Okay, this is actually a very awesome picture created just for promotional purposes. BioWare, more of these would be absolutely lovely.
If you've been keeping any sort of eye on the gaming world, you should have heard of "eSports". These are internet tournaments which focus on a vast myriad of games, League of Legends and StarCraft II being among the most prominent.
Star Wars: The Old Republic has stayed away from any such events until now; BioWare have revealed that they are, by partnering with ESL, hosting the very first official SWTOR tournament: "Operation Victory". This particular venture will require players to complete both Operations in 8-man Story Mode within Shadow of Revan, and the fastest completion time for both will denote the winners. Prizes will be cash and exclusive in-game items, although specifics are as-of-yet unknown.
Obviously, some queries and questions have arisen. Mainly: this is a solely PvE-orientated tournament, so will the PvPers eventually get one as well?
I would like to think so, to be honest. Seeing "exclusive in-game items" really made me think that this was the PvE equivalent to Ranked PvP - although, as Season 4 is the first Season to actually yield truly unique cosmetics in terms of design and no Ranked Season has ever rewarded cash prizes, you could argue that this comparison isn't truly fair to begin with. Additionally, this tournament obviously panders to the PvE servers. Yes, PvP servers may have their hardcore raiding guilds, but servers like the Harbinger for the US and the Red Eclipse for Europe will easily be the strongest contenders for this tournament. Therefore, a similar PvP tournament pandering more to the PvP servers seems incredibly likely to me.
I'm sure that BioWare will be looking at this tournament's results with great interest. Not only because they can gauge just how successful the players of the game have the capacity to be - although quality of gear will play a phenomenal role in that unless the second heat involves Hard Mode - but they can also predict the success of similar future tournaments.
Will they be as big as other games' tournaments? I sincerely doubt it. That said, it is interesting to see their branching out in this way, and I await the results - and what else may come - with piqued curiosity.
How do you guys feel about this? Dissatisfied? Apathetic? Enthused? Or none of the preceding?
EDIT: Since this announcement last Monday, BioWare have only just one week later announced that they are, in fact, cancelling the event, due to the bugs surrounding the Coratanni encounter, among other things. Curiously, one of the things they highlighted in a follow-up post was that there is apparently a disparity between the amount of players in Temple of Sacrifice compared to those clearing Ravagers. That Underlurker fight is clearly more harmful than it seems...