Is Call of Duty an Esport?

by Phirex

One of the most popular first-person shooter (FPS) video game franchises, the first Call of Duty (CoD) was released in 2003 and quickly gained a cult following.

Starting as a single-player campaign, sequels were released with a multiplayer mode added, which led to the creation of Major League Gaming (MLG). 

MLG was one of the first companies to help share and organise competitive Call of Duty after purchasing the website Gamebattles.

By 2007 there were local tournaments taking place around the world and just two years later The Major League Championship launched – which is considered the first major CoD tournament.  

With each new CoD title, new tournaments were launched, with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 proving to be one of the most popular in the esports community. This is when several professional teams were formed and prize money began to be introduced. 

By the time Call of Duty Black Ops was released in 2010, there were prize funds on offer, with the first major event of that year being the MLG $25,000 online series.

The following year Modern Warfare 3 was released, with Activision deciding to showcase the game by holding a tournament with a $400,000 grand prize. 

By 2013 there was an official CoD Championship and three years later the official Pro League was formed. The Call of Duty World League was separated into two divisions – The Pro Division and The Challenge Division – which fed into the Grand Finals of the season. 

A total of $6 million in prize money was handed out during the 2019 season before being discontinued in favour of the franchise-based Call of Duty League (CDL), which began in early 2020.

Produced by its publisher Activision, the league has a set of permanent, city-based teams backed by separate ownership groups. Players receive a minimum annual salary, a portion of winnings and revenue-sharing based on how their team performs. 

Join us on Discord! Chat and learn with experts from a wide variety of esports right now

You may also like

Leave a Comment