Let’s start by stating the obvious, the Battle Royale genre is, and has been for a year or so, the go-to trend everyone wants a piece of. Successful titles (do Fortnite and PUBG ring any bell?), viewership records, there is no shortage of superlatives or in-depth analyses to make sure you talk about the (current) golden boy of video games.
But let’s take a different approach, and see what can the Battle Royales really bring to the table, apart from entertainment and numbers in the millions, not that it would not be enough, but we are sure there is more to it!
Indeed, those games came with their own revolution for competitive gaming and esports, especially with the new formats they brought along. Grand scale battles were previously a prerogative of large-scale shooters such as Battlefield or Planetside, with large groups of players fighting in battles ranging from sixty-four to several hundred players at a time. If competitiveness was without a doubt present, there was not much room for structured competition. That changed when the Battle Royales started pitting a hundred players against one another, with all but a single goal to reach, be the last man standing (or prone, we are not judging!).
Top #1 from the first game of El Rubius’ Youtubers Tournament
The Free-For-all is no innovation, games like Quake or Unreal Tournament were very used to it, and had a vivid competitive scene, arguably kickstarting esports. But the real change that Battle Royales bring is one step above, not at the match structure (it’s just a matter of scale, even though it’s linked), but at the tournament level. Indeed, in the past, when you wanted to organize a 64-players tournament, you had to select a structure. Will it be Round-Robin followed by a Bracket? Or maybe just a huge Double-Elimination Bracket? What about Swiss Stages, Leagues and the mix of all of those? For a player, the huge deal was also that you could get eliminated pretty early on, leaving you with nothing but your eyes to cry and watch your defiler carrying on. As a spectator, some structures were, puzzling, to say the least, and to this day, some tournaments are organized with structures that require you to have a PhD. in esports to understand…
In a Battle Royale, if you want to organize a 64-players tournament, well, it’s easy enough, you just play N matches, cumulate points from those matches, and just like that, you have your tournament, ranking and winner! It’s easy for players, it’s perfect for viewers, as it’s almost 100% gameplay, with a few minutes needed between each match to start the next one.
All of this generates a great commitment because everyone gets to play all games (unless of course, they are quitters when they calculate they mathematically can’t win anymore), and viewers can cheer for their favorite player/team all competition long. Plus, the timeframe and simple structure make those kind of competitions available to all, and saying that, we are eyeing towards streamers who want to set up a fun tournament for their viewers for example…
Add the fact that at the community level, they will usually be solo tournaments, and you have a great recipe for success, as it’s easy to register, fast to set up and players remain involved.
For all of these reasons, it was important for us to provide our community with the right tools to organize such competitions in even better conditions, hence why we have been working hard to make sure the platform would be ready by the time the games allow everyone to organize their own tournament, and it’s close… real close!