Posted by Jesse Wilkes on Sep 13, 2012

No Love For First Person Shooters In eSports


The first person shooter is the ultimate example of competitive tendency in video games. Your goal, as it were, is to kill the other guy before he can kill you, utilizing skill, twitch-hair-trigger reflexes, and a broad understanding of the mechanics of the game to assist you. So why is it that a genre so pure in competition and skill, is so lacking on professional gaming circuits? As of 2012, the only remaining first person shooter on major professional circuits is Counter-Strike, in varying magnitudes. Halo, Call of Duty, Quake, and many other formerly prominent shooters in eSports are, as of now, fallen by the wayside.

Major complaints that have been leveled against competitive shooters, some of them more valid than others, include its problems with its ability to be broadcasted, as frequently shoutcasters and commentators are limited to one point of view. As well, large FPS games are more often than not, absent of the presenting and competition tools that other genres have. Strategy, and a focus on increasingly slower and more cohesive gameplay has been the trending standard in esports as of late. Exemplified in StarCraft, League of Legends, and Defense of the Ancients, professional gaming has become a very tactical enterprise, especially when you compare it to its roots in the frenetic gunplay of Quake.

There is hope however, for esports and first person shooters in the near future. As has been confirmed by Major League Gaming, Halo is set to return to the professional circuit in the form of Halo 4, which hits store shelves November 6, 2012. As well, Black Ops II has done a considerable amount of renovating to its Theater Mode, and is introducing a plethora of features, tailor-made to accommodate eSports. Included in these features is the ability to shoutcast, or “CODcast” in Call of Duty vocabulary, matches. As well, Black Ops II’s new ranking system is based around leagues, something StarCraft II players will be very familiar with. Hopefully these changes can make organizations like MLG much more willing to accept Call of Duty and other FPS’s, back within its ranks.

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