eSports 101- Call of Duty Pro Circuit

eSports leagues can be a bit difficult to understand, especially if you are new to video games and the competitive scene. Well we’ve got a brief review of some Call of Duty basics to help you understand the league structure and how to join.

The professional Call of Duty eSports circuit is hosted by Major League Gaming (MLG) who’s pro league is officially supported by Activision, the publisher of the Call of Duty franchise. Activision has worked with a range of game developers to bring a new Call of Duty title to market every year with new maps, weapons, and gameplay. In turn, an MLG Pro League is also activated for each title. The 2013-14 Pro League played CoD: Ghosts, 2014-15 is currently playing CoD: Advanced Warfare, and just announced –CoD: Black Ops 3 hits the market later this year, giving rise to a 2015-16 MLG Pro League.

Pro gaming organizations have been fielding teams in the circuit for years now, winning thousands of dollars in prize money from MLG, but finding the right pros is quite a challenge. Aside from the Pro League, MLG also hosts a service called GameBattles, an online tournament provider that hosts daily tournaments for amateur and professional gamers alike. GameBattles creates a central hub to find/join active teams, compete to win prizes and create ranked leaderboards. By creating an account and joining GameBattles, gamers can win small amounts of MLG Pro Points, MLG Credits and cash. Some of these online competitions are free to enter, but most require MLG Credits to register for an online tournament. These credits can be purchased through the store or awarded from winning tournaments.

MLG Pro Points are awarded to individual players by winning tournaments and are used to determine a players value amongst fellow competitors.  A Pro Team’s ranking is determined by the cumulative points from all four members of the team roster. If you want to join a top tier team, earning pro points will prove you have the necessary experience to make it with the best.  Pro Points also factor into MLG’s offline LAN events and the Pro League Seasons, both boasting large cash prizes.



MLG offline LAN tournaments gather teams together in the same physical location to battle for 3-4 days to win large amounts of Pro Points and cash. These tournaments are broken into two brackets, Pool Play and Open Bracket Play. To qualify for Pool Play, top teams are invited based off their cumulative pro points. The amount of points owned by each team also determines their bracket seeding at the tournament. The higher your Pro Points, the higher your seed. Typically the top 8-16 teams with the most pro points automatically qualify for pool play, while a ticket into Open Bracket Play is purchased by challenging teams.

Many of these offline LAN events are considered separate from the official MLG Pro League. Tournament hosts like UMG or UGC are sanctioned by MLG to award Pro Points in exchange for hosting online or offline events. This means more frequent & enticing chances for fans to compete, increasing the community’s overall growth. It’s really a win-win for all parties.  Aside from GameBattles though, the MLG Pro League itself is managed fairly independent.

The MLG Pro League has 12 teams who play across several seasons with a daily schedule of required matches, 44 per season. The rankings for Pro League Standings are based solely off wins and losses. The 8 teams with the best win records after 44 matches earn invites to the offline Season Finals event, and automatically qualify for the next season.  Teams ranked 9-12 will play a relegation tournament against winners from two qualifying sub-tournaments to fill the last four spots in the following season. The Open Qualifier Tournament is available to teams with any amount of Pro Points, while the Pro Qualifier Tournament requires that 1 member of the team has a minimum of 100 Pro Points. The 1st place winner from the Open Qualifier and top 3 winners from the Pro Qualifier are invited to participate in a relegation tournament. The top four teams from relegation advance into the next season.

If you want to join a Call of Duty eSports organization, Pro Points play a huge role in your appeal to be drafted and earn entry into tournaments, but that’s not all. Personality, play style and skill are also important features of a well rounded eSports teammate. If you’ve got what it takes, follow these tips and get started on the road to pro!

Study your favorite pro players, play GameBattles, create a team, go to LAN events and PRACTICE EVERYDAY!



Check out the current MLG Pro Point Leaderboards:

– Pro Point Leaderboard

Team Pro Point Leaderboard

UMG California Pool Play Leaderboard


We are currently in the middle of the 2015 MLG Call of Duty Pro League Season 2 and expect to see the Grand Finals @ X Games Austin. Until then, ASTRO pro teams OpTic Gaming & Team EnVyUs will be participating in a couple special LAN events. Check em out:

– May 2-3 @ ESWC 2015 LIVE on – Prize: $50k 

– May 15-17 @ UMG California 2015 LIVE on – Prize: $35k + 25k MLG Pro Points.

– June 4-7 Season 2 Championship @ X Games Austin LIVE on – Prize:$75k + X Games Gold Medals!


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