A few years ago, there was a concerted push in the MMO genre to design, amplify, and boost esports, and I don’t just mean Guild Wars 2’s sporadic attempts; we also had a long run of MMOs trying to push esports through battle royale modes in particular, even after Guild Wars 2’s esports run had been axed.
Nowadays, only one of the big five MMORPGs is investing in esports – World of Warcraft – and I can’t even say investing heavily, as the prize pools are small and geared around marketing PvE. But there are a few top 10 MMOs out there with PvP competitions still. Albion Online, for example, has been consistently running seasonal alliance PvP tournaments and crowning victors, complete with extensive Twitch coverage. It seems to me that WoW and Albion basically made “esports” work by focusing their ambitions on competitive content that actually suits the game and the audience instead of trying to be, well, League of Legends.
What do you think – should the MMO genre take another stab at esports? Is there something different more MMOs could do that would actually be appealing in the esports realm?