Like clockwork, whenever a new Call of Duty game gets released, there's a mad rush within the playerbase to be the first (or one of the first) to reach level fifty-five and "prestige," effectively resetting your progress to gain a cool emblem that you can then show off to other players.
That emblem, especially during the game's earliest days, shows your opponents (and teammates) that you're extremely skilled at the game.
But this isn't exclusively a player-driven tradition. Activision Blizzard is well aware of this race to the top and is using it to drive donations toward a charity that directly helps veterans find employment after service. Right now, you can watch the greatest players duke it out as they strive to be the first to prestige while simultaneously supporting the Call of Duty Endowment.
It's called the #CODNation Challenge.
"The #CODNATION Challenge is an incredible and unique way for the gaming community to come together each year, have fun, and support our veterans in their transition back to civilian life," said Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director of the Call of Duty Endowment.
The race to the top first officially began today at 9:00 am PST, but you haven't missed out just yet — it's expected to be a full 24-hour gaming marathon. The #CODNATION Challenge has partnered with ELEAGUE, the premiere esports and live tournament brand, to showcase each gamer in the running on Twitch.
To watch their live stream, check out the video below:
Every cent donated through the event is directly given to the Call of Duty Endowment. With it, the charity helps place veterans in high-paying, high-quality jobs — and things are going amazingly well.
The Call of Duty Endowment first set out to place 25,000 veterans in great jobs by the end of 2018, but they've nearly doubled that goal already, managing to aid 47,000 veterans hone their skills and get jobs that they can be proud of. They've since revised their goal. Now, they want to place another 50,000 veterans by the end of 2019.
So check out the steam, toss in a few bits, and enjoy watching the very best of the new Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, which launches tomorrow, Oct 12, 2018.