Last week, several reports were released stating that Major League Gaming (MLG) was returning to Call of Duty. MLG did not confirm the news until today, when they announced not only their renewed support of competitive Call of Duty, but an event at the fabled Anaheim Convention Center.
We’re excited to announce the MLG Anaheim Open, June 10-12!
— MLG (@MLG) April 25, 2016
The last event in Anaheim was held in the summer of 2014 when Call of Duty Ghosts was on the circuit. Anaheim events have always been a favorite for competitive fans, partially due to the location but also because of the high-level of play. Held in June, months after the Call of Duty Championship, teams were truly in their prime and the stakes were high. The 2014 version had an $80,000 prize pool and also served as a qualifier for open bracket teams attempting to enter the MLG Pro League. Even international teams were in attendance. On top of the Call of Duty tournament, MLG Anaheim has also featured Smash, Starcraft, League of Legends, and Halo in the same venue in years past. So far, Call of Duty is the only game announced for MLG Anaheim 2016.
The event will be part of the Call of Duty World League (CWL), though it is not explicitly stated that it is a Challenge Division event. All 12 teams from the NA CWL will be invited and given special stipends, but this does not mean that they will automatically be included in Pool Play. The top 12 teams in terms of CWL Pro Points do not necessarily include the teams in the CWL currently, so newcomers such as Hundred Thieves may have to brave the 96 team Open Bracket. A prize pool of $100,000 is on the line as well as 10,000 CWL Pro Points.
As stated previously, the event will feature a format competitive Call of Duty fans have come to love: an Open Bracket where the top 4 teams from the winner’s bracket to make it into Pool Play. The top 4 teams from the open loser’s bracket enter the loser’s of the Championship Bracket (played after Pool Play).
On top of all this, MLG’s online tournament platform, Gamebattles, announced that CWL Pro Points can now be earned similarly to Pro Points in the past: through ladder matches and daily tournaments (as well as the large events). However, this news post and accompanied tweet have since been deleted.
A return to Call of Duty is great news for MLG and fans of the game. More involvement is sure to come!