Esports Gets Local With Facebook's New DIY Tournament Tool

from the beer-eleague dept

The evolution of esports has been in progress for some time now. Once met with chuckles and the rolling of eyes, now esports is big business. We’ve seen esports hit certain checkpoints on its way to full legitimacy, from college scholarships, to leagues run by IRL professional sports organizations, all the way up to having esports tournaments broadcast by the likes of ESPN.

But part of what makes professional sports fun, and what would represent the next step in the growth of esports, would be to see play start to occur at the non-professional and local level. Facebook looks to be trying to bring that very thing about with a new platform for do-it-yourself esports tournaments.

Today, Facebook Gaming is launching Tournaments, a new feature that lets users create, join or follow virtual game tournaments. The tool offers everything from registration to seeding, bracket management and score entry. You can host single elimination, double elimination or round robin tournaments, and best of all, it’s open to anyone.

Facebook says it’s meant to be a “one-stop shop for everything critically important for tournament organizers.” It should also offer better discovery for tournament participants, and provide developers and communities with an easy way to connect. Creators can host tournaments while streaming, and the feature includes new charity tools that let creators fundraise for important causes.

Now, this is Facebook, so we all need to be wary of this entire thing morphing into some advertisement-wrapped, data-slurping nightmare rather than what it should be: the digital equivalent of beer league softball. If that is in fact what Tournaments becomes, you might start to see a much wider number of people adopt esports as a hobby, which will directly feedback into the interest of professional esports leagues. That is exactly how it works with baseball, golf, and other sports: you play the game as a kid or as an amateur, and it makes you appreciate the skill of the professionals all the more.

It’s also worth noting that, whether by mistake or design, Facebook is managing to announce Tournaments at the perfect moment in history.

The product isn’t quite complete, but Facebook recognizes that gaming is one way people can stay connected, safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, so it is opening early access to Tournaments. You can test it out beginning today at https://www.facebook.com/gaming/tournaments.

While Twitch still dominates the game streaming market, Facebook Gaming is on the rise. By the end of last year, the platform had an 8.5 percent market share, and it saw a 210 percent increase in monthly viewership year-over-year. The Tournaments feature could help Facebook Gaming standout a bit more.

With all of the social media connections, there is some ease in using Facebook to run your own esports tourneys as well. Again, we’ll have to see just how good Facebook’s execution on all of this is, but a good platform for DIY esports can only drive it further into the mainstream.

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Companies: facebook

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Comments on “Esports Gets Local With Facebook's New DIY Tournament Tool”

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13 Comments
Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Comeuppance coming.

Not that I would participate in, or watch, or even follow esports of any kind, the fact remains that esports are not sports. Yes there is probably skill involved, it still isn’t the same thing as the sport being replicated. So it will be interesting when (not if) some basement dwelling gnome takes on a real sport legend in an esport tournament and cleans their clock. Oh, the horror. All that ego and testosterone going down the drain.

I fully expect the reports to be widespread and hard to miss the headlines, but eager to hear Mr. Geigner’s take on the situation when it happens.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Comeuppance coming.

Hey I know you, you’re a leftie, aren’t you? How are you feeling about the leftie agenda right now? I read that 89% of surveyed Americans are vehemently against open borders, and that the primary supporters of open source are the Chinese, which everybody knows lie about pretty much everything. Trump’s support continues to grow, and Biden still doesn’t know what state he’s in. Abortions have been outlawed, UBI is a joke, Sanders supporters have been ordered to support sleepy joe, which they will never do.

It’s all kind of falling apart, Hollywood, sports, academia’s stranglehold on the youth, the communism behind open source, isn’t it? How are you lefties holding up during the populist Trump revolution?

It’s a great day to be a Trump supporter, that’s for sure.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Comeuppance coming.

Well, I have given up on regular sports, especially the professional kind. That has drifted to include college sports as well as olympic sports (I refuse to capitalize that anymore). That attitude grew over time as the games became more and more about money than sport. I worry about the impending encroachment on high school sports.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Comeuppance coming.

Be that as it may, I was merely saying that you seem to be under the impression that esports have something to do with replicating physical sports, which very few of them do.

Unless you can show me where you can play DOTA2, Overwatch, League Of Legends or Fortnite (to name just a few of the biggest titles) in a physical arena, you are rather wrong in that impression. I can understand you still not liking that kind of tournament, but you should get the fundamentals of what you’re complaining about correct first.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Comeuppance coming.

My impression is that esports is the digital replication of regular sports such as basketball, football (both kinds), NASCAR or F1 racing (if those are categorized as sports), baseball, golf, etc., and the skills I think are prevalent in those have to do with thumb/finger/mouse speed and hand eye coordination, but have nothing to do with running, throwing, kicking, catching, bunting, hook shots, or endurance, etc.

Now I am unfamiliar with the games you listed, but they don’t sound like sports to me. They may be part of tournaments that show up on esports channels, but since I haven’t, don’t, and won’t look in on those, that mystery shall remain a mystery to me. Maybe the issue is that digital tournaments and esports have become conflated?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Comeuppance coming.

"My impression is that esports is the digital replication of regular sports "

Then you are completely wrong. Esports refers to tournament gameplay of digital games, most of which are unrelated to any physical sport.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esports

"Now I am unfamiliar with the games you listed, but they don’t sound like sports to me."

That is your opinion, but you could have the courtesy of actually looking into what you’re complaining about before doing so. For what its worth, games such as chess are also classed as sports in a tournament setting, although there’s always going to be controversy when the most common use of the term refers to physical activity (which is obviously not all it refers to when you look at all sport types).

"Maybe the issue is that digital tournaments and esports have become conflated?"

No, the issue is that some people look at the term esports and make random assumptions about what it actually means rather than doing the most basic cursory research. The term has always referred to the type of tournament you are dismissing, as far as I’m aware.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Comeuppance coming.

Sorry, I feel no need to apologize for not caring about video game tournaments. If they wanted to be clear the could have called them etournaments rather than esports. As to chess being a sport, I don’t think of it as a sport, and for the reason you mentioned.

Don’t get me wrong, I play video games. Well some. But I am not vested in them in any big way, and I don’t compete, except against myself. So I am not anti video games, nor am I anti video game tournaments. The thing that got me was when people from the professional sports world got into playing the video game versions because they could no longer compete in person due to social distancing, and the thought they could compete against more practiced video gamers, it just felt very wrong.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Comeuppance coming.

"Sorry, I feel no need to apologize for not caring about video game tournaments."

I’m not asking you to. However, if you’re going to make random assumptions about a subject about which you know nothing and go on a tirade about them before doing even the most cursory look at the wiki for the term, that’s something you might need to improve upon.

"The thing that got me was when people from the professional sports world got into playing the video game versions because they could no longer compete in person due to social distancing, and the thought they could compete against more practiced video gamers, it just felt very wrong."

But, that has nothing to do with esports at all. I think you’re referring to a few random stunts recently where out of action sports stars have been roped into some games because they can’t play as normal right now, but that’s a very different thing.

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