The X Games, an annual sports event, will see Call of Duty: Ghosts join the ranks of motorcross, BMX, surfing, skateboarding and many others as one of the competitive competitions held at the 2014 event. This latest addition to the X Games line up is the result of a partnership between ESPN (hosts of the XGames) and MLG.
Teams to compete
The Call of Duty: Ghost tournament to be held at X Games will see 8 professional teams competing for their shot at top 3 finish, which will land them official X Games medals. The 8 teams will comprise of the Top 3 finishers at Call of Duty Championship (Complexity, Optic Gaming and Team EnvyUs) as well as five other teams that will qualify based on their Pro Point standings, which are determined by results from MLG Pro Circuit events, online tournaments, and online ladders.
Complexity Gaming claiming their number one prize at the 2014 Call of Duty Championship
The deadline, for the 5 remaining teams that will qualify based on pro points, is on the 13th of May 2014.
X Games and MLG, short or long term partnership
The announcement made by X Games alongside MLG has been done in the attempt to bring eSports and, by association, MLG to public terms. MLG are clearly looking to turn this in a long term deal between the two companies as MLG's CEO, Sundance Giovanni, has the following to say regarding the partnership between MLG and X Games "We're looking to build something here that hopefully becomes a tradition at both the summer and the winter X Games over time."
The partnership has seen the a familiar question once again arise ; Is eSports really a sport? To that we can only argue, but what we can agree on is that the target audience of the X Games as well as the MLG fall within the same category. Tim Reed, senior director of content strategy for the X Games, stated that bringing eSports to the X Games "made sense" he argued that "The audiences are similar: youth, fun to play with, and they like music, sports and gaming. So it all kind of lines up with the X Games audience."
2006 X Games held in Barcelona
The Call of Duty tournament will play a big role in determining if there will be continued support from the X Games at future events. Reed's ideal for the inclusion of Call of Duty will be to see "the X Games brand to travel in the gaming space and drive some engagement with an X Games audience," Reed said. "If the tent is full and people are enjoying it, then it's a success." If it isn't then we have to wonder if the X Games brand will continue to support eSports growth in the future.
Where to Watch
The X Games is widely covered on ESPN as well as ABC, the Call of Duty event will form apart of the broadcast so you might be able to catch the action from your couch at home. Alternatively, you will be able to spectate on MLG.tv. The X Games is a four day event that will run from the 5th to the 8th of June.
With this move from X Games, we are seeing them step out of the light of being a strictly 'extreme sports' event and moving to becoming facilitators for growing competitive communities. In essence, with this addition, they are doing what they did with BMX, motocross and many others when they first started. They are bringing publicly unknown events/sports to a greater audience that will be able to peer into the competitive scenes within.
What are your thoughts of Call of Duty joining the ranks of one the X Games? Do you think it deserves to be there?
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