This past week in Santa Monica, during the Call of Duty XP fan event, Sony and Call of Duty Activision held the Call of Duty World League Championships where the U.S. based Team EnVyUs claimed the first ever title for the event. Along with the title, EnVyUs also picked up the winning share of the largest prize purse in competitive Call of Duty history at $2 million.
Over 1,000 teams entered the competition way back in December, while only the top 32 made it to the World Championship stage at the Call of Duty XP event in Inglewood. While the XP event was a big draw for fans, due to showcasing the brand new Call of Duty Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare Remaster, the World Championship still garnered a large audience. Tickets to the championship at the Forum in Inglewood sold out and many more fans tuned in from around the world via Twitch, MLG.TV, Youtube, and through the Black Ops III in-game Live Event Viewer on the Playstation 4.
Team EnVyUs has proven to be the best team in the world at Black Ops III after nearly sweeping the top EU based team, Splyce, in the final series 3-1. Naturally, Team EnVyUs’s captain, Jordan “JKAP” Kaplan, was ecstatic to be up on stage accepting the title, stating that “winning this event, in front of this crowd is a dream come true.” He went on to add “the energy, the tension, and the competition were all amazing. This is a moment that I will remember for the rest of my life.”
The top four placings of the Call of Duty World League Championship were:
- Team EnVyUs (NA)
- Splyce (EU)
- Team eLevate (NA)
- FAB Games (EU)
The full team placement list can be found on Call of Duty’s site here.
It feels like Esports have had multiple “welcome to the show” moments, where they have an event that really establishes Esports as a viable business opportunity, but this event feels like it branches out and demonstrates the potential of the market even more. Showing that Esports can seamlessly connect with a household name like Call of Duty can help a ton of would-be uninitiated gamers to check out what all of this Esports hullabaloo is all about.
Damn near everyone I’ve ever met at this day in age has played at least one Call of Duty title at some point and when I pepper in that some people won almost a million dollars from it, I can see a spark in their eyes. It’s the “I should check this game out” spark and I absolutely love seeing that. It’s like getting your friend to finally watch your favorite TV show and they join the fandom you’re in. It must be that same feeling of satisfaction you get from getting your buddy to check out your cult and the next thing you know they’re getting fitted for a bubblewrap jumpsuit.
Or maybe just the TV show thing. That’s probably more relatable.