From outside the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, in Dallas, nothing seems amiss. Inside the impressive convention space, it's quiet. The bottom floor is empty, aside from the occasional security personnel. Up the escalator is a sign welcoming visitors to a health and wellness event. There aren't many in attendance.
The few dozen people heading up the escalator all walk past the smiling door greeter. Most wear backpacks and turned caps emblazoned with a pokeball or triforce. They move toward a back corner like rats following the piper.
Rounding the corner reveals a gathering of hundreds. Many wear shirts vaguely reminiscent of soccer jerseys only, instead of a nation or team and surname, they are adorned with words that sound like fictional energy drinks and names out of an Ernest Cline novel.
Once through the barrier, everything changes. Lights flash and music swells. There's an epic feeling in the air.
You wouldn't know it by looking at the groups gathering beneath the Team Registration banner, most of them are young, wiry, with scattered hair, and a glint in their eyes, but they are here to do battle.
Virtual battle, that is.
This weekend, more than 200 teams from all over the world gather in Dallas to compete for Pro Points and cash prizes in the first event of the CWL season. Team's will be playing Call of Duty: WWII for the first $200,000 from what is a record-breaking season prize pool topping four million dollars in total.
The Dallas tournament is open bracket with winning teams competing Sunday for the grand prize and ultimate bragging rights. Catch the stream at Major League Gaming and stay tuned to BSR for updates throughout the weekend.