Call of Duty has always been a huge commercial success but has always been overshadowed by other games when it comes to eSports. Counter-Strike has long been the dominant team based fps eSports game but over the past year we've started to see the emergence of battle royale style fps games that are moving into the eSports realm. The battle royale genre has evolved through titles from H1Z1 to PUBG to Fortnite and now possibly Black Ops 4.
Right now Fortnite is clearly king when talking about battle royale eSports but they have never really been tested by another game that could potentially have equal backing. It's still just riding on launch hype but right now Black Ops 4 has quadruple the number of viewers as Fortnite. Some small tournamanets have already occurred but they suffer from the same limitations as Fortnite. You can't just make a custom lobby, toss 100 players in and declare a winner at the end. Instead the games consist of players grouping up together and then seeing who can get the most kills in a game. While this is fun and entertaining, it doesn't utilize all the aspects of the genre and if these games want to become legitimate eSports, they will need custom lobbies for event organizers. We have seen events like this in the past put on by Epic games but it doesn't exist for an outside tournament to just open their own server and host an event. It does appear that a tournament mode is coming to Fortnite and Black Ops 4 is still in its infancy but will need to put major focus on releasing tools to enable Black Ops 4 as an eSport.
The franchise has the backing and popularity to succeed. The next step is for Activision to step up and commit to supporting eSports. I will be shocked if they don't because a successful eSport is big money. Dota 2 makes a killing off of The International and Black Ops 4 could easily garner the same success. It will take some effort to launch the eSport off the ground but if Activision desires, they will get it done.
So far the battle royale mode in Black Ops 4 looks great and I think it has a chance to rival Fortnite. Time will tell if Activision has plans to promote eSports but a solid base exists and is ready to launch the Call of Duty franchise to the next level.