Since the release of Teamfight Tactics in June, players have been calling for Riot Games to provide support for a competitive scene.
With the tremendous success of League of Legends as an esport, it seems as though Riot Games, too, are interested in making it happen.
In September, Riot released a Teamfight Tactics update that detailed plans for a competitive Teamfight Tactics scene.
“I don’t want to spoil everything, but I will say that we’re committing to building a competitive scene for TFT starting in 2020,” the update stated.
“The hunger is definitely there—the proportion of ranked to normal games of TFT is 4:1, and the mode is incredibly resonant in some of our most competitive regions like Korea. We want to provide an experience worthy of the players that have dedicated themselves to being the best in the world.”
Teamfight Tactics already ticks a lot of the boxes that are required for a competitive scene to develop. The game mode now has more than 33 million monthly players and the game is prevalent in Korea, where professional gaming is commonplace.
However, according to William “scarra” Li, now a full-time streamer, there are many concerns and challenges that Riot needs to address before the game’s esports scene can truly succeed.
During a recent Twitch livestream, Scarra was asked why Riot isn’t pushing the Teamfight Tactics esports scene.
“Probably because it’s really hard to do that,” Scarra said.
“Really think about it. Think about TFT esports. First of all, would you even enjoy watching TFT esports? Secondly, even if there was potential, how do you watch TFT esports without spectator mode? Do you want me to tap through people’s streams like ‘wow, I wonder what this guy is looking at?'”
“You need a specific type of viewer mode to try and encourage the esport, in my opinion.”
Scarra’s concerns proved to be on the money.
Viewers of this week’s Red Bull Rise of the Elements Invitational have criticized the presentation and format of the tournament.
Reddit user cryptoracer noted that the tournament broadcast didn’t follow the players who were performing admirably and that viewers were, therefore, not able to keep up with the strategies and tactics that the winning players were employing.
Another Reddit user, airz23s_coffee, shared that they preferred watching the tournament from a player’s perspective – in this case, Scarra.
Further to the broadcast challenges at hand, Scarra also shared his suggested format for competitive play, hinting that Teamfight Tactics should move away from the traditional free-for-all mode with eight players.
“What does TFT esports even look like, actually?” Scarra said during the livestream.
“Is it a 2v2, is it a 1v1? 4v4? A lot of questions need to be answered.”
“4v4 could be interesting. I think 2v2v2 is cool, but I think that 4v4 is actually possible.”