Turbine’s upcoming DC-universe MOBA Infinite Crisis is taking its first steps into eSports as Warner Brothers announced a partnership with Major League Gaming to Bring Infinite Crisis to E3 for exhibition matches between compLexity and Curse Academy at the WB Games booth.
Warner and Turbine were a somewhat reserved about their plans with regard to eSports when I talked to them at E3, but they were definitely keen to make a game that would meet competitive MOBA gamers’ exacting standards. Plus, a glance at Infinite Crisis creative director Cardell Kerr’s Twitter account reveals a serious LCS fan.
While the partnership with MLG is starting with just a few showmatches between Challenger-tier LoL teams, a press release from MLG and Warner indicates that their plans will be considerably more ambitious as launch approaches.
“Through the partnership,” the joint release said, “the Turbine and MLG teams will introduce the game to the MLG and eSports community, develop competitive settings, showcase the game at forthcoming eSports and gaming events, feature competitive play on MLG: Play, MLG’s online gaming destination, and ultimately include Infinite Crisis at MLG Pro Circuit competitions.”
That’s an ambitious agenda, and it will be interesting to see how the competitive community reacts to Infinite Crisis and whether any pro teams will field Infinite Crisis squads. The politics of the MOBA space can be appallingly tribal, like the console wars but fought with stream numbers in lieu of console specs. But at the same time, MOBAs depend more than perhaps any other genre on the health of their competitive (not necessarily pro) community. It’s a smart move for Infinite Crisis to slowly introduce itself to the hardcore audience while baiting the rest of us with the opportunity to play a steampunk Joker that’s straight out of Sweeney Todd.