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Watch the first private 'Call of Duty: Warzone' tournament at 3PM ET

Warzone Weekend marks a new phase for the game's competitive scene.

Activision

Activision is ready to show what all-pro Call of Duty: Warzone tourneys are like. The gaming giant is debuting the first Call of Duty League Warzone Weekend today (May 24th) at 3PM Eastern, marking the start of private lobby Warzone competitions. The 48-player event is pre-recorded, but it will show just what the league’s dozen teams can do when they square off against each other, not the public.

The company is sweetening the pot with a beta that provides in-game rewards for watching League matches, such as double XP tokens and themed cosmetics like sprays and calling cards.

It was easy to see this coming. Warzone racked up tens of millions of players in a matter of weeks. And like Epic, which rapidly built out a Fortnite pro circuit, Activision is keenly aware that esports can be vital to keeping a game relevant. Still, this private tournament is an important moment — effectively, it represents the end of Warzone’s honeymoon phase and the first serious test of its appeal to esports fans.