Activision will operate its own Call of Duty pro league
It’s an exciting time for esports. ESPN is looking to expand its coverage. Yesterday, a major television network revealed plans to host its own league. And now, one of the largest game publishers in the world will do the same for its flagship console title.
The new World League will feature “bigger prize pools” and regular competition in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. The top 12 teams in America, 10 in Europe, and 8 in Australia and New Zealand will make up The Pro Division, which will feature two seasons of play each year, complete with a playoff after each stage. In addition to the pro league, an amateur competition called The Challenge Division will provide a way to move up the ranks with a series of live tournaments. Teams from outside the three pro regions will be able to compete in The Challenge Division.
The World League will culminate in a new and improved Call of Duty Championship, the yearly final Activision has hosted since 2012. The 2016 version, though, will feature a $3 million prize pool instead of the $1 million offered at every prior championship.
Teams will qualify for the Championship based off points earned by their World League placements. The Challenge Division events will also earn points towards qualification.
In many ways, the World League structure mimics that of Call of Duty’s current regular competition in North America, the Major League Gaming (MLG) Call of Duty Pro League. But its hard to imagine the two coexisting.
Whether the World League will run alongside MLG's or replaces it remains to be seen. Activision made no mention of third party organizers and their potential involvement, though it seems plausible they would partner with organizations like MLG and Gfinity to produce their new league.
MLG says they're "excited" about the scene's growth, but told the Daily Dot they can't comment on their future plans at the moment.
The organization's CEO and founder Sundance DiGiovanni also offered fans this cryptic tweet: