New Global eSports League Triples its Prize Pool to $3 million,
Expands Competitive Opportunities for Pros and Amateurs Alike
Call of Duty Championship Moved to Fall 2016 in Support of All-New
The Arrival of Call of Duty: Black Ops III Will Mark the Deepest
eSports In-Game Integration in Franchise History
SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With the upcoming release of Call of Duty®: Black
Ops III, the sequel to the best-selling series in Call of Duty®
history, eSports is poised to expand to new audiences, while introducing
new ways for fans of all skill levels to join the eSports movement. Activision
Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard
and Call of Duty announced today the creation of the Call of Duty® World
League, a worldwide eSports league by Activision in support of the #1
console eSports franchise, Call of Duty. The new league marks an
unprecedented commitment by Call of Duty and its dedicated
eSports team to directly support the growing community of eSports fans.
The program will provide a deeper level of engagement with the elite
circuit of professional gamers, while also encouraging casual fans and
aspiring competitors of Call of Duty to enjoy the thrill of
competition across different skill levels.
“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
Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc. “Three years ago, we
held the first Call of Duty Championship to showcase the dedication and
skill of Call of Duty players around the world. Since then, eSports has
become a global phenomenon with more than 120 million people watching
online competitive gaming each year and Call of Duty continues to lead
as the top console eSports franchise in the world.”
Call of Duty World League
The Call of Duty World League will
be comprised of two Divisions – The Pro Division and The Challenge
Division – each of which will feed into the grand finale of the
competitive Call of Duty season, and the biggest event in console
eSports, the Call of Duty Championship. Professional Call of Duty teams
in North America, Europe, and Australia & New Zealand will battle
throughout the year in regional competition during The Pro Division
regular season to earn their ticket to the Call of Duty Championship,
and will compete for the largest seasonal cash prizes in Call of Duty to
date. The Call of Duty World League Pro Division kicks off competition
in January 2016 in North America, Europe, and Australia & New Zealand.
The Challenge Division will provide a path for amateur and other
aspiring pro players to compete with each other and enhance their
competitive skills as well. The winning teams in The Challenge Division
will also earn a spot in the Call of Duty Championship by competing in a
series of official LAN events.
“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,” said Mark Lamia, Treyarch
studio head. “While our global fan base of players range from casual to
professional, they all share a desire to compete – some at the highest
levels. With Call of Duty: Black Ops III, we are
introducing a series of new features, like Arena mode that not only
accommodate that diversity of play styles, but also let players see how
they stack up against one another. Treyarch is giving the community of Call
of Duty players new ways to compete and enjoy the thrill of
Call of Duty Championship
For the first time in its history,
the Call of Duty Championship will move from spring to fall, taking
place in fall of 2016 to give players an extended amount of time to hone
their competitive skills in Call of Duty: Black Ops III
through competing in the Call of Duty World League regular season.
With the Pro and Challenge Divisions of the Call of Duty World League
there is an unmatched level of series and tournament combined prizing
available. There’s more than $3 million on the line between series
payouts, LAN events, and the Call of Duty Championship, making it is the
biggest total prize pool for Call of Duty eSports, and more than triple
the previous prizing.
Activision has formed a team dedicated to launching and coordinating the
Call of Duty World League, which will start with the launch of Call
of Duty: Black Ops III. Further details including broadcast,
personnel and partnerships will be released at a later date. For more
information on the Call of Duty World League, announcements about the
Call of Duty Championship 2016 and other Call of Duty eSports news go to https://www.callofduty.com/esports.
Fans can also follow @eSportsCOD on Twitter.
About Activision Publishing, Inc.
in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading
global producer and publisher of interactive entertainment. Activision
maintains operations throughout the world and is a division
of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), an S&P 500 company. More
information about Activision and its products can be found on the
company’s website www.activision.com
or by following @Activision.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in
this press release that involves Activision Publishing’s expectations,
plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including
statements about the Call of Duty® World League and its Divisions, are
forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of
risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Activision
Publishing’s actual future results to differ materially from those
expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release
include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the
risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report
on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The
forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information
available to Activision Publishing and Activision Blizzard as of the
date of this release, and neither Activision Publishing nor Activision
Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking
statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may
ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of
the future performance of Activision Publishing or Activision Blizzard
and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which
are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially
from current expectations.
ACTIVISION, CALL OF DUTY, CALL OF DUTY BLACK OPS, and stylized roman
numeral III are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All other
trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners.
eSports features not supported on all platforms.
Activision Publishing, Inc.