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Curious about eSports? Check out the Call of Duty World League Stage 1 Finals this weekend

Call of Duty World League

It’s hard to avoid the shadow of eSports these days. It is a growing passion for many, with everyone from colleges to ESPN getting in on the action. There’s even a fantasy draft league for eSports

The prizes are in the millions, and last year there were over 134 million eSports spectators around the world helping generate more than $600 million in revenue. And yet still, many people – even gamers – don’t get it.

Well, here’s your chance to give it a try.

Starting today, April 1, the three day Call of Duty World League Stage 1 Finals will begin in Burbank, CA. The winners will share a $250,000 prize purse, which is part of the overall 2016 Call of Duty Championship $3 million prize purse. Stage 1 is the culmination of an 11 week league featuring Call of Duty: Black Ops III; there will be more stages throughout the year, concluding with the last final this fall.

The games will be streamed on multiple sites, including the official Call of Duty eSports websiteTwitch’s Call of Duty channel (which you can also watch below), and MLG.tv. PlayStation 4 owners with a copy of Black Ops III can also watch the stream from the new in-game viewer.

By the way, to give you a sense of the popularity of the event, the Twitch channel alone already has over 8 million views and 300K likes – and the event won’t even begin until 10am.

The first day of competition will consist of the “relegation” portion of the tournament, where the four pro teams on the bottom will face off against the top four amateur teams from the Challenge Division, a division consisting of average fans with exceptional skills. The winners will advance to the second stage on April 2, where they will face the top eight Call of Duty teams, as determined by the 11-week season leading up to this.

If you are interested in checking out eSports, this is a good, accessible place to start. This isn’t just a matter of watching people play a game, it’s a matter of watching a team of players work together. Speed and reflexes are a part of it, but more than that it is tactics.

A full schedule is below:

Call of Duty World League Stage 1 Finals dates

Relegation – Friday, April 1, from 10am to 7pm PDT

Stage 1 Playoffs – Saturday, April 2, from 10am to 7pm PDT

Stage 1 Finals – Sunday, April 3, from Noon to 7pm PDT

Teams scheduled to appear

PRO DIVISION TEAMS: FINALISTS (based on ranking)

  1. OpTic Gaming: 20-2 overall record for Stage 1
  • Seth “Scump” Abner
  • Ian “Crimsix” Porter
  • Matt “FormaL” Piper
  • Damon “Karma” Barlow
  1. Rise Nation: 16-6
  • Daniel “Loony” Loza
  • Samuel “Octane” Larew
  • Nick “Classic” DiCostanzo
  • Josiah “Slacked” Berry
  1. FaZe Clan: 15-7
  • James “Clayster” Eubanks
  • Thomas “ZooMa” Paparatto
  • Dillon “Attach” Price
  • Ian “Enable” Wyatt
  1. Team eLevate: 13-9
  • Ulysses “AquA” Silva
  • Brice “Faccento” Faccento
  • Remington “Remy” Ihringer
  • Jared “Nagafen” Harrell 
  1. Team EnVyUs: 12-10
  • Patrick “Aches” Price
  • Jordan “JKap” Kaplan
  • Austin “Slasher” Liddicoat
  • Tyler “TeePee” Polchow
  1. compLexity Gaming: 10-12
  • Marcus “Mirx” Carter
  • Chris “Parasite” Duarte
  • Richard “Ricky” Stacy
  • Anthony “Nameless” Wheeler
  1. Luminosity Gaming: 9-13
  • Johnathan “John” Perez
  • James “Replays” Crowder
  • Renato “Saints” Forza
  • Michael “SpaceLy” Schmale
  1. Team SoloMid:9-13
  • Jonathan “Pacman” Tucker
  • Coleman “ColeChan” Chancey
  • Jamal “Whea7s” Lee
  • Ian “Ivy” Ivers 

PRO DIVISION TEAMS: FACING RELEGATION 

Team Kaliber: 8-14

  • Brandon “Sharp” Rodgers
  • Dylan “Theory” McGee
  • Jeremy “Neslo” Olsen
  • Jevon “Goonjar” Gooljar

Dream Team: 7-15

  • Steven “Diabolic” Rivero
  • Martin “Chino” Chino
  • Adam “KiLLa” Sloss
  • Troy “Sender” Michaels

H2K Gaming: 7-15

  • Damod “FEARS” Abney
  • Phillip “PHiZZURP” Klemenov
  • Tyree D’Neko “Legal” Glover
  • Andres “Lacefield” Lacefield

Counter Logic Gaming: 6-16

  • Anthony “Methodz” Zinni
  • Lamar “Accuracy” Abedi
  • Tyler “Felony” Johnson
  • Brian “PRPLXD” Ladd

CHALLENGE DIVISION TEAMS

  1. Cloud9
  • Steve “Mochila” Canle
  • Colt “Havok” McLendon
  • Devin “Llama” Tran
  • Nicholas “Happy” Suda
  1. Team Liquid
  • Joseph “Merk” DeLuca
  • Bryan “Apathy” Zhelyazkov
  • Matthew “Burnsoff” Potthoff
  • Jeremy “Studyy” Astacio
  1. C9 Eclipse
  • Justin “Silly” Fargo-Palmer
  • Kenneth “Dedo” Dedo
  • Adam “Assault” Garcia
  • Michael “Swarley” Carter
  1. King Papey
  • Brandon “Nelson” McKinney
  • Alex “Examples” Hartlaub
  • John “Johnnny” Cookson
  • Matteo “Royalty” Faithfull

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Founder and DBP boss. Ryan likes the Kansas Jayhawks, long walks on the beach, and high fiving unsuspecting people.
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