Call of Duty, despite being one of the most popular shooters of all time, still has quite the ways to go before it hits mainstream eSports networks across the globe. Spawning from the darkest depths of the abyss, that climb to the top starts now for both the franchise and its competitive followers. With full support from Microsoft, Activision, Treyarch, and a handful of eSports networks -- such example includes Major League Gaming and Europe's ESL, the Cod sports train is moving full speed ahead and it doesn't look like it's going to stop any time soon.
"More people play Call of Duty multiplayer every day than watch the average regular season game of the NBA. The scale and passion of the Call of Duty fan base is simply humbling, and yet there is no formal way to find out who amongst those millions of players is the best of the best, until now," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. "Watching the performances of the very best Call of Duty players is already a mass spectator sport on YouTube and Call of Duty® Elite. We are going to bring the best players in the world to Hollywood to compete on the ultimate stage, for the ultimate prize. And we are going to invite our entire worldwide fan base to join in the fun." Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing
Despite having released only 2 months ago, Black Ops 2 is well received amongst competitive gamers and its success shows through the viewership of its big, yet rather unofficial tournaments. At my time of watching, UMG New Jersey, a Call of Duty tournament that hosts pro players from across the nation held about 10,000 viewers tuning in at once. It's not quite at the status of Starcraft or League of Legends, but those numbers are almost double that of past tournaments i've seen and attended and sure kicks the arses of fellow shooters, Counterstrike and Halo.
I feel this tournament will be huge for Call of Duty. It'll be the first time the Activision has officially acknowledged the existence of Call of Duty eSports, and it'll likely be the chance for those who don't know the competitive world exists to see it for themselves. It'll also give a chance for up-and-coming teams to train hard.
The tournament will use the in-game League Play system for Season 3 which means the competition will span the entire world of CoD players. To participate, all you have to do is create a Call of Duty Elite account and register. Then just grab a group of four, and grind your way to the top. The more you win, the harder your opponents will get but that's a given. The top teams, which will likely be the top 32 in the Master League, from all over the world will be given a chance to fly down to Hollywood, CA on April 5th through the 7th to compete live in front of tons of online viewers and of course, the shot at $1 million. It's the same prize pool present at Call of Duty: XP.
If you have the skill, or at the very least, the passion. I say give it a shot. It never hurts to try. Season 3 of Call of Duty League Play starts February 1st. Good luck!