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!