The Call of Duty World League New Orleans Open will be the final stop before the 2018 CWL Pro League kicks off on January 23.
Today, we are excited to reveal exact details on the CWL Pro League Groups, Playoffs, and Relegation for 2018, along with information on the North American CWL 2K tournament format for the rest of the season.
CWL Pro League Qualification, Qualification Prizing, and Divisions
As ranked by their total Pro Points on January 15, 2018, at 6am Eastern, the top-ten North American teams, the top-five European teams, and the number one Asia-Pacific team will qualify for Stage One of the 2018 CWL Pro League.
All 16 teams will receive $12,500 in guaranteed qualification prizing, by participating in the Pro League at MLG Arena in Columbus, Ohio. However, each team will want to perform the best in their Pro League Group, or else they could face Relegation.
The 2018 CWL Pro League will see all 16 teams divided into two groups of eight. The 16 teams will be ranked by their Pro Points as of January 15 in their respective region, and will be divided into the two groups as follows:
Groups A and B will play on alternating weeks over an eight-week schedule beginning on January 23, and each team will play every other team in their group twice.
CWL Playoffs and Relegations
The top-four teams in each group at the end of Stage 1 will be invited to the Stage 1 Playoffs. The fifth and sixth placed teams in each group will not make the Stage 1 Playoffs, but are protected from Relegation, and will qualify for Stage 2 of the CWL Pro League. Finally, the bottom-two teams in each group will be sent to the Stage 1 Relegation Tournament in Seattle.
The Stage 1 Playoffs will be in a similar format to last year’s Pro League playoffs. All eight playoff teams will return to Columbus, Ohio on April 6 to compete in a double-elimination tournament with a $500,000 prize pool.
The Stage 1 Relegation Tournament will also have a similar format to last year’s Stage 1 Relegation Tournament. It will be held around the same time as the CWL Seattle Open, and the bottom-two teams from each Stage 1 group will be placed into a double-elimination bracket with four challenger teams.
These challenger teams will be determined by region-based online qualifier tournaments, which teams can earn entry into by earning the most Pro Points in their region. The top two teams from the North American regional tournament, the top European regional tournament team, and the top APAC regional tournament team will all qualify for Stage 1 Relegation.
Like last year, the eight teams in this bracket will have to win two games in order to qualify for Stage 2 of the Pro League, but cannot lose more than two games in the tournament or else they will not qualify for the Pro League.
North American CWL 2K Events
Starting with the January 28 North American CWL 2K event, the CWL 2K format for the North American region will change significantly to coincide with the start of the CWL Pro League.
First, we are making a major scheduling change for all future North American CWL 2K events. Every North American CWL 2K event will now start on Saturday, and competition will end on Monday.
Every North American CWL 2K Saturday will be similar to that of a standard CWL 2K event, where teams will be seeded by total Pro Points and play in a single elimination best-of-five tournament. However, all the North American Pro League teams will not participate, and only Pro Points will be on the line on Saturday.
The top-eight teams from Saturday will join the top-eight North American Pro League teams in a Championship Bracket. The Pro League teams will be seeded first through eighth in terms of Pro Points, and the remaining teams will be seeded ninth through sixteenth.
In this stage of the North American CWL 2K, the 16 remaining teams will only be competing for cash prizes. The North American CWL 2K Championship Bracket matches will be played across Sunday and Monday, with Monday’s matches broadcasted on Major League Gaming.
Here is a list of all the future North American CWL 2K events that will be affected by these rule changes:
If you and your team are not headed to the CWL Pro League but want to earn better seeding at any of the remaining CWL 2K events, you can sign up for the CWL National Circuits on mlg.com.
The top-eight teams ranked by CWL Pro Points who sign up for a National Circuit will qualify for Stage 1 of their respective National Circuit and have a chance at competing for Pro Points as well as earning full accommodations to future 2018 CWL events.
The CWL National Circuit will take place across eight National Circuit regions: The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, France and Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal, Italy, and last, but not least, Australia and New Zealand. On top of those eight national groups, two more CWL National League programs are happening in Brazil and Mexico.
You can sign up for each National Circuit region right now by clicking on the name of the nation you live in, with signups for Brazil and Mexico coming on February 25. National Circuit signups will end on January 22, 2018, at 3pm Pacific / 6pm Eastern.
With the CWL Pro League, four Global Open Events, the National Circuits, CWL 2K events, and the CWL Championship all yet to come this year, we hope you are excited to watch some incredible competitive Call of Duty in 2018!