Battle Royale is on the verge of becoming an esports genre. But what does it take for a game or genre to become a lasting esports? One thing is for sure: it takes more than just a large prize pool!
Fortnites Epic Games announced a overwhelming prize pool of one hundred million dollars, that is a one with eight zeros! This of course draws attention, even in the non-gaming world of mainstream media, but money alone can’t build a community. If we look at League of Legends Riot Games, we see that investing in content, in players and in narratives is mandatory to build a lasting esports infrastructure.
It’s all about buzz and reach. A large prize pool creates a buzz, but without further content the effect will not last. We have seen this happening with PUGB’s ZIMO Australian invitational. There was hype going towards the 100 man showdown, but due to lack of ‘stories’ the effect soon died off.
Following Riot Games Example
To build a healthy esports ecosystem, there needs to be a connection between the players and the fans. Something players themselves do by streaming, but more importantly something Riot Games does going into a match. Building stories of rivalry, stories off sportsmanship and launching players as heroes. Riot Games started this approach in 2012 and haven’t stopped investing ever since, it made them leader of the pack when it comes to esports. In comparison, DOTA 2 has always been the number two MOBA in popularity; while DOTA 2 offers bigger prizes.
Though just throwing money at tournaments doesn’t make a successful esports, it hasn’t been said Riot Games way is the only way. Epic Games announced that they are gonna invest a lot of the money for the viewers instead of the players. It could be that they try to reach out to the fanbase by letting them win by just watching Twitch for instance. We don’t know, but we sure are interested to see if we are on the verge of a new era of esports. Exciting times!
And yes, Battle Royale is coming to MasterMazuma!