How To Increase WoT Esports Interest

Source: Redditor shutupshake

What is holding WoT back?

WG seems increasingly interested in promoting WoT as a viable eSports game. Unfortunately, WoT has a few huge barriers it must overcome to match the success of games like CS:GO/DoTA/LoL.
1. The general server population plays a different game than the eSports version:
Competitive tanks comes in the form of the 7/68 Attack/Defense mode. If I said that sentence to a rando they probably wouldn’t understand me. Not only is it 7 v 7 instead of 15 v 15, but it has specific composition restrictions and a map mode that isn’t in the random pubs. I don’t think your average Joe playing pubs would immediately understand what’s going on in a competitive tanks match. It’s just so foreign to the normal game. The random queue matches a pub plays in DoTA/CS:GO are pretty much the same match formats a pro plays at a LAN tourney. A DoTA pub can understand what is going on in eSports matches and can even apply things they learn to their own pub matches.
2. To access the competitive side of tanks, the general server population has to grind a significant amount of endgame content:
If I tell my friend that I play competitive tanks, they might say: “cool, can I try it out with you?” Invariably, I have to say no because they don’t have the tanks to even try anything near the competitive side of tanks. eSports tanks are now primarily tier 10. The amount of time and effort to grind these tanks just to try them out is asking a lot of the general server population. Let alone building a whole stable of tanks worthy of competing with: Hours and hours of gameplay. And if they don’t buy premium time/tanks, it gets exponentially worse. How can a random pubbie get excited about eSports tanks if the tanks themselves are essentially out of reach? This isn’t so in other eSports games. DoTA comes with everything from the start. CS:GO is similar. LoL at least gives players access to a rotation of heroes from the start.

So what can be done about these barriers? I am proposing a solution to both problems:

Allow players to buy a WoT eSports Pass that gives them instant access to a rotation of competitive tanks that can only be played in the Team Battles mode

For a nominal price, anyone can instantly have something like 3 competitive tanks in their garage with 100% crews. Some sort of mix like an Object 140, T110E5, and RU 251. This stable of tanks changes periodically and they don’t keep the crews. This helps solve problem #2 because it allows any player access to the endgame content needed to at least try a competitive form of WoT. The fact that the stable changes periodically will broaden their exposure to the content and motivate them to grind the ones they like in the actual F2P game. This would not be new to WG. They did a similar thing for the Rampage game mode in that they gave all accounts access to tier 10 tanks that were restricted to just the Rampage mode. Also, this is not unlike the rotating heroes available in LoL.
Restricting these tanks to only Team Battles helps solve problem #1 because it encourages the general server population to play a mode that is at least close to the eSports format. Obviously WG would have to update the mode to match the 7/68 format. They could simplify the MM by making it 7/70 and avoid holdups waiting for tier 8s to ready up. MM could even work like LoL where you ready up your tank before joining a team. Regardless, the Team Battle mode is the link between the regular game and the competitive game. WG could find a way to make it work. If you can get the general server population to play a mode close of the eSports mode, they will naturally understand the eSport itself. This will motivate them to grind the actual tanks and form competitive teams like the pros.
Overall, I think this is a win-win for everyone:

  1. It costs money, which WG likes. The price would of course need to be reasonable, $20-30.
  2. It gives anyone access to the competitive aspect of tanks.
  3. It encourages people to watch league and consume content, which WG likes.
  4. It motivates people to play the F2P game and potentially spend more money, which WG likes.

If something like this is implemented, I could at least answer my friend with a “Sure, buy this Pass for $X and we can play right now.”