed the franchised league is launching in 2020 with the seven cities announced so far, with more to be announced. A final number of teams is not confirmed.

"We plan to launch next year, so 2020 is a big moment for all of us. To date, we have announced seven teams for the league: Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minnesota, New York, Paris, and Toronto and they all bring with them world class vision and insight that will supercharge this space. We are also working closely with the Call of Duty franchise team and studio partners to continue to think big about how we can innovate around the competitive experience, with an eye toward being the best league in the world.

"Our ambition is quite large, but it’s also what gets us up every day feeling so energized by the potential scale of what Call of Duty esports can deliver. It’s a rush that can feel scary at times, but that thrill is typically where greatness can happen. I feel honored to be a part of it."

We look forward to seeing how the future of Call of Duty esports looks with Faries at the helm, and what's to come with the inaugural season of the franchised league.