Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham's Comic-Con trailer is so good that you can forgive the duck murder

ESPN "delighted" by Dota 2 viewing figures; expect more eSports coverage in the future

Start building early: Landmark is on sale for the next day

Guild Wars 2

ArenaNet to develop Guild Wars 2 PvP as an eSport, starting with automated tournaments: “We listen to you and we hear what you’re asking for.”

ArenaNet are building an iceberg. They’re building an iceberg, but you’re not allowed to see it. In fact, you won’t see it until a huge update crashes into your Guild Wars 2 client, if I’m making the right sense out of their new blog post on structured PvP.

Bear with me. The gist is that ArenaNet don’t like to announce a thing until it’s really, definitely coming - indeed, many of the features they’re talking about now are already in-game. But somewhere beneath the waves, beyond the tip of the iceberg detailed here, there are long-term plans to develop Guild Wars's 5v5 PvP as a full-blown eSport.

The first step down that route is free automated tournaments, which are already rumbling away quite nicely in-game. Free tournaments are designed to draw in new players with a friendly system for random groups and some nice loot drops. The top four of eight teams in every free tournament are sent away with reward chests, glory, and rank points.

Anybody can join solo and be auto-grouped with other new players - a system designed to gently nudging nervous newcomers in the direction of a more social playstyle.

The idea is that free tournament experience will embolden players enough to jump into paid tournaments, due to arrive in-game imminently, with a pre-gathered team and no small confidence. Entry fee is paid for with in-game tickets, purchasable at the gem store, granted via a rank up, or found in free tournament reward chests. It's worth noting, too, that gems can be bought with proper money, the RL stuff.

Though the risk is greater in paid tournaments, so is the reward - all teams emerge with something, while first and second placed teams emerge not only with glory and rank points, but gems. ArenaNet expect that the very best players will make a profit on gems through PvP.

There’s more planned. In the near future, teams will be able to rent custom arenas - private maps for training in secret or fighting personal grudge matches. Teams can select which maps they want to play on, and customise them to their tastes.

No details yet on how rentals will work, but this is just the first step in ArenaNet’s journey towards deep, accessible, and properly supported small-scale PvP in Guild Wars. Also on the cards are leaderboards, match spectatorship, larger tournaments, and streaming. The eventual aim? Guild Wars as international eSport.

“We listen to you and we hear what you’re asking for. We want to see eSports grow worldwide, and it’s a big part of how we think here at ArenaNet. We design sPvP maps with commentators in mind,” says systems designer Jonathan Sharp.

“We think about streaming and how our game will do on streams when being learned by new players. We watch eSport replays/streams in the office. We watch GW2 gamecasts on Youtube. We think about how people will organize tournaments (small and large) within custom arenas.

“We talk about eSport matches while we’re at lunch. We think about how to best get new players into the game, while also making sure professional players have a way to grow their fame. We think about the best way to show high-level matches to the masses. Really… we just think a lot about eSports. Not just for GW2, but we think about growing eSports around the world.”

Have you tried the free automated tournaments yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Login or Register
Alienware - Game VictoriousNvidia Shield - Titanfall
Guild Wars 2's April Feature Pack will improve the quality of life in Tyria thumbmail

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2's April Feature Pack will improve the quality of life in Tyria

Guild Wars 2 has an Elder Dragon problem in The Dragon's Reach Part 1 thumnnail

Guild Wars 2 has an Elder Dragon problem in The Dragon's Reach Part 1

Gardens Gone Wild: Guild Wars 2's Entanglement update is now live thumnnail

Gardens Gone Wild: Guild Wars 2's Entanglement update is now live

Get out the shears: Guild Wars 2's new Living World episode, Entanglement, blooms on July 15th thumnnail

Get out the shears: Guild Wars 2's new Living World episode, Entanglement, blooms on July 15th

Play the boxset of Guild Wars 2's Living World Season 2 via July's journal feature thumnnail

Play the boxset of Guild Wars 2's Living World Season 2 via July's journal feature

Renewed: Guild Wars 2's second season begins on July 1st thumnnail

Renewed: Guild Wars 2's second season begins on July 1st

Guild Wars 2 to get 40 new traits via first-ever features-only update on April 15 thumbmail

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 to get 40 new traits via first-ever features-only update on April 15

Greatest Hits: Guild Wars 2 revisits the past for Festival of the Four Winds thumnnail

Greatest Hits: Guild Wars 2 revisits the past for Festival of the Four Winds

Guild Wars 2 is 50% off till 11 May thumnnail

Guild Wars 2 is 50% off till 11 May

Guild Wars’ ninth anniversary starts three weeks early because of typo thumnnail

Guild Wars’ ninth anniversary starts three weeks early because of typo

The great Guild Wars 2 gear merger - or the way PvP works now thumnnail

The great Guild Wars 2 gear merger - or the way PvP works now

Better together: ArenaNet spills the beans on how Guild Wars 2's megaservers will affect other features thumnnail

Better together: ArenaNet spills the beans on how Guild Wars 2's megaservers will affect other features

What Guild Wars 2's Edge of the Mists update brings to World versus World thumbmail

Guild Wars 2

What Guild Wars 2's Edge of the Mists update brings to World versus World

Guild Wars 2 megaservers will fill underpopulated maps with players from April 15 thumnnail

Guild Wars 2 megaservers will fill underpopulated maps with players from April 15

Fancy dress: Guild Wars 2's Wardrobe System detailed thumnnail

Fancy dress: Guild Wars 2's Wardrobe System detailed

Guild Wars 2's Scarlet is dead, but her legacy remains in Aftermath thumnnail

Guild Wars 2's Scarlet is dead, but her legacy remains in Aftermath

Closed beta, open for business: Guild Wars 2 comes to China on March 11 thumnnail

Closed beta, open for business: Guild Wars 2 comes to China on March 11

While Lion's Arch burns, ArenaNet fiddles around with an interactive Guild Wars 2 atlas thumnnail

While Lion's Arch burns, ArenaNet fiddles around with an interactive Guild Wars 2 atlas

Origins of Madness: Talking giant wurms and evil puppets with Guild Wars 2's Mike Zadorojny thumbmail

Guild Wars 2

Origins of Madness: Talking giant wurms and evil puppets with Guild Wars 2's Mike Zadorojny

Lion's Arch burns in Guild Wars 2 today thumnnail

Lion's Arch burns in Guild Wars 2 today

Fiscal fumble: Guild Wars 2 isn’t farming as much gold as before for NCSoft thumnnail

Fiscal fumble: Guild Wars 2 isn’t farming as much gold as before for NCSoft

Guild Wars 2's first city comes apart at the seams in February 18's Escape from Lion's Arch thumnnail

Guild Wars 2's first city comes apart at the seams in February 18's Escape from Lion's Arch

Chase Scarlet to the Edge of the Mists in the next Guild Wars 2 update thumnnail

Chase Scarlet to the Edge of the Mists in the next Guild Wars 2 update

Origins of Madness update will

Origins of Madness update will "rock Guild Wars 2 to the core"