Cloud9 reportedly in pursuit of re-entering Call of Duty by partnering with CDL team

Cloud9 is reportedly in the process of finalizing a partnership with the reigning champions of the Call of Duty League, which would be the first step in the blue brand’s return to competitive CoD after seven years.

C9 is “in the process of entering into a partnership with the New York Subliners,” the 2023 CDL champions, according to a report from esports media outlet Sheep Esports. According to the report, this would enable C9 to complete its “short-term objective” of competing in the Modern Warfare 3 tournament at the upcoming Esports World Cup.

New York Subliners win CoD Champs 2023.New York Subliners win CoD Champs 2023.New York Subliners win CoD Champs 2023.
C9 is eyeing the defending champs. Photo via Call of Duty League

The report claims that this partnership would eventually progress to a “second phase” where C9 would acquire and merge with the NXYL esports organization that owns the New York Subliners franchise. Mergers are not uncommon in esports in recent years; OpTic and Envy merged in late 2021 to operate the OpTic Texas team in CDL.

C9, if the organization does move forward with the reported acquisition, could be the first of more esports organizations to return to competitive CoD following some well-received changes to the league structure made earlier this year. This past April, the CDL announced that it was waiving and refunding all franchise entry fees, while also providing increased revenue and two-year minimum revenue guarantees. NXYL’s founder Farzam Kamel said back then that the new team agreements would “make participation in CDL far more attractive for any org.”

Currently, the New York Subliners are sitting in fourth place in the 2024 CDL standings heading into Major Four this upcoming weekend.

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