Treyarch Investing Heavily in eSports – $1 Million Tournament

Call of Duty Championship

From the get-go Treyarch made 1 thing clear. eSports and competitive gaming would be heavily invested in.

On August 17, 2012 David Vonderhaar shared an article on the Call of Duty website and in that article Vahn made it clear to the community: You liked eSports and competitive gaming in the original Black Ops, well, you’re going to get a lot more of that with Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

The mission to bring eSports to the masses began with introducing a League Play system in Black Ops 2. For those not familiar with the League Play system, click here to see how it works. But introducing a League Play system where gamers could play competitively against each other wasn’t enough to spread the word about it. No, Treyarch went a step further and added a remarkable feature to Black Ops 2, something I didn’t think was possible: Live Streaming straight from your console.

For the first time in Call of Duty history, gamers were able to live stream their gameplay straight to the internet without the use of extra software or hardware. To bring this feature to the masses, Treyarch teamed up with YouTube, making the live streaming process a breeze. There was 1 catch though. A gamer could only live stream League Play matches and had to have 10 people watching their stream before it could go live.

As you can see, this system isn’t ideal and gamers have been vocal about their displeasure with League Play and the live streaming feature. But this wasn’t enough to stop Treyarch from pursuing their mission to bring eSports to the masses.

Instead, Treyarch kicked it up a notch and changed the live streaming feature drastically and for the better. Now, instead streaming live via YouTube, Treyarch partnered with Twitch.tv, making the live streaming process a whole lot easier. No longer do you have to gather 10 people before you can start your live stream. When you feel like it, you just connect your gamer account to your Twitch.tv account, hit the Live Stream button and you’re good to go. The option to stream via YouTube is still there. Oh and did I mention that you can now live stream public matches?

While all of this is fun for the casual gamer, Treyarch wanted to give something to the competitive gamer. Introducing the League Play system was only a start. Maybe Treyarch had this planned all along, or perhaps this is a more recent turn of events, but Treyarch teamed up with Major League Gaming (MLG) to bring Black Ops 2 to the competitive scene. Black Ops 2 will be featured during the 10th annual MLG Pro Circuit and from March 15 through 17 you can watch competitive Black Ops 2 at MLG Dallas. For more information about Black Ops 2 and MLG Dallas, visit the MLG website.

But wait there is still more. Do you remember Call of Duty XP? Late 2011 Activision and Infinity Ward introduced a little something called Call of Duty XP and the 1 thing everybody noticed immediately was the tournament with a $1 million prize pool. Spoiler, OpTic Gaming won the tournament and brought home $400,000.

This year, Activision and Treyarch will once again organize the $1 million tournament with the winning team bringing home $400,000. The runner-up receiving $200,000 and with the team finishing third receiving $120,000. The tournament, dubbed Call of Duty Championship, will be held on April 5 through 7 in  Hollywood, California. If you’re thinking about taking part in this tournament or you would like to know more about it, you can do that on the Call of Duty ELITE website.

I applaud Treyarch for what they’ve done so far to bring competitive Black Ops 2 to the masses. Treyarch said they’d invest in eSports and competitive gaming and so far, they delivered on that promise. Treyarch and Black Ops 2 have come  a long way and I can only hope that this is just the beginning of something great.