Johanna Faries has a good track record in the field of competition thanks to her background in sports with 12 years of work in the National Football League. She was named as one of the 30 most influential women in the world of sport in the American magazine Adweek. But it does not end there. Johanna Faries has also featured in American magazine Fortune as one of the most influential women under the age of forty
In short, Johanna Faries has an excellent knowledge of managing world-class competitions and the Call of Duty League can only benefit from her involvement as commissioner.
In an interview, we were able to ask Faries a few questions about how the CDL handled the Covid-19 crisis, how franchising has impacted Call of Duty esports, and the switch from PlayStation to PC.
How has the Covid-19 health crisis impacted the Call of Duty League this year?
We were able to achieve a record-breaking inaugural season despite the challenges that COVID-19 presented. Since then, we have continued to bring new innovations to the 2021 Call of Duty League season and we are seeing increased interest from around the world in what we are building. While we have had to move to online competition to prioritize the safety of our players and staff, we are committed to returning to live events as soon as it is safe to do so.
What were the main obstacles you encountered in the development of the 2021 season?
Navigating through a pandemic has been difficult at times, but we have learned a lot from our inaugural season and we are committed to continuing that learning throughout the 2021 season.
You have decided to make the switch to PC from consoles. What motivated this decision?
The decision was made in collaboration with our teams. We believe the move to PC has given players more flexibility to, for example, use any league-approved controller they can choose from in order to best compete with the hardware that suits them best. We also moved to a 4v4 game, reverting to the original structure of the Call of Duty competition, after listening to fan and player feedback since last season. We believe that these changes, among many others, will make the season of high-performance competition incredibly exciting.
Gamers will now play on PC, where preventing cheating is a top priority. Are you not afraid that some players will be tempted to cheat during the competition?
We don't believe, and we have no evidence to suggest, that switching to PC will increase the likelihood of cheating at the professional level. We will continue to take several precautions to maintain the integrity of the professional game this season and we know that our players and our teams stand for those same values.
Will a French stream be set up, since the Call of Duty League has a French franchise?
This is something we would like to pursue and will continue to explore. We will say more in the future.
Rumors of a bubble system like the NBA surfaced in September. Was this the basic plan to keep the Call of Duty League running smoothly? Or was it just a rumor?
Live events have always been our ambition, and we will return to live competition when it is safe for our staff, teams, players, and fans.
Traditional sport has taken various steps to address the health crisis. Do you keep an eye on other competitions to implement improvements to the Call of Duty League?
The health and safety of the players is of the utmost importance. In addition to ensuring that all of our players have access to health benefits as part of the League, we continue to adhere to and follow best practices and guidelines in all regions of the world.
Is the Call of Duty League expansion for 2022 that you announced in 2020 still taking place? Will it be put on hold due to the health crisis?
We have nothing to announce regarding the expansion at this time. We are focused on making 2021 a strong and exciting year, with the goal of increasing fan base and engagement. We had a lot of success last season, and we can't wait to start with opening week on Thursday, February 11th.
We thank Johanna Faries for the time she gave us during this interview. The Call of Duty League will kick off on February 11 with the Atlanta FaZe Home Series! You can watch the competition on the official Call of Duty League YouTube page.