, Montgomery Advertiser

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 gamers will compete later this month inside a new public tech space in downtown Montgomery. Its organizer hopes it spawns something even bigger.

Anyone can enter the five-on-five team tournament. It will take over Air University-affiliated tech hub MGMWerx at 41 Commerce St. in downtown Montgomery from noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 26. While there have been other gaming tournaments here in the past, this is Montgomery’s first public esports competition with backing from the military and the city’s tech sector. And it’s tied to a larger effort to grow the esports scene and talent in the River Region.

“I think there’s a lot of potential,” said Airman Chance Crawford, an Atlanta native stationed at Maxwell Air Force Base’s Gunter Annex. “In Atlanta, we have a pretty established esports and tech scene. … If Montgomery can establish that stuff, I think it can be a major player.”

It’s a growing industry. Research firm Newzoo predicts sponsorship, merchandise and ticket sales will jump $230 million this year, pushing the global esports market over $1.1 billion. The audience is expected to hit 454 million viewers, mostly via livestreaming platforms.

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