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Call of Duty: London Royal Ravens esports franchise moves to US

A London Royal Ravens competitor, wearing headphones and a red shirt, playing Call of Duty on a computer screen. There are other team members sitting alongside in the row also playing and wearing red shirts.
The newly branded team said they were "thrilled" to take their "royal wings" stateside

Call of Duty esports team London Royal Ravens will be relocating to America.

The move means there will be no UK or European sides competing in the 2024 Call of Duty League (CDL).

Rebranding as the Carolina Royal Ravens, they will now be based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"The next chapter of the Royal Ravens will be fuelled by the energy, culture, and resilience of the Carolinas," they wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

"We want to thank all of our London fans. From hosting the very first CDL Major (in London) for you in 2020 to this very moment, your passion for our team and the games we've played are unrivalled.

"We will always be grateful for the four years we spent flying the flag for the UK and the support you gave us. From the United Kingdom to the Queen City, we are all Royal Ravens."

The London Royal Ravens competing in 2020, the competitors are sat behind a blue desk which has the London Royal Ravens logo in white and red writing on a blue background, and they are looking at computer screens
The London Royal Ravens were founded in 2019

The Call of Duty League has 12 teams, and its presence in the UK was seen as a way of growing esports and competing with other big titles out there.

But it will now only consist of North American franchise teams going forwards.

The move isn't "great news for the UK esports scene", says the BBC's gaming correspondent Steffan Powell.

"CoD is arguably the game that sees more Brits competing at the top level than any other (FIFA the other)."

For fans of the league in the UK, the decision for London Royal Ravens to move is disappointing.

"They had a place in my heart purely because they're a London team," said Call of Duty fan James Hodges, who has been following the league for years.

Now there won't be a British team, he's not sure who to support.

"I'm gutted," he tells BBC Newsbeat. "There's no longer a team to call home for someone from the UK."

It is currently unknown who will play for the Royal Ravens in the 2024 league.

James hopes CDL will return to the UK, even if it's just for events rather than hosting a team.

"The atmosphere when you're actually in the sports arena watching it with your own eyes and hearing all the the crowd around you, it's a whole different experience," he says.

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