After the MOBA and the Battle Royale, make way for the Auto Battler fad!

A new game genre has taken over the charts recently, the Auto Battlers, with Auto Chess paving the way for Dota Underlords and Teamfight Tactics, created by Valve and Riot Games respectively.

The premises of the genre are quite simple, with a few players entering a game from which only one will emerge victorious after the others have been eliminated. To achieve victory, you will have to purchase characters (heroes, legends or champions, depending on the title), and equip items on them. Buy several copies of a single character, and see it evolve to a higher level. Combine characters with common race or class, and build a balanced team with bonuses and buffs to defeat your enemies.

At its core, it’s a new kind of death-match game, with around 10 players starting a game, and being eliminated one after the other, when their health reach zero.
And we have the perfect stages for you to organize competitions on such games on Toornament: the Free-for-All structures!
We have also devised a complete guide for you to build your first Auto Battler tournament, how to define your specific rules and match formats.

E3 2019 – Esports News Review

Every year, the E3 Event is the occasion for everyone to discover what will the future of video games be made of. Incredible games are in the making and have been announced, along a hardware evolution going into the next console generation, but as usual, we will be focusing on these games and news that will likely have an impact on the esports landscape.
Maybe one of the games will be the next esports phenomenon? Or it will bring new paradigms and mechanisms that will shape the future or competition? Maybe they will just be fun community games that the players will get to grips with?
Either way, let us see what this year’s E3 had in store for us, with highlights and :

The EA Play was the unofficial opener of this year’s E3, and they logically announced the new editions of their sports IPs, with FIFA 20 and Madden NFL 20 making it under the spotlights. The big news was the revival of the “Street” mode for FIFA, under the new name “Volta”, with multiple game modes involving between 3 and 5 players per team, various rules for terrain etc.
Apex Legends is getting a 2nd Season, going with the name Battle Cry, whereas Battlefield V will soon receive its Fourth Chapter, “Defying the Odds” with new maps, modes, vehicles and more!

Next up was the Microsoft, or more precisely the Xbox conference. It was an impressive stream of 60 games, including 30 newcomers to the Xbox Game Pass (which now boasts more than 100 games, and new offers for PC and console owners!), 14 first-party games developed by Xbox Game Studios and 11 world premieres.
Among these, Gears 5 and Halo Infinite obviously caught our eye, being the sequels to some of the most renowned series in history, and having vibrant esports scenes. Bleeding Edge, the new game by Ninja Theory promises to shake things up too, with a colorful melee brawler where teams of 4 players will fight for objectives.
There is also Crossfire X, an Xbox version of the famous Asian shooter coming up. In another genre entirely, the Definitive Edition of Age of Empires II will let us cruise down memory lane while we wait on the highly-anticipated new game of the series.
Finally, this conference was also the occasion for Microsoft to present their new gaming solutions, with the new Xbox Game Pass offers we spoke about earlier, but also new information about the release of xCloud, a new Elite Series gamepad and Project Scarlett, the future generation of consoles, with hardware retro-compatibility.

Two news from Bethesda involve competitive multiplayer. The first one is the addition of a Battle Royale game mode for Fallout 76, Nuclear Winter. 52 players, a new map and a fight to the death to determine the next Overseer!
The other one came as a surprise, during the Doom Eternal BattleMode showcase, a new asymmetric multiplayer mode where a Slayer had to fight off 2 human opponents controlling demons, with powers and impressive weaponry. A bit early to know how it will fare, but definitely a breath of fresh air, and something exciting to keep an eye on!

In pure Devolver Digital fashion, this year’s conference has been nothing short of amazing, though containing quite some graphical violence (again).
Regarding the games line-up, there is one that stood out of the bunch for its competitive aspect: Fall Guys. We would not dare try to sum it up better than they did: “Fall Guys flings hordes of contestants together online in a mad dash through round after round of escalating chaos until one victor remains!”.
Might sound like a Battle Royale, but think of it like more of a Takeshi’s Castle meet Human Fall Flat, and it sounds awesome!

Ubisoft followed with their conference, and in pure Ubisoft fashion, announced continued support for their existing titles, with a new Rainbow Six: Siege season, and the addition of a Spectator Mode in For Honor.
Just Dance celebrated its 10th anniversary, and will have its 2020 edition with even more hit songs and awesome choreographies (plus a special anniversary mode).
Last, but not least, they officially announced a brand new IP with Roller Champions, a roller derby game where teams of 3 skaters face off to score the most points through speed, tactics and acrobatics. A free demo is available during the E3 duration, so try it out!

Next up was the PC Gaming Show, with no less than 30 games on the program. Let’s kick it off with the Versus update for Vermintide 2, which will let players assume the role of special Skavens to try and kill their heroes counterparts. Looks like the medieval melee genre is still going strong, with Chivalry II also announced, to try and reconquer the genre they pioneered.
Two strategy games were also presented, to further prove that the genre is still close to the heart of many players, with Songs of Conquest (which looks like Heroes of Might & Magic) and Age of Wonders: Planetfall (a new addition to the decades-old series).
Finally, there was Midnight Ghost Hunt, a team-based shooter with hide & seek mechanics reminding Garry’s mod Prop Hunt and a cartoony Ghostbusters feel… We do not know about you, but we’re hyped!

2019 is going to be a huge year for Nintendo, with the Switch receiving more and more love from developers and players alike. The list of games to be available on the console is packed with great titles, and it does not look like it is slowing down anytime soon! As for competitive multiplayer, the current banner title, Super Smash Bros Ultimate will welcome two new characters: the nameless hero from Dragon Quest XI (and echo alternatives) and Banjo-Kazooie!
Later this year, two new games are to be released, with the new Pokemon Sword & Shield, and Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, both with duel (and more) competitive formats for players to actively confront their skills and prowess.

There are two other important announcements that were made outside of official conferences, which we will conclude with:

Konami announced the new PES game, which received a new name: eFootball PES 2020, to be released later this year, with, among other things, a new transfer algorithm to make players’ market more coherent and realistic, a dialogue-driven progression, a remastered version of the Masters League, intentional fouls on the field etc.

We learned a while back that Activision had decided to bring back the most celebrated series in Call of Duty history, with a reboot of the Modern Warfare franchise. We now know it will feature a brand new single-player campaign, and cross-play multiplayer! No more season pass, but regular and free content updates are on the menu, for what is bound to become a CoD reference!

That’s “all” for this year, and we can’t wait to put our hands on most of these new games and updates, which will hit Toornament in due time for communities to get the competitive side of them running!

Help shape the Toornament of tomorrow

Toornament is an ever-evolving platform, and some updates and improvements are mandatory to move forward.
We often call upon our community to share their thoughts about the other features, that are more quality-of-life improvements, and provide us with insights that only seasoned organizers can provide.
And here we are again, giving every user of Toornament the possibility to tell us what they think about the platform, its features, and what would be the best choices moving forward.

In that regard, we have devised a short survey for you to fill, if you wish to add your voice to the ones we will hear when developing our next features:

Thank you for the time you take to help shape what Toornament will become, we really appreciate it!

Indie games on Toornament

Toornament is an open esports platform, and as such, we have huge communities of players from the Triple-A and leading esports titles, but that does not mean we shun other games or communities, quite the contrary actually!
We have always had a down-to-earth approach about smaller and indie games, in that they might just be the next phenomenon, and bring something new to the table.
As such, we strongly believe that all games that want to go competitive deserve their spot on the platform and we want to make everything we can to make them feel at home. This way, they will have access to all the features that enable a great competitive environment.

We regularly add new games, big and indie, on the platform, and part of our latest batch was Ultimate Chicken Horse by Clever Endeavour Games, an indie party game that wanted to provide their community with tools to organize their competitions and tournaments.

Ultimate Chicken Horse is a party game in which you place traps on the level, and try to reach the finish line before your opponents

Some of our community members there were already running fan tournaments, and ever since we’ve been meaning to help them do so by providing our support as well as the right tools to make their lives easier.
Due to the free-for-all design of our game, we needed a platform that integrates the 1v1v1v1 format for tournaments. We’re also excited about Toornament TV, because we have seen a lot of demand for the streaming of tournament matches.

Genevieve Leblanc, Clever Endeavour Community Manager

So we worked together, and added their game as a discipline on Toornament, for everyone to be able to organize tournaments, from the evening friend-gathering to official events.

Ultimate Chicken Horse on Toornament

We’re looking forward to seeing the events that the competitive part of our community will organize on Toornament, and hoping to see that community grow more thanks to the platform! This promises to be a big step towards better organization and sharing potential. We don’t have specific plans yet as organizers, but we’re hopeful that this will allow us to feel like Clever Endeavour can take a more official role in running tournaments before long.
Genevieve Leblanc, Clever Endeavour Community Manager

We want to welcome the Ultimate Chicken Horse community on Toornament, and we are also eager to see what they come up with!
If you want your game to also get added to Toornament, for your players to enjoy our features, feel free to contact us!

The most comprehensive tournament engine

The structure is an important part of any successful tournament, an essential element that will keep the players and audience invested in the competition, through progress, twists and storytelling. And in this respect, having a choice when selecting the structure best suited to the situation is key. That is why we took on building a comprehensive tournament engine that handles a lot of different tournament structures, adjustable and complementary.
Our structures are split into two categories, the ones for Duel matches, and those designed for Free-for-all matches:

Structures for Duel matches

The Duel structures, built around matches involving two participants, are the most common, just like in regular sports. Either two players or two teams will face off, in an organized series of match, some with elimination involved, some without. There are four bracket-based structures, and three ranking-based ones available on Toornament:

  • Single or Double-Elimination Brackets, Bracket Groups and Gauntlets
  • Round-Robin Groups, Leagues and Swiss Systems

All structures come with advanced seeding options (ability to manually create matches in a league, or switch participants in a Double-Elimination loser’s bracket) and match format customization (to have your matches played in Best-of 1, semifinals in Best-of 3 and grand finals in Best-of 5 if need be).

Structures for Free-for-All matches

With the advent of the Battle Royale genre, we had to come up with solutions for organizers to smoothly organize their competitions, with tools built with this new way to compete in mind. Up to 100 players per game, matches spanning a dozen of games, results based on in-game rank and kills? All of this is covered in our FFA Structures, that come in 3 variants:

  • Simple Stage, to create matches at will, for all purposes
  • Single-Elimination FFA Bracket, built with the same logic as its Duel counterpart, but on another scale entirely
  • FFA Bracket Groups, for when you have so many players you need to have them split into groups

These structures work conjointly with an advanced match format built to accommodate the Battle Royale features, among others.

So if you plan to organize an esports event, and are looking for the best structure, here is the Structure Guide you need to read to take your pick!

APEX Legends – The latest Battle Royale sensation!

It is hard to believe you would not have heard about Apex Legends, but just in case, it is the latest Battle Royale released by Electronic Arts and developed by Respawn, the creators of the Titanfall series. It’s fast-paced, brutal and seems to have understood everything a Battle Royale must be and do to succeed.

The post-launch numbers are quite eloquent:

Apex Stats

And the first weekend saw a peak concurrent players at more than 2 Million players, and almost 500,000 viewers on Twitch. Needless to say, the launch has been a huge success, and we felt it on Toornament too, with a lot of Apex Legends Tournaments created since the release of the game!

Official tournaments have also started, with the first Twitch Rivals on Apex Legends having been held earlier this month, with European and North American teams challenging each other to a points race during an evening:

So if you want to join the hype train, gather two of your friends and drop in King’s Canyon with your powers and weapons to claim the victory! And if you have the soul of an organizer, we have the perfect guide to help you organize your Apex Legends tournament!

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!

Run your friendly tournaments through Toornament

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!