Games with esports potential - Eve Online

Welcome back to our series about what-ifs. Previously I have covered Hunt: Showdown. this week I decided to go wild and make a story about a big what if.

I could go on with games that could enter the big leagues of esports such as Quake: Champions, Lawbreakers, or Unreal Tournament 4. Quake may see a revival with id Software’s potential reboot of the series after concluding the DooM franchise, UT4 has its close alpha running but it was dormant for years after Epic's Fortnite’s popularity. But let’s save those for later, shall we?

Enter, Eve Online.

A brief introduction to EVE

Image credit: CCP

Eve Online is an MMORPG that is unique on its own accord. It’s Second Life and Metaverse combined with Star Wars, Industrial espionage, real-life feuds where the whole economy of the game is run by players and players only. You control your capsule (your avatar) that controls spaceships, and specialize in anything; from being a scammer to waiting and gaining trust for years in a rival corporation only to betray them at their most vulnerable hour. Be a pirate, stealth bomber, merchant, miner, a wormhole explorer. There’s no defined class system. Like in real life, combinations are eternal.

It’s still a fairly inaccessible game despite being F2P and dozens of tutorials and guides by the devs and community alike, and it also has a real-life monument in the developers’ capital Reykjavik, erected after the martyrs of the greatest battle that took place in its history, inscribed with the names of dead players. Eve is unlike any game when it comes to competition.

credit: Alf Igel

Why would it be CRAZY if it was an esports title

Ok first of all money, the money that runs in the game’s economy and real life is immense. The above photograph’s brief story is this: An unpaid bill for the system because of a player’s negligence turned into an all-out battle of sovereignty in the months of an ongoing war between Pandemic Legion and CFC and its Russian allies.

Over the course of over 20 hours, 7,500 players fought an all-out war for control of the B-R5RB star system.

Trillions of ISK -in-game currency of EVE- and 75 Titans were lost. A Titan takes nearly a year to build in real life.

Real-life damages when subscription fees are converted into dollars amounted to an approximate real-currency value of $300,000-330,000 USD. The Battle has a Wikipedia page for itself.

The amount of effort that goes into building and catching success in EVE Online is unlike any other MMORPG. It has had an undying player base of at least 30k for the last 15 years where people earn their living in real life. It’s no joke.

People deceive, work, fight their way through EVE online to attain power, and not grind their character into level 99. There’s even a player who collects dead capsuleers' bodies and gathers them into a virtual Cemetery. Eve has bankers that fund wars behind the scenes.

Now imagine EVE as an esports title. Not your usual fast-paced title though. A year-long prediction system about which coalition or corporation is going to get which star system. Or which grand war between coalitions will conclude with statistics such as territory gain/loss or amount of currency they acquire or lose.

Why not make a list of the bounties and bounty hunters. Say which top 10 players in the bounty list will get caught and killed in the following six months? or which Corporation will earn the most money by the end of its current year? and decide the winner of that category per its statistics.

What about a tournament in EVE’s offshoot Valkyrie in the yearly Eve fanfest. A multiplayer FPS space-shooter where teams can compete against each other fair and square.

Or tournaments in the base game, where teams with their unique set of ships and builds compete over an objective with a prize pool such as one team defending a starbase from others.

Image credit: CCP

Maybe a competition about how many unknown wormhole space star systems can a team of explorers map out in a week?

Battles in Eve don’t take place between 10 people. There are commanders, months of tactics and military exercises. Sleeper Cells and psychological ops going behind the scenes. It requires the coordination of hundreds of people when they take place. Not just some 5 people with superhuman reflexes, but hundreds of minds working in tandem.

It would take a lot of time and effort to put such a system in place, but considering how far people would go in Eve Online, it is doable.

Difficulties of making it into an esports title

Esports are usually fast-paced, they are watchable, easy to access and simple to learn. Eve is like watching a long drawn proxy battle between nations. It requires a lot from the viewer about the game’s thousands of mechanics. Don’t get me wrong, Eve is extremely dynamic. With backstabbings, political assassinations, heists and intricate plans that span years in order to crush a rival corporation.

Eve is not fair. The first and foremost thing about big esports titles is that they are usually fair for both sides that are facing each other. It’s the skills and cohesion of the players themselves that determine the outcome.

Of course, it’s the same in Eve if you look at it from a different angle. A small squadron of stealth bombers can turn a tide in battle. Or a single person who gained the trust of a big corporation can run it to the ground in the span of a day.

The possibilities are endless and it is all sanctioned by Eve’s parent company CCP. Everything you can do in-game is allowed and converting in-game currency to real money is a big no-no, that’s what kept the integrity of Eve and its devs since its inception and that’s why it makes Eve such an interesting candidate for an untraditional kind of esports with multiple different ways of determining who’s the winner.

Take care and I’ll see you next week.

Does the idea of Eve becoming an esports title excite you? It’s rivalries and competition are beyond any game that we’ve ever seen. If you are interested more in esports visit our esports matches page, support your favorite teams and make some predictions on Luckbox