This is a brief history of competitive Call of Duty.
The Early Years
The first Call of Duty title was released in 2003 and was a historical first-person shooter with a focus on a single player campaign. The game immediately received critical acclaim and spawned several sequels also set during World War II. A dedicated player base began playing the multiplayer modes more competitively which led to the creation of Major League Gaming.
Major League Gaming was one of the first companies to help shape and organize competitive Call of Duty. The company grew and eventually purchased the website Gamebattles. This set a location where players could find other competitive teams and organize matches against one another. Game battles is where most of professional players today got their start and formed the foundations of iconic teams.
The first game in the franchise to really have an emphasis on the competitive scene was Call of Duty 4. Released in 2007, it was the first time Call of Duty took place in a modern setting. Local tournaments began to launch around the world that allowed players to get their first taste of a LAN event. From this, the first major Call of Duty tournament was established – The Major League Championship – in 2009.
Return of Iconic Players
This tournament marked the first appearance of iconic pro players such as Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, Raymond “Rambo” Lussier, Will “Bigtymer” Johnson, and Brandon “Sharp” Rodgers. Other notable competitors included Mike “Hastr0” Rufail who is the current owner of Envy, Anthony “Nameless” Wheeler who is a professional player turned caster, and Jordan “Proofy” Cannon, who would go on to win several championships. Team Xtravagant took home the MLG Championship and featured the iconic trio of Bigtymer, Sharp, and Rambo.