Call of Duty became one of the biggest first person shooters in the world. Then it found a new lease of life on console to become one of the most prominent events on the global eSports circuit. Activision has been fuelling that beast over the last few years and it's now about to get a whole lot larger.
It's a expanded take on the Call of Duty world finals that will feature three times as much prize money — US$3 million, to be exact — along with multiple seasons and divisions across Australia, Europe and North America.
"The Call of Duty World League will feature multiple divisions—a Pro Division and a Challenge Division. The Pro Division will feature two seasons in North America, Europe, and Australia—the first of which kicks off in January of 2016. Each season will feature its own regional LAN championship, which fans can watch in-person or online."
In a FAQ on the community page, Activision says that 8 teams across Australia and New Zealand will be able to compete in the professional season, with the top four qualifying to "the stage finals". Competing in the Pro Division gives teams an opportunity to attend the Call of Duty Championship towards the end of the year.
Amateur and Challenge divisions will also be created, with teams being promoted and relegated from each as the season progresses. It's a long-term commitment too: while Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is the first game to benefit from this expanded eSports effort, Activision says the league is a "franchise wide initiative".
Teams wishing to compete in the Pro Leagues outside of the three regions stated, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan and countries in South America, will be able to compete by earning a spot through Challenge Division events (with administrators presumably taking their regional performance into account through an invitational and/or pre-seeding tournaments).