UK Organization Lightning Pandas withdrawals from competitive Call of Duty, citing "impending cost of franchising" implemented by Call of Duty owner Activision.
The Lightning Pandas, a Call of Duty team that’s famous for placing Top 12 during the 2018 Call of Duty World Championships (the WWII season) has officially ceased operations. The Lightning Pandas got its start in 2014 when former Call of Duty player Shane McKerral and Kairos Media founder Michael Craddock founded the team. They owned a long and storied history in competitive Call of Duty.
Thank you for all the memories. ? pic.twitter.com/bWGV6bRY0N
— Lightning Pandas (@LightningPandas) April 18, 2019
Among their accomplishments in the Call of Duty competitive scene were the aforementioned placing in the World Championships during the WWII season. They also landed an impressive Top 6 finish during CWL Vegas 2018 for the BO4 season. The organization has also had a presence in a couple of other esports, namely Fortnite and the FIFA soccer video game series.
In a TwitLonger statement, the team listed a variety of factors for their demise; however, they directly blame “the impending cost of franchising” that Activision is implementing for the next season of Call of Duty. The good and bad of MLG’s high price tag for franchising is up for debate, but the smaller organizations in the sport are definitely feeling the impact regardless of whatever merits a pricey buy-in may contain.
Image VIA: Lightning Pandas