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What can eSports fans expect from the COD World League in 2018?

11 January 2018 15:29

The 2017 Call of Duty World League Championships saw OpTic Gaming triumph 3-0 in a pulsating grand final, whitewashing 2016 champions Team EnVyUs in Orlando, Florida. OpTic’s four-man team of Damon “Karma” Barlow, Seth “Scump” Abner, Ian “Crimsix” Porter and Matthew “FormaL” Piper went all the way in convincing fashion last August, and they’ll be vying to retain their much-coveted title in 2018.

The COD World League (CWL) has now entered its third year, so will we see OpTic create history by defending their first ever title, or will a new name be engraved onto the trophy? There’s an overall prize pool of $4.2m to play for this year as well as a new COD title that offers completely different gameplay. Here’s what COD and eSports fans alike can look forward to in the 2018 CWL:

MLG GameBattles Ladders

The 2018 season actually began towards the backend of last year, when the MLG GameBattles Ladders got underway in November, partly due to the release of the new title Call of Duty:WWII. Open to players from the North American, European and Asian-Pacific (APAC) regions, these ladders are free to play, remaining open for the duration of the season, with competitors free to challenge each other.

It represents a golden opportunity for players to earn CWL Pro Points, helping them qualify for the CWL Pro League, with five points awarded for a win – ten for your first win of the day – and allowing up to a maximum of 35 points per day.

MLG GameBattles 2K Tournaments

The MLG GameBattles 2K Tournaments are single-elimination online tournaments, played via MLG GameBattles, which also began back in November. Open to both amateur novices as well as seasoned pros, players can play against each other here to win a maximum of 2,000 CWL Pro Points, invaluable when it comes to breaking into the Pro League.

Any North American 2K Tournament event has a £3,000 prize pool in the 2018 season, with $2,500 up for grabs in Europe and $500 available in APAC.

CWL Global Open Events

There’s six CWL Global Open Events throughout the course of the season, with a $200,000 prize pool at each event representing a total prize pool of $1.2m. All six tournaments are open to the public, who come together to create an incredible atmosphere for players and coaches alike.

The first Global Open was held in December at the Kay Hutchinson Convention Centre in Dallas, Texas, where there were 490 matches over three days with over 200 teams.

Team Kaliber took home $80,000 and 100,000 Pro Points in Dallas after overcoming Splyce 3-2 in a best-of-five grand final. Founded in 2013, it was Atlanta-based Kaliber’s first major COD title in their four-year history, representing an impressive start to the World League for their four-man team of Dylan “Theory” McGee, Martin “Chino” Chino, Kenny “Kenny” Williams and Lamar “Accuracy” Abedi.

There’s five more Global Open Events for fans to look forward to this year, including events in New Orleans and Atlanta.   

CWL National Circuit

The National Circuit is a new addition to the World League calendar, debuting this year for the very first time. Created with amateur teams specifically in mind, there’s eight GameBattle online leagues set up in a single round-robin format, with one league each in the USA, Canada, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Australia.

These teams are part of one overall league – incorporating eight amateur teams per country – and the those topping their country’s online league will be awarded 3,000 Pro Points per player, $1,000 in prize money, as well as travel and accommodation to a major LAN event.

CWL Pro League

The CWL Pro League is a two-stage offline event bringing together sixteen of the world’s very best teams to compete against each other for CWL Pro Points and cash prizes. The first stage begins in January, with play-offs in April, and the second stage starts in May with play-offs taking place in July.

Consisting of ten teams from North America, five from Europe and one from APAC, these sixteen teams will be split into two groups of eight with a $200,000 prize pool for each game rising to $500,000 during the play-off rounds.

The top four teams from each division will qualify for the play-offs, and those that reach Stage 2 will be the first ones to qualify for August’s World League Championships.

World League Championships

The World League Championships are undoubtedly the highlight of the CWL calendar, the showpiece event that every player and team aspire to participate in. Beginning in August, the CWL Championships sees 32 elite teams battle head-to-head for a share of the mouth-watering $1.5m prize pool and illustrious trophy.

There’s plenty of action to take in between now and then though, and it’ll be fascinating for COD and eSports fans throughout the world to see who reaches the grand final in 2018.

From Luminsoty Gaming and FaZe Clan to eUnited and Rise Nation, there’s plenty for players, fans and coaches to get excited about over the coming months.

Players and teams, it’s over to you.

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Updated on: 2018-01-11

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