Welcome to eSports Weekly, your wrap on the most interesting eSports news of the past week…

logo_bigYou may have noticed the release of Civilization VI last week amongst all the talk of Battlefield 1. What you may not have noticed was an announcement by Team Liquid of their own Civ VI team. Surprised? Maybe a little.

In the announcement made on their official website, Team Liquid officially unveiled the first member of their Civ VI professional team, with long time competitive Civ player Stephen “MrGameTheory” Takowsky confirmed as team captain. A current member of Team Liquid’s Clash Royale team, MrGameTheory is considered one of the best Civ players around, a winner of numerous titles and called a ‘God’ of Civilization by many his followers. Team Liquid are hoping that forming the team ahead of a professional league will push the game into the limelight and build a new scene in the process.

The strategic depth required in Civilization is beyond compare. Many feel the game is simply too complicated to break into esports. However, as the gaming community evolves, we are witnessing the rise of elite gamers yearning to display the true level of their skill. Civilization provides the perfect platform for players to showcase their gaming intellect and we feel that Firaxis is on the cusp of bringing the franchise to a competitive esports level. It is inevitable that Civilization will take its place alongside the top esports in the world.

– Team Liquid

TL will be running their own competitions to determine new members, with two new members to be confirmed in early November, though whether other eSports teams jump in on the action is uncertain.

Developers Firaxis have been pushing multiplayer live streams during the opening few days of the game’s launch. Strategy games do make the best kind of eSports, and the advantage with the Civ series rests on the endless customisation options for multiplayer games, making each round as long or as short as necessary. As a Civ player myself, I’m keen to see what happens next, and hopefully Firaxis and 2K will jump on in … though I’ll have to polish my skills in the meantime. If you think you’ve got what it takes to be a pro Civ player, keep a close watch on Team Liquid as they announce further details.

In a different kind of strategy, Blizzard has confirmed a future full of professional Overwatch tournaments. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick confirmed during the recent Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in San Francisco that the company is working on a Pro Overwatch league.

We’re organizing around teams and leagues. You will have the Overwatch league which will have a certain number of teams. Those teams will be a combination of professional sports teams as owners and endemic sports teams as owners.

– Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick

Kotick also suggested that there may be a fee attached for professional broadcasters to stream or present future Overwatch competition play, suggesting that Blizzard themselves will handle the telecasts themselves in-house. That itself is just speculation, considering the hand many other leagues and organisations already have in producing Overwatch based content.

Our future could also soon be filled with a professional Splatoon league, if the recent Nintendo Switch reveal is anything to go by. The company used their new console trailer announcement to tease a possible future of sold out stadiums and professional eSports teams playing what appears to be an upgraded version of the breakout Wii U IP. Whether such league will ever come to fruition is anyone’s guess, but at the very least we should expect Nintendo to put a greater emphasis towards the growth of eSports in its products. We’ve already seen the big N work closely in bringing Super Smash Bros. to major tournaments, whilst Mario Kart has always been a competitors dream. It would be surprising if Nintendo didn’t back the scene heavily, though questions remain as to how easily the Switch will handle online tournament play compared to the trailer’s depiction of local multiplayer. Thank God for that pro controller, though.


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