With the 2017 season of the Call of Duty World League, we’re picking up where we left off last season and are ready to deliver the most exciting console esports league that’s deserving of the best fans on the planet. On a livestream before the start of the PlayStation Experience Invitational earlier today, casters along with studio and league representatives joined to explain how the 2017 season will play out.

The Competitive Road So Far

Infinity Ward Community Manager Ashton Williams was on-hand to share some of the progress that the studio and competitive community have made throughout the Infinite Warfare’s development and post-launch periods. Back-and-forth feedback between the developers and community has been ongoing since before E3, as Infinity Ward has worked with players from Europe and North America to ensure that the Infinite Warfare competitive ruleset pushed the competitive Call of Duty scene forward.

Based on internal testing and competitive community feedback, spawn adjustments have been made on various map/mode combinations, as well as objective placement changes in both Search & Destroy and Uplink game modes. Payload tuning has been made when interacting with objectives, such as dropping the drone when using Rewind and Active Camo draining faster when planting/defusing a bomb. Ricochet tracers on energy weapons and multi-functionality on hybrid weapons have also been removed for CWL-specific play.

The initial guidelines for restrictions at the start of the season was a good start, and the community has helped shape the ruleset since. With Rig Draft, the process has been altered to a super-fast 30 second time limit to allow games to start faster. After testing and feedback, the decision has been made to not move forward with the Weapon Draft and focus on the Rig Draft only. Every player should have the chance to make the biggest impact possible in any match, and use the weapon that they feel most comfortable with.

PlayStation Experience Invitational

The PlayStation Experience Invitational is the prelude to the 2017 CWL season, which we’re happy to announce will be presented once again by PlayStation 4. Eight teams from both North America and Europe have gathered in Anaheim, CA to compete in the first official LAN competition for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. The Anaheim Convention Center has been the site for some iconic events in competitive Call of Duty history, and it makes for the perfect setting for the 2017 season kickoff.

CWL Las Vegas Open

The first open event of the year, CWL Las Vegas Open will take place December 16-18. Over 160 teams will compete in what will be the largest MLG Call of Duty Open Bracket tournament ever.

Team passes are sold out for the event, but there will be one final opportunity for aspiring players to qualify. On Saturday, December 10th, GameBattles will be hosting a free North American online qualifier. The top 4 teams from the qualifier will earn both a CWL Las Vegas Open team pass and a travel stipend for the event. If a team already in possession of a team pass places in the top 4, that team pass will be made available for any eligible team to purchase. Visit http://mlg.tv/mlgvegasqualifier to sign your team up now for the qualifier.

CWL GameBattles

Major League Gaming will be the sanctioning body for the CWL season, and GameBattles will be the official destination for earning CWL points online. Online ladders for all three regions start December 7, followed by regular online CWL cups. These events will be FREE to enter and will offer CWL Pro Points toward qualification for events and ultimately CWL Champs. See the GameBattles Online Tournament and Online Ladder rules, and be sure to visit MLG.tv/CWLGameBattles for more information.

Biggest ever CWL LAN Events

This sets up competition for three epic LAN Events that we already have on the calendar. In addition to CWL Las Vegas Open, the CWL Atlanta Open will be held on February 10-12. 16 international teams will earn a spot in pool play based on regional CWL point totals, and the event’s Open Bracket will allow entry from any eligible teams within North America, Europe, and APAC (Asia-Pacific).

Also returning this season will be the CWL Anaheim Open from June 16-18. More details on that event and other information to come.

CWL Global Pro League

Beginning in April, we’re proud to bring the CWL Global Pro League, which will take place on LAN at the MLG Arena in Columbus, Ohio. 16 teams (Nine from NA, six from EU, one from APAC) placed in four groups of four will start competition in Stage 1, qualifying based on the CWL pro points they earn in their respective region. The top eight make it to the Stage 1 Playoffs, while the bottom four go to into a relegation battle. The opportunity for new teams to qualify into the CWL Global Pro League will once again be made available, as the top two NA, top EU, and top APAC teams based on regional CWL Pro Points will qualify for the CWL Anaheim Open to challenge the bottom four for a spot in Stage 2. 

The four teams that win their relegation battle will join Stage 1’s top twelve teams in Stage 2. At the end of Stage 2, the top eight will compete in the Playoffs for prize money and CWL Champs seeding. Making it into Stage 2 also holds particular importance: ALL 16 teams from Stage 2 will automatically qualify for CWL Champs 2017.

Call of Duty World League Championship 2017

All this leads to the biggest tournament of the year, the Call of Duty World League Championship 2017 in the Fall. The format will be similar to 2016: 32 teams from across the world drawn into pools, with the top half moving into the Championship double-elimination bracket. 16 teams will qualify for CWL Champs from the CWL Global Pro league, with the remaining 16 spots made available through Last Chance Qualifying LAN events across the three regions (eight from NA, six from EU, two from APAC). Teams will be invited to these regional LCQs based on CWL Pro Points totals.

Just the Start…

There will be a lot more news in the coming weeks as we begin to finalize additional events, particularly for Europe and APAC. Already though the 2017 CWL season is set to present three huge CWL Open LAN events with eligible teams from around the world competing, a consistent path from GameBattles to the biggest stage at CWL Champs, and $4 million up for grabs across the season globally. All CWL play is subject to various rulesets, including the 2017 CWL Handbook, which is available to read here.

Rules for GameBattles Online Ladders: http://bit.ly/CWL_GB_TR_12-6-16 

Rules for GameBattles Online Tournaments: http://bit.ly/CWL_GB_LR_12-6-16

Stay tuned to our channels for all the news, tournaments details, and more: Find us on the web at CallofDuty.com/CWL, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.