Teamfight Tactics has been out for a few weeks now and has proven to be an overwhelming success with the player base. Looking back, there hasn’t been this much excitement surrounding a game mode since the initial release of URF. However, unlike URF, Riot appears to be pushing competitive elements towards TFT, with the upcoming ranked mode release. With this in mind, could TFT develop its own esports scene?

Will people watch?

First things first, for an esports scene to develop there must be an audience to watch, but does TFT have this? The answer is yes. Since the release of the game mode on the 26th of June, streamers and content creators have amassed a large audience hungry for TFT content. The mode has retained a top spot on Twitch’s most viewed games since it’s release and peaks at around 100k viewers each day. Small competitions have already been set up between streamers, drawing in a significant number of viewers. However, a big announcement was made on the 1st of July by Twitch Rivals. They will be hosting a $125,000 tournament on July 18th for 64 Twitch streamers. This may the perfect event to spark the beginning of TFT’s competitive scene.

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A competitive game mode

In order for TFT to develop an esports scene, a competitive aspect must be established in the game. Riot knows this and has already introduced a ranked system to the PBE game environment for testing. Ranked is due to be introduced on July 17th, the day of the upcoming patch. The first season has been named the ‘Beta Season’ and will last around 3 months. A ranked mode is important as it gives players a goal to strive towards and a measurement of their skill in comparison to others. It will also highlight the best players and begin building hype for their performance at upcoming events.

 

Development and Updates

Although TFT has had a successful launch, Riot has to push frequent updates into the game to keep it interesting and retain the hype. A meta has already been established with the best compositions now known and widely utilised. Riot must expand the pool of viable compositions for competitive play or the same strategy will be taken by every player. A number of options and strategies will provide a significantly better viewer experience. Moreover, as the game is in beta, issues with balancing and bugs are expected. Nonetheless, such issues need to be ironed out and fixed. An example being the RNG of item drops and players dependence on them for victory. Riot has acknowledged these issues and a developer has stated they are working on a solution. It is obvious Riot is pushing TFT as a competitive game and hope to create a game mode people want to watch.

TFT is proving to be one of Riot’s most successful game modes outside of Summoner’s Rift to date. Streamer’s and content creators have shown there is certainly an audience to cater an esports scene towards. Riot seems to be pushing the game in the right direction for a thriving competitive scene, with events like Twitch Rivals kickstarting the competition. Let us just hope the hype around TFT continues and more competitive events are on the horizon.