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Call of Duty League event expected to draw thousands to North Texas this weekend

Organizers say over 75 percent of ticket buyers for the sold-out event are from outside North Texas.
Credit: WFAA
OpTic Texas (left) in the first match of the Call of Duty League Major I at Esports Stadium Arlington.

ARLINGTON, Texas — "Call of Duty" fans, this one’s for you.

Thousands of esports enthusiasts are expected to flood Arlington’s entertainment district this weekend as Dallas-based Envy Gaming and OpTic Texas host a major tournament featuring the popular -- and competitive -- first-person shooter.

Twelve esports teams from around the world will be in North Texas for the "Call of Duty" League Major I at Esports Stadium Arlington. The event started Thursday and will run through Sunday.

Organizers say the event will draw thousands of fans through the four days and that over 75 percent of ticket buyers are from outside North Texas. This isn’t too big a surprise, though, considering the "Call of Duty" League boasts teams from Dallas to Toronto to Paris.

Fans aren't the only ones looking forward to the tournament. The players themselves are excited to perform on the big stage, playing not only in front of a roaring crowd but also for tens of thousands of live viewers on YouTube.

"There's no feeling like it," OpTic Texas member Indervir "iLLeY" Dhaliwal told WFAA. "Just being able to compete in front of a crowd. [It's] not something you can explain, it's something you have to experience. The whole environment, the vibes are just totally different. You’re with your team, instead of just playing online."

iLLeY has much to be excited about, too, as he and his OpTic Texas teammates closed out the first day of matches on Thursday with a win over the Seattle Surge.

Thursday's OpTic Texas fan base, dubbed the GREENWALL, helped hype up the team's first match with cheers, chants and standing ovations for highlight plays. 

On the livestreaming side, around 60,000 to 70,000 people were watching OpTic's match on YouTube in real time.

The Dallas-based team's next match will come on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Unfortunately, Saturday and Sunday tickets are all sold out. The matches can be watched live on the Call of Duty League Youtube channel.

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