Not one to be left behind in the currently blossoming eSports revolution, Activision announced today the Call of Duty Championship. Taking place in Hollywood on April 5-7, the Call of Duty Championship will feature a Call of Duty: Black Ops II tournament with 32 teams battling for a $1 million prize. Teams from across the world will come to compete, and everyone else will get the opportunity watch as the tournament is live-streamed.
Even better, every Black Ops II player will get the opportunity to qualify for the tournament. After registering their teams on the Call of Duty Elite website, any 4-player team can compete in the February season of League Play on Xbox 360. At the end of the season if your team is in the top 8 teams, you teams qualifies for the tournament and gets flown the Hollywood to compete. The League starts today, so get cracking.
Other qualifiers will include the top 8 teams from the upcoming MLG Winter Championship tournament on March 15-17, and another 8 from the ESL's European Finals March 16-17. The remaining positions will be made available across Asia, Australia and Brazil through as-yet-to-be-determined means.
Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg came forward with the following statement as to why Activision is investing in eSports at this time:
"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. 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."
Sometimes, as Riot with League of Legends and Valve with Dota 2 can attest to, it takes the support of a publisher to truly push eSports into the spotlight. It's exciting to see Activision doing the same, and exciting to think about what that means for the future of Call of Duty.
Check out the official announcement trailer for the Call of Duty Championship below, which provides a solid look at the current eSports scene for Call of Duty across the world. Unfortunately for PS3 and PC Call of Duty: Black Ops II players, this does appear to be an Xbox 360 only event, as Activision has partnered with Microsoft to get it running.