COD Challengers Championship Is Here, Boasts $250k Prize Pool
From the 5th to the 6th of August this weekend, the amateur Call of Duty community will come together to watch the COD Challengers Championship. It’s the biggest amateur event of the year, and it will play out right alongside the Call of Duty League Championship in Los Angeles, California. This year, the formula has been completely re-written, abandoning the regional format for one, major final event that brings all the teams together under one roof.
Last year, the regional finals saw tournaments kick off in the EU, NA, and APAC regions. It was a mixed bag that, collectively, boasted a $250k prize pool, with the EU and NA markets seeing the lion’s share of that pool. These events were also much longer, lasting up to a week and featuring up to thirty-two teams per region. Now, to align the COD Challengers Championship with the CDL Championship, it’s one tournament, one prize, and only eight teams.
If you’re not familiar with the COD Challengers Championship, then read on to learn all you need to know.
Is The COD Challengers Championship Worth Watching?
For many Call of Duty fans, the Challengers circuit is the most exciting place to be. It’s where prospective CDL players show off their in-game abilities, joining the ranks of a team, seeing how far they get up the leaderboard, and potentially getting noticed and breaking into the big leagues. It’s the ultimate proving ground for fresh, upcoming talent; it’s a place where every play matters and every competitor is desperate to prove themselves.
In many cases, the players rising out of the Challengers circuit will ultimately become the best COD players in the world.
At the COD Challengers Championship, we’ll see eight of the best Challengers teams in the world take to a grand stage. They’ve made it this far based on their Global Pro Points ranking, with one team from each Regional LCQ also making an appearance. This year, the tournament will also feature the best team to qualify from the LATAM region. When these teams enter the fray, they’ll battle it out through an intense, double-elimination bracket built around a best-of-five format.
It’s a tried and tested structure that directly mimics the Call of Duty League, and it makes for a relatively rapid tournament. At this event, no team goes home empty-handed – here’s the breakdown of the prize pool:
- 1st – $100,000
- 2nd – $60,000
- 3rd – $40,000
- 4th – $20,000
- 5th – 6th – $10,000
- 7th – 8th – $5,000
With that kind of prize money on the line, it’s certainly a high-stakes tournament that promises to feature some seriously killer action. For those interested in Call of Duty betting, some esports-focused betting sites will also offer markets on the COD Challengers Championship, giving a further incentive to tune in to the event.
Which Teams Could Win Big At The COD Challengers Championship?
There are eight teams competing at this all-important tournament, including:
- Ultra Academy NA (Pro Points)
- Team WaR (Pro Points)
- Ultra Academy EU (Pro Points)
- Iron Blood Gaming (Pro Points)
- Team Xposed (NA LCQ)
- AYM Esports (EU LCQ)
- D1 Gaming (LA LCQ)
- PointBlank (AP LCQ)
For the most part, very few of these teams existed in the previous Challengers seasons. Typically, the Challengers scene is very fluid, and teams can come together, compete, and disband within a matter of months – or weeks, in dramatic cases. It’s not a franchised setting like the Call of Duty League, and it means one player may represent several teams over the course of a single season.
Last year, the winners of the various regional finals were:
- We Are Trying Now (NA Finals)
- The Atlas Lions (EU Finals)
- Renegades (APAC Finals)
Now, a more organised structure means that the teams represented at the COD Challengers Championship are infinitely more recognised and better organised. There are high hopes for both Ultra Academy NA and Iron Blood Gaming this year, but there are also good expectations driving Team WaR and Ultra Academy EU. At the COD Pro-Am Classic earlier this year, both Ultra Academy squads and Team WaR competed with the top dogs, and Ultra Academy NA came out as a shining example.
However, out of every team on the board, few have the veteran driving power of Team Xposed. This team boasts the collective talents of Clayster, FeLo, Venom, and Prestinni, all CDL-tier competitors with years in the business. The team was only formed at the start of July, and at the NA LCQ, the squad exploded through the event, steam-rolling the competition to secure qualification to Champs.
Are There Any Recognisable Players At The COD Challengers Championship?
For fans of the Call of Duty League tuning into a Challengers tournament for the first time, it may be surprising to see so many recognisable faces on the stage. Traditionally, if a player in the Call of Duty League is dropped from a squad, they’ll fall back into the Challengers circuit, opting to form or join a team and work their way back into the top league. As the biggest COD esports tournament out there, the CDL really is the destination of choice for the Challengers competitors.
This year, there are plenty of iconic, recognisable CDL-tier players stepping up to the plate, such as:
- Assault – Ultra Academy NA, played for Minnesota Rokkr and LA Guerrillas
- Classic – Iron Blood Gaming, played for Seattle Surge, Paris Legion, and Toronto Ultra
- Clayster – Team Xposed, played for NYSL and Dallas Empire
- Prestinni – Team Xposed, played for Atlanta FaZe, Seattle Surge, Chicago Huntsmen, and Florida Mutineers.
So, from the 5th to the 6th of August, these top-tier players will take to the stage to hopefully take home the lion’s share of the $250k prize pool. For those interested in checking out the gameplay as it unfolds, the entire event will be streamed on YouTube.