Activision is planning on expanding its eSports repertoire by launching the Call of Duty World League, a multi-tiered tournament targeted at professional gamers and casual competitors alike.
As eSports continue to gain momentum, the publisher is looking to engage more players by creating a competition comprised of two divisions: the Pro Division and the entry level Challenge Division.
A place in the Call of Duty Championships, which kicks off in fall 2016, awaits the winners of each division, with competitors standing to win a chunk of the series’ $3 million prize pool.
“Call of Duty has always been about community, camaraderie and competition, which drives incredible engagement with the game all year long. eSports allows us to deliver these moments to our fans,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc.
“Three years ago, we held the first Call of Duty Championship to showcase the dedication and skill of Call of Duty players around the world. Since then, eSports has become a global phenomenon with more than 120 million people watching online competitive gaming each year.”
In something of an eSports double whammy, the Tuner Broadcasting System has also lifted the lid on a new “strategic partnership” with WME | IMG, with both companies working together to bring eSports to cable television.
The duo will create a new eSports league to be broadcast exclusively on TBS. Valve’s evergreen shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will be featured during the league’s inaugural season, which will be showcased from a “state-of-the-art facility” built from the ground up with eSports in mind.
Slated to begin in 2016, television coverage will focus on two events, featured across 10 consecutive weeks of programming twice a year. Both tournaments will include a regular season, playoffs, and finally, a championship, and will be supported with digital content.
“eSports is one of the fastest growing entertainment genres among young adults around the world,” said Lenny Daniels, president of Turner Sports.
“We’re looking forward to creating a tremendous live event atmosphere, leveraging the infrastructure and expertise within Turner Studios, and presenting the competitions in an innovative way throughout our portfolio of leading brands.”