In a new interview with The Verge, Treyarch and Activision have stated that this past weekend’s Call of Duty World League Pro Division Stage 1 Finals in North America was one of the most watched Call of Duty event to date. The event took place this past weekend in Burbank, CA in ESL’s Studios. The event was broadcasted across Twitch, MLG, YouTube, and in the PS4 live event viewer.

Earlier this year, Activision Blizzard acquired Major League Gaming, which Activision is using to build up their eSports infrastructure for the future. In fact, the live event viewer on PS4 in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 was built with a partnership between Treyarch and MLG. A few days after Activision Blizzard signed the deal to acquire MLG, Treyarch started work with them on implementing the feature.

“If you want to go and watch a Twitch stream, you have to look for it,” says Dan Bunting, multiplayer game director at Treyarch. “You have to know that Twitch exists, you have to know the URL, you have to know that it’s out there. And there are a lot of players who do that, but the live event viewer isn’t necessarily geared towards those players. It’s geared towards growing the audience that’s interested in e-sports.”

Treyarch wanted to do a live event viewer for Black Ops 3 from the start but did not know the fastest and best way to implement it, but with the purchase of MLG, Activision had new resources available for Treyarch to use.

“It took what easily would’ve been two or three months of work, and took it down to two or three weeks,” Martin Donlon, director of technology at Treyarch, says of the collaboration. “It’s really the kind of thing that you hope happens in an acquisition like this,” adds Sepso (Senior Vice President at Activision Blizzard), “where the teams are able to quickly gel around an idea and work to make it happen.”

Activision Blizzard has focused their initial eSports push on the Call of Duty franchise. This past year is the first time Activision have been so heavily invested in Call of Duty eSports with the introduction of the Call of Duty World League.

“We didn’t want to shy away from making a bigger statement about this,” Sepso says. “Call of Duty as a franchise sets the bar as high as you possibly can set it in terms of fan experience, and that’s what we want to be able to deliver on the e-sports side as well.”

Back in October, Activision Blizzard formed a new esports division called Media Networks, lead by former ESPN CEO and former MLG President. Activision Blizzard CEO said that this vision was to create the “ESPN of E-Sports,” but in the interview with The Verge, Mike Sepso clarified a little what that means:

“When we say we want to create the ESPN of e-sports, we don’t really mean that literally in that we want to create a cable network,” says Sepso. “What we’re saying is we want to be the branded destination for the highest quality e-sports competitions and coverage.”

SOURCE: The Verge

  • Activision

    I don’t follow this at all, how long is this shit going? When is this tournament or whatever this is finished?

    • Vikerii

      It seems like there’s always some esport thing going on. So often that I don’t even notice them.

    • detriment

      The CWL is a league that will last for all of Black Ops 3. It is split into three stages. At the end of each stage, there is a tournament. After stage 3, there will be a larger tournament with a $1.6 million prize pool. Also, there are 12 teams in the NA league and Optic won the stage 1 finals.There are three different leagues across the world, NA, EU, and ANZ for Australia and New Zealand.

      • wtf does “last for all of Black Ops 3” mean… I didn’t realize video games lasted a season…

        • detriment

          cod kinda lasts a season and that’s what I meant. when the infinity ward game comes out, the pro scene moves on to that game

          • Duke of hazard

            Which is annoying because every year you have to change your style completely to get with the next cod.

        • Mizhe5

          Well every year there’s new cod so…. Pros have to relearn how to play the game.

  • ScOott

    Damn cancer spreads fast..

  • joey

    i think the powers-that-be are doing as fine a job as they could possibly do attempting to emulate the presentation/coverage of a sporting event. unfortunately, i don’t think it works…at all. the issue is perhaps not so much the product they’re presenting, but the awkwardness in the presenting itself. in other words, i don’t see commentating over quick shaky cuts of various simultaneous games as a compelling, engrossing, or entertaining product. in other, other words, to use one of the most commonly mis-used phrases in gaming, i’m not sure going all sports “try-hard” is the best route.