Teamfight Tactics: everything that emerged at the Alicante World Cup

Teamfight Tactics: everything that emerged at the Alicante World Cup

Teamfight Tactics

Teamfight Tactics isn't mom's favorite son Riot Games but, if the World Cup just held in Alicante has taught us anything, things are about to change. We flew to Spain to see behind the scenes of the competition to understand the present, but above all the future, of TFT esports because there are many new things to come.

Unfortunately, the Dragonlands World Cup (the last set before the new Monsters Attack) did not take place with the players in presence but online, a choice that we did not fully understand. That didn't stop Riot Games from filling an entire television studio in the hills of Alicante with a 500+ square meter set to accommodate casters and analysts.

In this special on the Teamfight Tactics Worlds, however, they we will only talk about the competition because on the sidelines of the event we were able to meet with those in Riot Games who are in charge of the sporting future of the game. We had to read between the lines, but the developer's intent is clear and definitely at odds with the way it has handled competitions up until now.

Clash of strategists

Here is the team of casters and analysts from all over the world who commented and analyzed the Teamfight Tactics World Cup TFT is not a MOBA and it is not a cardgame but a brilliant mix of the two. The genre to which it belongs, that of auto-chess, explains its charm very well: living the fantasy of playing with chessmen that come alive and fight to the last piece. Witnessing the clash between the best players in the world reconfirmed the power of this export which over the course of 3 days of competitions elected its world champion. 32 players from all over the world (5 from Europe, one of the most represented regions) competed against a new points system (8 for first place, 7 for second and so on). The first two days of battles saw a total of 10 matches where players, divided into 4 lobbies, battled it out to rack up as many points as possible. On the third day the top 8 classified played the final which used the new check system.

After resetting the score of the previous days, the first of the 8 finalists to have accumulated 18 points put the others in check, from here a single victory would have been enough for him to be crowned world champion. It took five games but in the end, confirming the trend of the first two days that saw Chinese players dominate the rankings, it was XunGe who took home the title of world champion and 150,000 of the 456,000 dollars in prize money. The win was sadly slightly anti-climactic as the winner was on stage in China when he became world champion and the distance between casters, announcers and players was felt at the time. Michael Sherman Global Esports Manager of TFT, wanted to reassure the fans regarding this aspect: "We are actively exploring options to create physical events because we know that our fans want them - he said - We are not yet ready to bring the players in LAN but we can tell you that there will be events in person".

“We will press the reset text”

XunGe is the new World Champion of Teamfight Tactics Despite the relative success of this world, which had 18,000 average viewers on the official stream, Teamfight Tactics is at a crossroads that will determine its sporting future. Six months ago, when Michael Sherman accepted the role of Global Esports Manager of TFT, he did it on one condition: "be able to press the reset button. We have rethought our mission with the aim of making TFT competitions even more accessible so that's going to be one of the pillars we build on." Once the entry barrier given by the game structure and the many icons has been overcome, Teamfight Tactics becomes a game that is as relaxing as it is competitive and in this uniqueness Riot wants to go and build a niche of passionate players.

"In China - continues Sherman - there is an open tournament in which tens of thousands of players can participate; it is something that we like and that could also come from us. This is what I mean when I say that i want to take the best of each region to bring it to the global stage.2023 will be year 1 of TFT esports but it will not be a year of radical change, take Valorant esport for example, only next year will be in its final form and the game was released in 2018. Teamfight Tactics now begins its export evolution which will be completed in the next 2/3 years. TFT was very easy to develop, it took us 5 months, while to make Valorant it took us 5 We've always thought about esports when building it, but we're still dealing with the consequences of getting to the market so quickly."

A question of identity

The big stage built by Riot Games and GGTEch to host the Teamfight Tac World Championships tics Two things particularly struck us when we analyzed Teamfight Tactics more deeply on the occasion of these world championships: the first is that the competitive mode is the most played of the title and the second is the support that Riot is giving to the co-stream system. Being an individual game, following a content creator is much more intuitive than following a broadcast where 8 matches are played at the same time. For this reason, the collaborations and transmissions of individual players / content creators will be a fundamental part of the new course of TFT. The problem, however, is more of an identity than an organizational one because very different ways of experiencing the competitive side of Riot's auto-chess have arisen in the world.

"We immediately asked ourselves - continues Sherman - 'how do we create a clear identity for TFT esports?' Going in a homogeneous, global and compliant direction is not the right path in my opinion. We want to make these competitions more popular, sure, but we have to have specific expectations for each region. When we look at the players we understand how accessible the game is by the fact that the ranked matches are the most used mode, unique in our portfolio. We want to make sure that the ecosystem is true to everything in Teamfight Tactics that motivates players to compete and improve. To realize this vision we need more people but before we hire them we need to understand in which areas we need specific experience".

An esport for players rather than spectators

Michael Sherman, center, Global Esports Manager of TFT, talks about the future of 'esport The solution Riot is working on is to make Teamfight Tactics an esport for players, rather than for spectators, taking advantage of the accessibility of the ranked mode and a new si competition management system. We have not had direct confirmations but, as they will for Valorant, it is likely that we will see an "in client" tournament organization system or directly in the game menu. From this point of view, all the pieces presented so far align: widespread ecosystem, low entry barrier, content creators to familiarize yourself with and, at the top of the pyramid, top-level competitions which, for the most dedicated, are accessible. If Riot embraces this truly grassroots approach (therefore linked to the player and fan base) the competitive video game industry can only come out of it more solid.

Regarding the sustainability of these grand plans, Sherman stressed that "our priority is engagement, not revenue, we don't want to spend our time stiffing ourselves like we did with League because partners they put barriers and limits. Everything becomes more packed into operations and to change things you have to involve more stakeholders. Now our first focus is not partners and as Riot we can afford this move. I am happy with the path TFT is on, when I have accepted this role I said to myself 'my intervention cannot be adjustments, it is necessary to rebuild and my goal is to revolutionize what people think of TFT eSports".

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