It’s that time of year again. The biggest console gaming tournament of the year is on its way.
The $1 million Call of Duty Championship will hit Los Angeles from March 27 to 29, Call of Duty announced today.
It’s the third year in a row $1 million will be on the line for the top Call of Duty teams in the globe, with 32 teams from six continents converging for the event.
The qualifying process begins at the end of this month, with qualifier tournaments feeding into regional events that directly qualify teams for the big event.
In 2014, Complexity took the title before going on a record-breaking spree of tournament victories. The year before, Fariko Impact earned the title.
This year, OpTic Gaming, winner of last weekend’s UMG Orlando, are the favorites. OpTic placed third at each of the last two Championships, but now feature a roster packed with superstar talent, including a defending world champ in Ian “Crimsix” Porter.
But it won’t be a cakewalk. Every team will be gunning for OpTic. Squads like FaZe, OpTic Nation, and EnVyUs feature veteran lineups with past champions. And with the event announced, many teams will be shuffling rosters to take the top spot.
In fact, plenty of top teams will be forced to make changes, due to the controversial age restriction in place at the tournament.
For example, Josiah “Slacked” Berry has qualified for each of the last two Call of Duty Championships. But he’s never played a game in it. This year, he’s 17 years of age, a member of JusTus, the team that just placed 4th at UMG Orlando last weekend. But he’s still too young to compete at Championships.
Stunner Gaming, the second place UMG Orlando team and one of the few squads to dethrone OpTic online, features two star players who are too young to compete—and will be for at least another year.
Aware Gaming, one of the cinderellas of Advanced Warfare, will likely fall apart due to Nick “Happy” Suda’s ineligibility. Rumors of Troy “Sender” Michaels leaving for Rise Nation are already percolating.
The Championship may exclude some of the world’s best young talents, but it’s still the pinnacle of Call of Duty events, one of the biggest esports events of the year. And its coming sooner than you think.