We've always believed in the power of Legends as a competitive game. The gameplay is fast-paced and mechanics like Prophecy make matches feel like a back-and-forth battle where the tides could turn at any moment. (Who doesn’t love seeing a Skeletal Dragon being transformed into a Shriveled Mummy before dealing the lethal blow?)
Between our inaugural ESL series and community-run tournaments around the world, we’ve started working on building a bigger and better competitive scene. We also added Gauntlet events as a casual, in-game option for players to try some competitive play. We love all of these things, but we realize they are not a substitute for a more fully-realized tournament scene.
We know you want more, and we do too. Before we get into the vision of what that looks like, we want to talk about two things that must happen for the game we all love to rise to a competitive level:
All successful esports come from an enthusiastic community. As a company we cannot simply declare Legends an esport overnight. The most successful competitive games require a robust community of people who want to grow the game and its merits as a sport.
This means that new player experiences and retention must be abundant, because a community needs a constant influx of new players who are excited about the game, and we want those players to have the best experience possible right from the start. We spent a lot of the latter half of 2017 looking at this experience and we’ll continue to make refinements as we believe it’s important to the overall health of the game and the community.
For those who are already onboard with Legends, we’ve seen great success with fan-run and community-funded tournaments, and you have yourselves to thank for making that possible. We’re thrilled to see these tournaments popping up and we're happy to support them however we can. For those unaware, in 2017 we provided some prize support for smaller tournaments, and in 2018 we plan to drastically increase our monetary support for some of these tournaments, which we hope helps grow the scene and provide incentives for people to participate. But we're still missing something…
All the best games that function as great esports share something in common: an easy-to-follow viewing experience for outsiders and a strong in-game tool set. We have spent a good amount of 2017 evaluating many of these features and are on our way to bringing them into Legends.
We've discussed this in the past, but it’s worth emphasizing again: We want to empower players to organize their own tournaments, including the ability for admins to pair people up, two-player spectator view on delay, and more. The work toward implementing these tools is a huge priority for us, but we aren't quite ready to share a release timeframe or defined feature list. Everyone at Bethesda and Dire Wolf are fans of the competitive scene for all genres of games, so we understand a tool set is something that absolutely needs to be in place to really make the experience.
The Vision for the Future
We continue to work with ESL to make their ongoing Go4 series as high quality as possible. These weekend events have been very successful for both ESL, Bethesda and the community. With your feedback we changed formats, opened up to participants worldwide, adjusted the viewing experience, and more. Entering 2018, we’ll continue Go4ESL, refining and growing it based on your continued support and feedback.
ESL isn’t the only company we’re looking to work with, nor will our online-only weekend events be the only ways players can compete. We are in the midst of conversations with various partners about a fully fleshed out, featured competitive scene.
Our vision of the competitive scene is one where all players can qualify for major and minor events, accumulate points, and then lay everything on the line at one large marquee event. This isn't a small task – it requires time, coordination and support. We expect to start working toward this vision in 2018, but it will not happen overnight. We've been transparent with the game and its development in the past and we'll continue to do that as we move forward with supporting the game on a competitive level.
We believe Legends is a great game. We are committed to making it even better to watch and play competitively, and we can't wait to start building this with the community in 2018.