Alongside the skateboarders, BMX bikers and other extreme athletes at the upcoming X Games Austin, a comparatively sedate group of gamers will be furiously gunning one another down in a Call of Duty tournament that Major League Gaming hopes will become tradition.

According to ESPN, the tournament will feature MLG's top five Call of Duty: Ghosts teams, as well as the top three teams from the recent Call of Duty championships. These eight teams will battle it out, first in double-elimination, then single-elimination matches.

At first glance this seems like an odd combination - ESPN describes itself as the worldwide leader in sports, while Call of Duty matches are defined by players sitting largely motionless for lengthy stretches of time - if you dig into the history of things it starts to make sense. Major League Gaming CEO Sundance DiGiovanni once served as the resident gaming expert on ESPN's morning talk show Cold Pizza, and DiGiovanni's long-standing relationship with the network served as the impetus for this partnership.

"The [Call of Duty] subject matter is mature and it's not something that is going to be right for everybody, but there's a huge section of the audience that plays these games," DiGiovanni said. "You'll see when these games are released -- one of the main places they are advertised is on the ESPN networks."

DiGiovanni makes a valid point, but it remains to be seen if ESPN's traditional X Games audience will come for the wicked-sweet kickflips and stay for the rampant killstreaks.
[Image: Activision]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.