What to expect from Esports in 2019?

Now that we are almost one month into 2019, it’s time to see what this new year has in store for us, esports-wise. The big names will of course keep doing what they do, some with major changes, others on well-known formula.
We must also keep an eye on some challengers and newcomers that plan on claiming their share of the market.
We have selected some interesting titles that we will hear about in 2019.

First off, we do not see the big current actors going out any time soon, and some games such as DotA 2, Counter Strike: GO, Rainbow Six: Siege, FIFA, Call of Duty, Rocket League and Overwatch will just keep on doing what they do, with the same formats, circuits etc.
Others are trying to bring new things in the mix, like the franchising for League of Legends, but ultimately, spectating-wise, it should not break your habits.

Unfortunately, it will not be the case for all games, and Blizzard recently announced it was stopping esports activities around Heroes of the Storm, so the game competitive scene will only be alive through community tournaments.
Bad news for Valve too, as their Artifact game really has trouble taking off, and they will have to bring a new vision to the game if they want it to compete with the other Card Games out there…

But let’s move on to clearer skies, with games that will probably leave a lasting mark on 2019, whereas they are newcomers, or plan exciting new things for their new season!

First off, newly released Super Smash Bros Ultimate will probably know a flourishing year, especially now that Nintendo has really started investing in esports. Some tournaments are already announced, and great things are to be expected. Pretty much the same can be said for Dragon Ball FighterZ, which has only growth in competitive interest since its release.
Two other games are on our radar, namely Magic the Gathering: Arena and PUBG, with their large scale circuits announced, they both are in a hit or miss situation, especially given the concurrence they are facing in their respective domains.

Speaking of the concurrence, PUBG is of course often compared to Fortnite, which is currently the most played game around the globe. But it still has to prove it has what it takes to become a successful esports title, and the 2018 experience has shown it was popular, but the game must find its format and pace, which PUBG has apparently found with their Pro League.
On the topic of Card Games, the main contender, Hearthstone, is to undergo some important changes for the next season, and after Heroes of the Storm, fans were getting anxious. We will know more next month, but Blizzard should not drop what is currently its most successful esports title (though Overwatch receives much more love).

Moving on to fighting games, we already mentioned Dragon Ball FighterZ, who is coming in a landscape where established titles like Street Fighter and Tekken are king, but some other challengers are on their way, with the new installments of the Soul Calibur and Mortal Kombat series. Hard to tell which will be voted in by the community, and there is probably room for several of them, given their different styles.

And it would be a mistake to forget mobile games in all of this. Fortnite, PUBG and Hearthstone all have their mobile versions, but some exclusive mobile titles are also going strong, like Clash Royale (and new Brawl Stars by Supercell about to make its entrance), Arena of Valor, Mobile Legends or Critical Ops! They might be less talked about, or even frowned upon, but their qualities and interest they generate are very real!

Finally, 2019 might be the year the Real-Time Strategy comes back to the front of the stage, with Starcraft II still alive (though in smaller circles), with the revival of the Warcraft III series. We doubt that Blizzard will take the reins to drive a new competitive scene, but we must not underestimate the power of nostalgia of the game that re-invented modern strategy and created the MOBA genre…

All in all, 2018 has been a tremendous year for esports, with records beaten on a monthly basis, and it is not looking like it is slowing down any time soon! Success stories happened, and games will keep building on them, whereas new ones will try to claim their spot in the fray, so it’s time to step right in and let your voice be heard, and skill be witnessed!

Use Toornament for your friendly tournaments

We all know that Toornament can handle official esports events with millions of dollars on the line, pitting international players in months-long leagues for world recognition and fame. But the platform is also fitting to welcome you and your friends or family for a good competitive time, given it is entirely free!
Whether you have a friendly FIFA League going every week, or just decide to get Super Smash Bros Ultimate out at a family reunion, know that Toornament is here to help you smooth things up and quickly create a tournament !

Some people have already largely understood that, and made good use of the platform, and here’s Gregoire, a colleague of ours, that decided to take his Nintendo Switch along during Christmas Holidays for everyone to enjoy:

Gregoire’s family going at it on 1-2 Switch

“I always have my Nintendo Switch with me, and suggested a few games after the Christmas meal. Everyone got excited, and i set it up in the living room, with 1-2 Switch running.
What started as a quick and fun family activity soon became an epic tournament in which all 25 members of the family wanted to compete.
Ages ranged from 6 to 50 years old, and even though the tournament went on for more than 2 hours, everyone stayed focused and motivated, with kids asking for results every few minutes, and showing off their wins to their cousins or parents.
I shared the link to the tournament via our family group chat, so everyone could see and follow the matches, and set up a tablet with the Toornament TV by the Nintendo Switch.
Once it was over, I told them they just played some esports, like the people I usually work with!”

– Gregoire Pascal, Webedia Press Manager

And now that the results have achieved posterity, no doubt Daphne will brag about this tournament in future family reunions!

We are glad to have been a part of Gregoire’s family Christmas holidays, and wish you all great friendly tournaments!

What happened in 2018 on Toornament?

Another year is coming to an end already, and it is time to pause for a minute and do a quick retrospective on what happened on your favorite esports platform in 2018.
Back in 2017, we released the V.2 of Toornament, and kept building on its strong foundations to make sure the platform spearheaded the esports ecosystem.
This translated into a +100% growth this year (in number of tournaments created), so huge thanks and congratulations to our organizers!

New Features

Structure

The most important feature that was added early 2018 was the Free-for-All update, especially designed for Battle Royale games, with advanced settings and scoring options.
In the same update, we also revamped the Match Settings entirely (to accommodate the new ones for Battle Royale), and added Double Finals configuration for Double-Elimination brackets (with the possibility to have a Grand Finals reset for the Winner Bracket finalist).

For Organizers


One of the main features we brought for organizers in 2018 was the ability to declare a participant Forfeit in a match, and attribute penalty points for said forfeit.
Other features to ease up the organizers’ life include Tournament Duplication and Registration Auto-Accept.

For Participants


We of course do not forget participants in our efforts to provide the best esports platform there is, and the main one this past year was probably the Tournament Check-In, which is of course made for both organizers and participants.
Other new features include the ability to edit one’s registration and the Krosmaga Pick&Ban.

For Developers


As we want to be the leading B2B esports solution, we strongly invested in our public API, which has seen some major improvements this year, with new endpoints and webhooks currently being tested!

For Partners

And because our platform would mean nothing without its amazing community of talented organizers, we developed the Tournament Playlists to let our Organizer Partners gather their tournaments in a single list, and share it via one of our well-known widgets!

Improvements

Design


Concurrently with the new features, the interface of the website has evolved, with many design improvements to make it more user-friendly and accessible. The major enhancement was the Responsive Layout of the whole platform, for people to use it from their mobile browser in the best conditions.
The platform also received several upgrades, with the new dynamic Organizer Dashboard that accompanies organizers in their tournament management, the new Match Sheet developed with the experience gained from the Free-for-All formats and a brand new and better Tournament Creation Process.

Other


Another important update this year was the addition of Tooltips and Revamped Settings to provide contextual help and a better navigation experience.

Upcoming in 2019


It would be an understatement to say that 2018 was a good and interesting year, and as you may have noticed the trend, we plan on making the next one even more incredible. As of now, we are working on two projects that should keep us busy for the Christmas holidays, and that you may already have heard about:

  • The FFA Brackets to build complex structures for your favorite Battle Royale games, Racing Sims or Smash Bros!
  • Localization of the platform in several languages, to make it available to most people.

And that’s just the beginning, with many more to come, so rendezvous in 2019!

Are you ready for Super Smash Bros Ultimate?

The new opus of the most famous crossover fighting game launches tomorrow, and the competitive scene is ready… Are you?
With more characters than ever, there is plenty of choice for you to find the one character that you like and are good with to climb the ladder and reveal the champion that lies within!

The tournaments started as early as this summer, with the Invitational tournament held during the E3 at Los Angeles:

The game has a bright future ahead of him, and we can not wait to see what our organizers have in store, especially with all these Smash tournaments already popping up on the platform, hours before the release!

Ring of Elysium, the new Battle Royale sensation, has arrived in Europe!

Ring of Elysium is now available on the European Servers of Steam!
This Battle Royale, made by Tencent, has a few new mechanics that really make it stand out from the crowd, namely the Mobility Packages, a simplified inventory management, choice of deployment on a map etc.

If its competitive aspects are still to be proven, the game is definitely fun, and trying it with friends is a no-brainer if you are into the genre!
Plus, it’s free to play, with skins to unlock and other goodies.

Its map and mobility options offer a fast-paced and tense gameplay that is somewhat closer to Islands of Nyne than PUBG, for those who want the thrill of surviving the longest possible, but while offering a quick and action-packed experience.

So it comes to no surprise that the game has been available on Toornament since its first release on the Garena client, and with Custom Lobbies punctually available (and hopefully definitely soon!), you should give it a try, and why not organize your own RoE Tournament?

Are mobile esports the new/next big thing?

The backlash that Blizzard endured after their Diablo Immortal announcement fueled the never-ending debate about mobile gaming, and as an extension of it, mobile esports. We have witnessed the birth and rise of the mobile platform as a serious contender in esports events, even though it is still considered as inferior by many. But nowadays, those mobile devices that follow us along everywhere we go are pure technology condensed, and video game editors would be foolish not to make good use of this new platform.
Especially considering that mobile gaming now represents the majority of the global video games market, with 51% of the expected $137.9 Bn to be made in 2018 (Source: Newzoo).

We have seen games adapted to fit the phones, with Fortnite, PUBG and Hearthstone coming to mind immediately, and some native mobile games like Clash Royale grab a fair share of the attention lately, with online tournaments, official pro circuits and LAN events offering cash prizes that have nothing to be ashamed of in comparison to some of the big names of the industry.

ESWC PGW 2018 – Samsung Fortnite Mobile Tournament

And it’s not just about the professionals, these games present the huge advantage of being easily available, and playable by everyone, so there is no wonder that they represent a non-negligible part of the community tournaments organized this year. Fortnite, of course, leads the way, and its cross-platform gameplay makes it difficult to exactly know the portion of players enjoying the game on a mobile device, but things get clearer when you look at PUBG Mobile and Clash Royale, two games that are exclusive to mobile, and that have seen an incredible rise in numbers this year (on Toornament, PUBG Mobile went from not existing to Top 2 in just 6 months, only outdistanced by Fortnite!).

So that would be an understatement to say that we do believe in mobile gaming and mobile esports, given that ultimately, the players are the one making the calls, and it’s pretty obvious that the platform matters less than the quality of the game!

Evolution of esports prize money between 2015 and 2018

3 years ago, we published on this very blog an infographics on the Esports Economy, and especially the prize moneys awarded in the tournaments of the top esports titles.
It’s time to take stock of the situation, and see where we are at regarding tournament prize moneys.
Find a new interactive infographics, with the most up-to-date data available, along data compiled from 2015:

E3 2018 – Esports Edition

Another year, another E3, and this year is once again filled with announcements with a strong esports scent, and a few events worth a look!
Find the complete conferences, and links to the specific trailers for the upcoming games and updates in our Esports Recap:


Electronic Arts brought back their big names of the competitive scene for this E3, with sports IP coming back for a new season: Madden 19, NBA Live 19 and of course FIFA 19.
We also learned more about the upcoming Battlefield V, which will boast a Battle Royale mode in addition to the classic multiplayer modes.
Finally, a surprise happened with Command & Conquer Rivals, a new opus to the famous RTS series, designed for mobile devices, with a RTS gameplay leaning towards Clash Royale and the likes.


The Microsoft conference was filled to the brim with announcements and news for around 50 different games. Three Microsoft titles caught our attention for their competitive aspect, even if the release date of two of them is yet to be revealed. These games are Forza Horizon 4, and two games which current opuses already have million-dollars circuits: Halo Infinite and Gears of War 5!


Ubisoft is known for taking care of its games and communities, and they delivered with the announcement for the new Just Dance 19, a long-time players favorite, but also huge updates to come for their competitive titles R6S and For Honor!


Last but not least, Nintendo was the closing player this year, but they delivered big time! Long-awaited Super Smash Bros Ultimate got a full character reveal, and the competitive scene has clearly been a focus with balance changes and maps, plus the invitational tournament held during the E3 (with results at the bottom of the article).
Splatoon 2 has also received his Octo Expansion, and Mario Tennis Ace is getting close to release!
The surprise of the conference was the announcement for the next Super Mario Party game, not exactly a contender for the next esports phenomenon, but you have to admit a Mario Party tournament would be a blast!
Finally, Fortnite has been announced on Switch, so you can really play anywhere!

Other titles that caught our eye during this week were obviously the next Call of Duty, Black Ops IIII, and Jump Force, a versus fighting game with all of your favorite manga characters.
If some of these announcements had something to do with Battle Royale, two games are 100% Battle Royale:

This E3 was also the occasion to have a few great tournaments, with the first one being the Fortnite Pro-Am 2018, reuniting 50 Fortnite streamers and pro players with mainstream celebrities for a huge charity match with a $3,000,000 cash prize:

Nintendo brought the World Finals of its Splatoon 2 World Championship at the E3 for everyone to see, and it was a blast!

Finally, the first ever Super Smash Bros Ultimate tournament happened during this E3 with an invitational tournament bringing together pro players from the previous titles of the IP, in a fun tournament mixing all gamemodes (1v1, 2v2 and Free-for-All):

Will Battle Royale generalize competitive gaming?

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!

Smash Bros, Black Ops IIII and other announcements!

This week has been rich in long-awaited announcements, and several of them have a very interesting competitive side to them. Let us take a look at what 2018 (and beyond) has in store for us based on those latest news!

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nintendo

The Nintendo Direct from the 8th of March was stacked with announcements for the 3DS and Switch consoles, including many games ported from other platforms. But three titles have retained our attention because of their competitiveness.

splatoon2
First off, Splatoon 2, the original shooter IP from Nintendo will soon move to its 3.0 version, with a whole solo extension called “Octo Expansion” and a whole lot of content, from stages to clothing and weapons. Release date is set to some time this summer.

mariotennisace
Then, it’s time for a N64/GBC game to get a sequel on the latest consoles, with Mario Tennis Aces. 3DS and Wii U versions of the original games exist since 2013, but it’s a brand new game that has been announced, full with competitive features! Release date is on the 22nd of June, with a pre-launch free tournament already planned.

smashbros
Last, but not least, rumors had it in past weeks that a new Smash Bros game was in the pipes, but that went from rumor to official announcement with the conference. All we know is that the game should feature Link from Breath of the Wild and Splatoon character, and that the game is set to be released in 2018.

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activision

blackops4
After weeks of rumor, Activision finally announced the next Call of Duty title, which will be a sequel to the Black Ops franchise by Treyarch, soberly titled “IIII”. More information are bound to be shared this spring, and the release date is set on the 12th of October.

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ubisoft

thedivision2
Another great name to have gotten its sequel announced this week was Ubisoft’s The Division. No real insight on what the game will offer for competitive players, but the devs say they have learned from past experience, and the great idea that was the Dark Zone might come back in a more polished form!

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epicgames

fortnite-mobile
And the final big announcement from past week is the Mobile version for Fortnite that has been teased by Epic Games. The mobile version will support full cross-play and cross-progression with existing platforms (except with XBox One apparently), and a first iOS beta will open on the 12th of March, followed by invites, and an Android version in the coming months.

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All those new games have their seat ready on Toornament already, and we can’t wait to see which ones will pack a punch and become great competitive titles!