There’s a lot of eSports news this week. Earlier, I wrote about DraftKings making a huge splash by announcing League of Legends Fantasy tournaments. Now, Activision is getting serious with Call of Duty eSports.
While PC games dominate the competitive gaming landscape, console games have also been around for a while. I remember going to Charlotte, NC about seven years ago and competing in Rainbow Six: Vegas. That was back when Halo was huge on the MLG circuit. Eight years later and Call of Duty is the big draw in the competitive console shooter scene.
Today, Activision is announcing the creation of the Call of Duty World League. A big reason for today’s announcement is Treyarch. “Treyarch has been a driving force for Call of Duty eSports since Black Ops 2 with the creation of pioneering features like CODcaster and League Play while Activision has set the bar with the preeminent global Call of Duty® Championship tournament,” reads the press release.
Black Ops 2 is what really put competitive Call of Duty on the map. It was a great game with even better support. That’s all you ever really need for any game to succeed as a competitive title.
Ghosts and Advanced Warfare stumbled a bit. Some of it was Call of Duty fatigue, some it was just the games weren’t as good as previous Call of Duty games. I liked Advanced Warfare at first. I thought the change of pace was great. But like many of you, I quickly grew tired of it. But the recent Black Ops 3 beta has me back on board the Call of Duty bandwagon.
Call of Duty World League Details
Let’s dive into the details.
Call of Duty World League will be divided into two divisions – Pro and Challenger. Call of Duty fans from around the world will be able to face off against one another. Here’s how Activision describes each division:
The Pro Division will provide regular competition for the very best in North America, Europe, and Australia & New Zealand, while The Challenge Division will allow amateur players a path to compete and earn their way to the world’s stage. The year will culminate with Call of Duty® Championship 2016, which will take place in the fall of 2016. Added up, the prize offerings in the season will total more than $3 million.
As for South America and Asian teams? They can still compete, but only in Challenge Division events.
According to Activision, Call of Duty World League will start in January 2016. In December, a series of qualification tournaments will be held to determine which teams will be placed in the Pro Division. More info on these tournaments will be revealed as we get closer to the release of Black Ops 3.
Activision will work “directly and more closely than ever before with each of the organizations and teams involved.”
And Call of Duty World League is just the beginning. In a FAQ, Activision says, “The Call of Duty World League is a franchise wide initiative starting with Call of Duty®: Black Ops III.” That means Call of Duty titles developed by Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games will include major eSports support.
This is a huge deal for Call of Duty eSports. One of the biggest criticisms made by the community is they wish Activision would support the scene even more. Well, Activision heard you loud and clear.
It is interesting to note that Activision hasn’t mentioned broadcast partners yet. Major League Gaming (MLG) has been the primary home of competitive Call of Duty in the recent past. CharlieIntel notes that Activision will reveal broadcasting partners in the coming months. Translation? Everyone. Twitch, YouTube Gaming and MLG. Activision will want Call of Duty eSports to grow and grow quickly. The best way to do that? Don’t limit yourself to one platform.
Check out the rest of the blog post for a few more details about Call of Duty World League.