Wargaming’s new naval game is only in beta, but it’s shaping up to be an incredible spectator sport.
World of Tanks has gone from a small hard-core tank simulation enjoyed by those who love the tiniest details on Panzers and M3s to one of the biggest eSports in the world, with a Grand Final that brings in millions of viewers and offers hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money.
Never a studio to rest on its laurels though, World of Tanks developer Wargaming.net is working on a new game, World of Warships. Despite its very early closed beta state it’s already shaping up to join World of Tanks on the major eSports stage: here’s why.
eSports support from Wargaming
World of Tanks was never originally developed to be an eSports title, according to multiple sources at Wargaming. The team were just creating a game they wanted to make; it was the community’s desire to form a large eSports scene around the game that lead Wargaming to set up the Wargaming.net League. Already, the same thing appears to be happening with World of Warships, it is still early in development and Wargaming have said that at this moment they are not developing Warships to be an eSports game – but the community is already starting to call for competitive World of Warships events and dedicated support for competitions, as shown by the fan support for the handful of minor online tournaments that have already taken place, featuring teams such as Seal See Kätzchen and PS-PS-PS.
As the community is already calling for competition it is difficult to see Wargaming not supporting World of Warships as an eSport. However now it has the experience of running the World of Tanks competitions and hosting multiple large-scale events; hopefully it can avoid many of the teething problems it faced first time around.
Potential for massive plays
One of the best parts of watching any eSport is when a pro players manages to pull off something amazing, whether it be a 1v5 clutch in CS:GO, a perfect five man black hole in Dota or wiping out an opponent in a single turn with one health left in Hearthstone. It’s these moments that makes everyone’s jaw drop in awe, and makes people shout and scream at their screens. Fortunately World of Warships has the potential for these types of plays to happen on a regular basis.
Actually hitting an enemy with the majority of weapons on offer in Warships is quite difficult, especially at range. It can take time for your guns to get into position and if your enemy is moving at the same time it becomes very difficult to line up a shot, even more so when using things such as torpedoes. But there’s still the opportunity for lucky strikes, like a half court lob thrown to beat the buzzer: that sort of spectacle is what eSports is meant for. It’s an unlikely but not rare occurrence in closed beta – we can already hear the noise the crowd makes when an eSports organisation pulls off a hit like that in 1v1 from across the map for the first time in competitive play.
High skill level
World of Warships is not about reflexes, but making lots of calculations, and quickly. You have to consider your position, the enemy’s position, how fast they are moving and what the distance is between the two of you all within a very short time frame. This means that the skill level in Warships is incredibly high, as it’s not only difficult to hit others, but a missed shot could give the opposition a lot of information and could potentially turn a close game.
Being able to watch those who operate on another tactical level is another draw to eSports. World of Warships seems to have the right balance of easy to pick up and play, yet incredibly difficult to master, even at this early stage of development.
Lots of possibilities for crazy strategies