The Path to COD eSports Growth

Recently, roster changes have become the focal point of Call of Duty eSports, attracting a mixture of positive and negative attention. The frequent nature of players altering teams and organisations has led to several critics denouncing the current infrastructure surrounding competitive Call of Duty. Whilst this may be true, I personally believe one key issue that often goes unnoticed is not the frequency of these changes, but rather their predictability.

Watching the same players, play under the same organisations, with the same teammates has become increasingly tedious. However, I am by no means stating that I dislike watching the current pro’s, I just want expansion.

Now some of you may be slightly confused at my comments, expansion? eSports is expanding at a rate previously unheard of. Yet, while this is true for the most part, within CoD this growth is primarily experienced amongst a professional level. As a result, I often find my timeline filled with disheartened talented amateur players, posting advertisements of their skills as they search for a team, organisation and sometimes even a scrim.

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Unfortunately, the competitive Call of Duty scene has inadvertently become an elitist community, with aspiring professionals struggling to make their presence known. Ironically, the main factor attributing to this issue can be identified through the MLG Pro League itself. By simply hosting one official premier league, the variety of available talent is stagnated, restricting the amount of feasible opportunities. You can't simply walk up to Hecz and ask to join OpTic, with good reason, you need to prove yourself. But how does one accomplish this without participating in the league itself?

The solution it seems is fairly simple, we need to incorporate additional platforms for amateur players to broadcast themselves. Take Football (Soccer) for example, within England we currently accommodate four individual leagues;

- The Premier League

- The Championship

- League 1

- League 2

If we compare the current MLG Pro League to that of the Premier League, then I believe we lack an equivalent of three lesser leagues. Thankfully, UMG have recently established a Semi Pro League, however, in order to create a richer and diverse community, we could still benefit from additional lower divisions. Players with true talent who are new to the community or unable to catch a lucky break would no longer need to scramble around in the dirt, doomed to plays 8’s with players far below their standard. Instead they would get an opportunity to prove themselves and rise through the ranks. 

Understandably, the next argument then becomes whether MLG could fund these additional leagues. Personally, I believe that while MLG may be able to offer some support, these hypothetical leagues would be a perfect opportunity for potential clients to join the competitive community. Arguably, the only area MLG would need to participate in is the broadcasting of these leagues on a 'Bravo' or 'Charlie' steam. However with their exposure, it would simply be down to the participating teams to make a final push into becoming self sufficient and successful.

Although this article may portray my opinion towards the current league as one of dissatisfaction, on the contrary, my concerns are those of passion and belief. In order to aid the growth of this amazing concept that we call a community, we need to truly expand our horizons and embrace the endless possibilities at our disposal.     

I hope you all enjoyed this article and I would greatly appreciate a share or Retweet to spread this idea for change.

Photo credit: @eSportsNation

Follow me on Twitter if you'd like to connect: @jameslilley_EU

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