Vegas Esports Weekly: Tom Leese set to become first-ever FIFA paid esports transfer and Call of Duty League playoffs take center stage

esports transfer fee tom leese

To paraphrase the great NFL football coach Jim Mora: it’s time to talk about the esports playoffs! Call of Duty League Playoffs take place this weekend, and Activision is sure to dominate headlines around the world of esports and gaming all weekend long, they aren’t the only ones generating headlines. 

ESports Playoffs: Call of Duty League Playoffs Kick-Off Thursday, August 19

CDL Playoffs start Thursday night, and in a pleasantly surprising move, fans will still be able to attend the event in person. With cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant on the rise, there were speculation and rumors that the event would be moved back to an online format. But after the wild success at Major V, Activision opted to instead implement strict protocols, including proof of vaccination or a negative test result, as well as a mask mandate. 

Call of Duty Playoffs 2021 esports news
The Call of Duty Playoffs gets underway this week.

Round 1 of the playoffs begins at noon PT when Minnesota Rokkr takes on Dallas Empire. After that, OpTic Chicago faces off against the New York Subliners. The tournament format will be double elimination, with the losers of those two matches being sent down to the elimination bracket where they will play LA Thieves and Florida Mutineers. Meanwhile, the winners of those matches will face First-Round BYE earners Atlanta FaZe and Toronto Ultra. Check out the full bracket here.

Atlanta FaZe was stunned in Major V in Dallas, losing to Seattle Surge, who did not make the playoffs. They will look to bounce back as one of the most heavily favored teams to win it all and walk away with a cool $1.2 million this Sunday at noon. 

On top of all of the fanfare surrounding the CDL, Activision is also set to unveil Call of Duty: Vanguard, the next installment in one of the world’s top-selling media franchises of all time, and the platform for next season’s CDL gameplay. Expect to see plenty of CoD related headlines this week. 

Hashtag United Set to Complete First-Ever FIFA Player Transfer

As AFC Richmond manager Ted Lasso says, “It’s where sports and art combine.” And sports and esports combine this week as semi-professional soccer club Hashtag United (real name) announced that they have received offers ranging from £50,000 to £100,000 for their FIFA pro, Tom Leese. 

Leese’s sale would mark the first-ever transfer fee paid for an esports FIFA player, and it would certainly not be the last. With the rising popularity of esports, many European soccer clubs will continue to pursue talented FIFA players as they attempt to tap into the growing market. 

Leese is a former ePremier League champion, and also represents the English National Team as an eLion. 

Fortnite Copies Among Us With New Game Mode

Game developer Epic Games is no stranger to success, even when it means openly copying other games in order to achieve it. Fortnite, which remains one of the most popular games on the planet despite being over four years old at this point, rose to fame and popularity after copying the then-brand-new Battle Royale format from PUBG, albeit with the twist of building mechanics added in. 

Now it appears Epic is at it again, this time announcing a limited game mode called Imposters Mode. The mode, which rolled out this week, will be familiar to anyone who has played Among Us, another wildly popular game at the moment. Players are separated into two teams, one of whom is tasked with maintaining an HQ by accomplishing tasks, and another team is charged with secretly eliminating the other players without being caught. 

The mode originated as a fan-made variant called The Spy Within, which was intended to be a copy of Among Us, but now makes its debut as an officially designed game mode that actually contributes to the story of the ongoing Fortnite universe. 

iiTz Timmy Goes From Worst to First In Apex Legends

Popular Twitch streamer iiTz Timmy completed an incredible milestone in APEX Legends on Monday when he managed to go from Bronze ranking all the way to Predator (the game’s top rank) in just one 54-hour marathon stream. Timmy played solo-queue the entire time, joining a countless number of ragtag teams on his way to the top. 

The feat is not just an accomplishment of his in-game skill, but also one of sheer physical endurance, as he went more than two days without sleeping or stopping the stream. Timmy is no stranger to APEX either, as back in February he set the world record for most damage dealt in a single game. 

After the stream concluded, he took to Twitter to thank everyone who came together to support him on his quest. 

HyperX Esports Arena Reportedly For Sale

In local Vegas news, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Allied Esports is weighing its options regarding the future of its esports business, including a potential sale of the company, as well as the HyperX Esports Arena inside the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. 

While there is no current timetable for a sale at this time, company spokesman Brian Fisher told The Journal that they are exploring several options at this time, and no buyer is currently lined up. 

The arena opened in 2018 with some fanfare, but with a customer base still too young to drink or gamble, Allied has struggled to turn a profit in the ensuing years.

Full disclosure: This author is a former full-time employee of Allied Esports, and currently works with the company as a freelance contractor.