The world’s best Call of Duty players are about to go into digital combat with one another for the prize of $1m (£661,000).
Activision, the game’s publisher, has announced its third annual Call of Duty Championship will take place in Los Angeles in March, with qualification beginning around the world through online tournaments from next week.
The qualification process, which will be played on Xbox One consoles, will find the best 32 Call of Duty teams from five different continents to take part in the tournament proper, running from March 27 - 29.
Professional video gaming, known as eSports, has rocketed in popularity in recent years. Thousands of fans will flock to live tournaments to watch the best players strut their stuff.
Over 21,000 fans attended a live Call of Duty tournament in Anaheim last year, while CompLexity Gaming, the winning team at last year’s tournament, has over 85,000 followers on Twitter.
Such is the expected popularity of the tournament that Xbox Live will broadcast the semi-finals and finals live across the world.
Michael Condrey, co-founder of Sledgehammer Games, which is hosting the tournament in conjunction with Activision, Xbox and Major League Gaming, commented:
From day one, the team at Sledgehammer Games set out to bring a new play Call of Duty multiplayer to fans. We couldn’t be more thrilled [at] how the competitive community has embraced and mastered the new player movements and game modes of Advanced Warfare.This is poised to be one of the most exciting Call of Duty competitive seasons, with the Call of Duty Championship being one of the best eSports tournaments of the year.