ESL FACEIT Group (EFG) announced Monday that its wholly-owned esports tournament platform FACEIT will serve as the new home of Activision Blizzard’s Challenger and Elite Qualifiers in the upcoming 2024 Call of Duty Challengers Season.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Activision Blizzard formally announced its plans for the new Challengers Season on Jan. 12.
In its announcement, EFG noted that these tournaments would not utilize the complete feature set of the FACEIT platform because the company does not have “deeper integration with the game in the same way we do other game titles.” Tournaments through FACEIT will “be manual” and will not have support for FACEIT Anti-Cheat. Making sure that cheating isn’t occurring during competitions will instead fall on the “tournament operations team.”
FACEIT also announced the release of a guide on how to register a FACEIT account and link it with your Activision ID, which will be necessary before joining a match in the Challenger qualifiers on FACEIT.
The 2024 Challengers Season begins with the Challengers Cup from Jan. 20-21. More information, rules, and the schedule for the season can be found on the official Challengers website.
This news follows speculation that Activision Blizzard will turn to ESL FACEIT Group to facilitate tournaments related to Overwatch League (or whatever competitions might be called related to Overwatch 2) in 2024.
FACEIT is part of EFG, which is owned by Savvy Games Group. Savvy Games Group is owned by the Saudi Arabian government’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, and its chairman of the board HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud (commonly referred to as HRH Crown Prince MBS, or just MBS). The PIF also has minor investments in major gaming companies; in China-based tournament organizer VSPO; is tied to both the Saudi Esports Federation, Global Esports Federation, and International Esports Federation; in the Esports World Cup Foundation, and is also the sole owner of several mega city projects including Qiddiya and NEOM.