The Call of Duty community has lamented the loss of competitive platform GameBattles, which is closing some two decades after it launched.
Major League Gaming launched the service in 2003, which was acquired by Activision Blizzard in 2015.
This is the games company’s second notable esports cutback since Microsoft got the go-ahead to buy Activision Blizzard in October, after it recently announced that the Overwatch League will also be shutting down.
GameBattles will conclude its current season on the newly-launched Modern Warfare 3 with a reduced staff, before ceasing operations on January 15th 2024.
UK CoD community responds to GameBattles shutting down
With the announcement tweet having 5m+ views and 2,000+ quote tweets, the UK community has already began to mourn the website on social media.
Retired UK CoD professional player and Boston Academy Head Coach Joshua-Lee ‘Joshh’ Sheppard acknowledged the role the platform played in starting his career, saying:
UK Red Bull content creator and former London Royal Ravens player Liam ‘Jukeyz’ James had a similiar reaction to the service shutting down:
Ehsan ‘DREAL’ Javed, Head Coach for New York Subliners, paid tribute in a different way, posting a picture of his profile on the platform:
Others in the CoD community added to the conversation on X, including Adam Apicella, who was one of the founding MLG employees in 2003:
CEO of Polygon Studios and former Head of Youtube Gaming Ryan ‘Fwiz’ Wyatt, who started working as a caster for MLG in 2008, said to the platform’s Twitter account publicly: “How much do you want?”
He added: “GameBattles transformed many of our lives – too many people to name. It’s worth saving in one way or another. I would love to see it natively incorporated into Microsoft’s broader plans and it has so much potential. It’s a tremendous platform that has real value.”
What GameBattles and its staff said about its closure
With the platform shutting down, several long-term staff members have taken to X to voice their opinions and discuss their futures.
Jonathan ‘JuJu’ Schollenberger, Operations Supervisor at GameBattles, said: “Today marks the beginning of the end of my incredible 13-year journey. I joined in 2010, and ever since then it has been a major part of my life, from competing to being a part of the incredible operations team. I never could have imagined that a website to compete on would bring me to where I am today.
“I have met so many amazing and talented people within the industry through GameBattles, had life changing experiences, and made lifelong friends. This really did not need to happen, the future and the idea of what [the platform] could have been was so bright.”
Operations Manager Adam McDonald added: “An incredibly difficult day here. A lot of talented people who deserved much more. A huge amount of esports history will unfortunately be lost.”
Chris Evans, who has been an employee at MLG since 2015 and was an Operations Supervisor for MLG, also said: “The entire team at GameBattles has been notified that we’re all being let go as part of the closure.
“I joined GB and MLG over 10 years ago as a volunteer referee looking for something to do with my spare time. I never imagined I’d be where I am today, and I’m forever grateful to those who took a chance on me throughout my time here.
“This didn’t have to happen. There’s so much untapped potential with MLG, GB and the future of esports. I hope one day both MLG and GB get the attention & internal support they deserve – not for me or anyone who worked here, but for the amazing community they created over the years.”
Reece is a sports journalist who has previously worked with the likes of BBC Radio Solent, Southern Daily Echo, Salisbury Radio, VAVEL and many more. He is currently studying a degree in Sports Journalism at Solent University.