The Call of Duty: Mobile Tournament Goes Live and In-Person
The first in-person tournament features 16 teams from around the world vying for the lion's share of a $1.7M purse.
Call of Duty: Mobile has always been about bringing people together and letting millions of players experience the best of Call of Duty on their mobile devices.
From December 15 through 18, sixteen teams representing North America, Latin America, India, Japan, Europe, China, and Southeast Asia will take the stage in the first ever, in-person Call of Duty: Mobile World Championship Finals. The winning team will go home with a championship trophy and the majority share of a $1.7 million prize pool.
Taking place over a four-day weekend that will also see Raleigh, North Carolina, play host to the Call of Duty League’s Major I Tournament and C.O.D.E Bowl III — an esports tournament for all the branches of the military hosted by the Call of Duty Endowment — there’s a lot of pride on the line, and not just for those playing.
To give an idea of what’s gone into preparing for the Call of Duty: Mobile World Championship Finals and how much dedication it took to pull it all together, we spoke to three team leaders — Esports Product Lead Jared Oldham, Esports Product Marketing Lead Brenda Yeh, and Marketing Manager Dylan Finnerty — to discuss their roles in bringing this event to the stage.
Seven Regions, One Location
Bringing together 16 international teams under one roof is no easy task. “It’s the first time we’ve done this and there are a significant number of moving parts to consider,” says Oldham. Though through grit, determination, and some crucial assistance, he and the team were able to manage the impossible.
“A few months ago,” he says, “I knew very little about the various visas and immigration processes across the globe, but with the help of our event partners, we’ve been able to make sense of a complicated situation.”
Although the previous two championships were hosted online — which makes sense for a mobile game — they were done so out of safety concerns in response to the COVID-19 global health crisis. But the intent was always to get people together. Jared explains, “It’s a significant step forward from online tournaments, not only from the perspective of being able to feed off that in-person crowd energy that we’ve all missed so much, but also from a competitive standpoint. Everyone being in the same location and on the same devices allows the players’ true skill to shine, leaving little room for debate as to who the best team is.”
Getting Hyped, On a Global Scale
Preparing for this event presented distinct new challenges for Yeh. “For the last few months,” she says, “I have spoken with about ten different teams on a daily basis. Although this is necessary in my day-to-day work, the extent of exercising these muscles has certainly tested my abilities. That being said, I feel extremely confident and optimistic that the event will be a lot of fun!”
Building excitement for an international audience is a tremendous balancing act, as different regions and cultures have their own ways of communicating and talking about the game. The solution? “We work closely with our regional teams,” says Yeh. “Their local knowledge and resources ensure that our marketing efforts are tailored to each region.”
Though just marketing the product isn’t enough. You’ve got to have a strong fanbase to keep up the momentum. In the case of Call of Duty: Mobile, that’s not an issue. Yeh adds, “These are people who truly love the game, and that kind of energy is infectious.”
Mobile Esports, Evolved
“Looking back on the last three years of the Call of Duty: Mobile competitive space,” says Finnerty, “it took us some time to find out who the established voices and personalities would be. The quality of competition has also drastically improved. If you go back and watch some of the highlights from 2020 compared to Stage 4 of this year, it’s night and day in terms of the skill and strategies you see.”
As the game has evolved in the competitive sphere, so have expectations. “This year’s event is a crossroads for Call of Duty: Mobile competitive play,” he says. “The community now has high standards for us, and we hold ourselves to those same standards.”
Despite the game’s mobile, game-without-borders design, the idea to bring gamers together in a tournament setting was actually there from Call of Duty: Mobile’s earliest days. “We certainly had ambitions to host something of this magnitude from the game’s inception,” says Finnerty. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see the excitement from players now that they finally have an opportunity to showcase their skills, passion, and hard work in front of the entire Call of Duty: Mobile community.”
PSA: Noobs Welcome
New to Call of Duty: Mobile and/or its competitive scene? According to the team, that isn’t a concern. In fact, this may be the best time for new fans to get engaged and see what mobile esports are all about. You’ll have plenty of help getting acclimated along the way.
“If you’ve never watched a Call of Duty: Mobile tournament before,” says Oldham, “then the 2022 World Championship Finals is a fantastic place to start. We’ll be broadcasting live both on YouTube as well as in-game, so you don’t even need to leave the app to catch the action.”
Yeh adds: “The first-class event and broadcast production will feel as if you’re playing and sitting right next to the players. Our seasoned casters will walk you through the matches play-by-play, and the energy from the audience will make the World Championship Finals an all-around fun and unforgettable experience.”
🔍 Find out more about the tournament details and rules.
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