This week, 32 teams from around the world will be competing in the biggest event in the Call of Duty calendar: the CoD World League Championship. And there's a host of UK talent taking part.
Jacob Hale provides a preview to this year's most anticipated Call of Duty esports event, before hopping on a plane to cover all the action on Esports News UK as it happens.
History & prestige
Historically, CoD Champs has been the crowning moment of many Call of Duty players’ lives. This has been the case from the first championship event in 2013, where Fariko Impact took the money and the championship rings, up to CoD XP 2016, where Team EnVyUs split the first-place prize of $800,000 between the four of them after a strong victory against UK team Splyce in the Grand Final.
Call of Duty is arguably the UK's best esport - there are more professional UK players in Call of Duty than any other competitive title. So what are our chances this year?
New game, new plight: UK team snapshots
This year, the prize pool is $1.5 million, being shared proportionately between each team from top to bottom.
And UK teams have a renewed vision for what they could achieve, especially after Splyce’s fantastic win at Stage 1 Playoffs. There are arguably two teams that could win the whole thing in Splyce and Epsilon, as well as several teams that could place in the top eight if they play their best.
Here’s a little introduction to each UK team at Call of Duty Championships 2017:
Splyce - Bance, Madcat, Jurd, Zer0
The strongest European team of the year, having taken first place at the S1 Playoffs and second place at CWL Anaheim. Despite this, they struggled during S2, with Zer0 in particular not playing to his best abilities.
Expect a Top 4 finish.
Epsilon - Dqvee, Joshh, Hawqeh, Vortex
Finished 3rd at CWL Anaheim but struggled in the Global Pro League. Expect around a Top 6 finish.
Fnatic - Tommey, Skrapz, Wuskinz, SunnyB
This team has only improved as the year goes on, and came 5-6th at Stage 2 Playoffs. Can compete for the Top 8.
Elevate - Reedy, Zed, Watson, Desire
Struggled massively throughout the latter half of this year, including not winning a map in Stage 2 groups. Expect a stronger performance at this week's Champs.
Red Reserve - Rated, Seany, Joee, Urban
The acquisition of Rated has helped this team immensely, and they managed to come top eight at CWL Anaheim and just missed out on Stage 2 playoffs. This team can definitely come in the top eight.
Millenium - MarkyB, Moose, Peatie, Qwiker
This team has struggled immensely at the later stages of the year. With no improvements, it is hard to see this team coming higher than 17-24th.
Infused - Alexx, Zerg, Niall, Nolson
This Infused side has not had a lot of time together, but were probably the best UK team not in the Global Pro League. Niall and Nolson both played in Stage 1, but again I don’t see these guys coming higher than 24th.
Vitality - Shane, Weeman, Braaain, Wailers (French)
Shane is one of only three players to have attended every single $1 million tournament in Call of Duty history, but unfortunately his placings don’t reflect well on his team’s expectations. With a fairly tough group, these boys will probably place last in their group.
eRa Eternity - Verdict, Carbines, dReal, Zayrox (French)
eRa are somewhat of a black sheep in this tournament as they have little international experience. For Verdict and dReal, this is their first COD Champs, and Zayrox and Carbines only have Top 32 placements behind them. Unfortunately, it is unlikely this year will be any different. A series win would be a surprise for many viewers.
Follow the action
I will be in Orlando for the Championship Bracket of this year's Call of Duty Championships, and will be providing all the coverage you need throughout the weekend, with articles on this website and live updates on the Esports News UK Twitter account.
There are always huge storylines and insane matches at the Call of Duty Championships, and we don’t expect this year to be any different.
Don’t miss out on the biggest Call of Duty event of the year, starting Wednesday August 9th until Sunday August 13th.
You can watch the events unfold at any of the following: