Fans cheer for 'Call of Duty' in Paris video game world cup

US "Optic gaming" team members compete during the Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Electronic Sports World Cup final, on
US "Optic gaming" team members compete during the Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Electronic Sports World Cup final, on May 3, 2015 in Paris

Players greeted like rock stars, cheering fans and a spectacular set; the Zenith concert hall in Paris was transformed into a giant play room this weekend for a global tournament devoted to the blockbuster "Call of Duty" video game.

The eight best teams in the world—three of them American, three British and two French—were disputing the title of Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC) champion, one of the main competitions in the video game arena.

Playing on stage, a giant screen above them, each team had to eliminate soldiers on the rival side in the video game, which since its launch by Activision in 2003 has brought in more than $10 billion (nine billion euros), exceeding box office receipts for smash film franchises such as "Hunger Games."

The audience, mostly boys and men, scrutinised each of the players' actions which were also analysed by commentators, just like in a football game.

"It's impressive. I play this too with my friends, but it goes way quicker here," said Louis, 18.

After a game, the players responded to questions from the presenter and dissected their performances like in any other sporting event.

This is not the first time that the Zenith arena has hosted a video game tournament.

Last year, a "League of Legends" competition took place there, attracting some 5,000 people.

Video game—or electronic sports—tournaments the world over are gaining in popularity.

Picture of the cup taken during the Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Electronic Sports World Cup final, on May 3, 2015 in Paris
Picture of the cup taken during the Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Electronic Sports World Cup final, on May 3, 2015 in Paris

In 2013, a "League of Legends" American final that took place in the Staples Center, home to the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, drew 18,000 people who had snapped up tickets in just a few hours.

This phenomenon stems from the popularity of the games played in such tournaments but also from the increasingly wide spectrum of players of all ages and of both sexes.

Video-sharing websites have also helped promote competitions by broadcasting the tournaments live, helping reach a higher number of people.

Spectators react during the Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Electronic Sports World Cup final, on May 3, 2015 in Paris
Spectators react during the Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Electronic Sports World Cup final, on May 3, 2015 in Paris

As a result, the most-followed competitions can attract more than 30 million viewers.

The craze is such that Twitch, a specialised platform that streams games and hosts gaming events, was bought last year by Amazon for $970 million.

Back in Paris late on Sunday afternoon, the two remaining teams disputing the ESWC champion title were both American—OpTic Gaming versus Denial eSports.


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© 2015 AFP

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May 03, 2015
Well just who DOESN'T enjoy extrajudicial murders on command as a hired assassin? In a world where soccer is "the beautiful game" and this is fun, well, I guess what I just left in the commode is freakin' GORGEOUS!

Fine, if society wants to reinforce sociopathy at every turn. Just don't cry me a river when one of these idiots starts shooting people in a movie theater. Nothing is real save pixels. You really think that attitude won't bear fruit? Let's have some torts against marketers for selling defective products and watch 'em grow a conscience real fast.

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