Titanfall rising within ESL’s leagues

One of the most anticipated announcements of E3 2013, Titanfall really fascinated the audience. However, could it meet expectations? 700,000 copies around the globe were sold for the Xbox One within the first week of release, but eSports fans have experience some initial disappointment as there’s not been an opportunity to play the game competitively due to the lack of private lobbies with customizable settings.

Titanfall within ESL

It was up to Respawn Entertainment and publisher EA Sports to rectify this problem. And so they did, and pretty fast, too. April the 10th 2014 saw the private lobbies beta and subsequent hype for the eSports community, something that clearly showed on ESL Play as the first two announcements resulted in 145 comments with users debating all sort of game-specific aspects.

Following that, the admin staff decided to host a community meeting in order to create an initial ruleset for test cups. This turned out to become one of the biggest community meetings ever held on ESL, with more than 50 players participating and debating. In the wake of two test cups and a number of interesting discussions on the forums, a final version of the rules is now live for the ladders and upcoming cups. 

Two sides of the same community

It’s no big surprise that the Titanfall community consists of players who have switched from games like Call of Duty or Battlefield in order to try out a completely new type of FPS, which Titanfall definitely is. It offers a unique fast-path and simultaneously strategic ingame experience that needs perfect communication and timing for success.

Nevertheless, the community is currently split in two. One side prefers to play Hardpoint due it being a lot more fast-paced. Furthermore, teams need to coordinate a lot more by having to care for three Hardpoints at the same time. The other side, however, favours Capture the Flag (CTF). Many regard CTF as more competitive what with it being one of the most popular game modes in several eSport FPS titles – communication and teamplay have to be on point throughout the entire match if you want to come out on top.

As both camps are not really willing to play the other game mode, there are currently two ladders running on ESL, which unfortunately divides one big community in two smaller ones.

Are the incoming updates going to make Titanfall a true eSports title?

A solution could come in the form of a major event, with EA and Respawn pushing the community in the direction they deem best. If the two were to host a major event as well, this might lead to several pro teams from Battlefield or Call of Duty moving to Titanfall. The game itself has the potential to become a high-value eSports title if there are things to offer in terms of events and prizes for online tournaments. If the game seems attractive to a big part of the community, you won’t need to wait long until you see organisations like Fnatic, Epsilon or MYM bringing up their own teams, which will in turn boost Titanfall’s profile once more. 

This move towards the eSports scene does not seem as unlikely as it once did, with Respawn doing a lot of work on the potential competitiveness of their first game. Just a few days ago, the beta for customisable in-game settings for private lobbies was launched, and will be completed in the coming weeks. Furthermore, a spectator mode was announced a few weeks ago, making it even more likely that EA is planning to push eSports for Titanfall as they do for Battlefield in order to outplay their biggest competitors Call of Duty and Destiny when Activison launches it in September.

Do you agree about the eSports potential of Titanfall or is it already too late to make the step into the competitive world? Let us know below.

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