Activision Creates Call of Duty eSports League, Promises $3 Million Prize Pool

The latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise is set to launch in later this year, and the gaming community is eagerly awaiting its arrival. The official launch date for Call of Duty: Black Ops III is set for November 6th, and it’s bound to be another sales blockbuster (like the previous entries in the franchise).

To take advantage of the huge hype surrounding the upcoming title and the enthusiasm generated by the eSports realm in general, Activision has announced that it will create the Call of Duty World League. Thankfully, Activision is dividing the Call of Duty World League by offering two divisions: The Pro Division and The Challenge Division. As its name implies, the Pro circuit is aimed at professional gaming teams around the world. The Challenge circuit, on the other hand, is aimed at amateurs and “aspiring pro players” that want to hone their skills before stepping into the big leagues where certain death is just a headshot away.

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“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 whether they are playing the game themselves or cheering on those who are,” said Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg.

“Treyarch’s passion for competitive gaming precedes Call of Duty: Black Ops II, a heritage that inspired us to introduce dedicated eSports features into the franchise and one that compelled us to push the boundaries of Call of Duty: Black Ops III’s offerings beyond anything we’ve delivered before,” added Mark Lamia, Treyarch studio head.

The Call of Duty World League Pro Division will head to the starting gate in January 2016, and competitors will be able to duke it out in regional competitions and earn a ticket to participate in the Call of Duty Championship. Speaking of the Call of Duty Championship, it has been moved from Spring 2016 to Fall 2016. In all, gamers will be competing in a prize pool that has swelled to an impressive $3 million — triple that of the previous Call of Duty Championship purse.