There's no denying the strong niche that's been carved out for eSports competitions. The numbers for Evo 2013 alone clearly indicate the genre's growing popularity. Of course, there's always room for growth, which segues nicely into Ubisoft's announcement for their "The Next Level" eSports platform. While the details concerning the service will be revealed at the upcoming PAX Prime convention, the prolific video game developing entity released a teaser for their upcoming platform:
As you can see, a "welcoming all comers" approach is being employed by Ubisoft, which is understandable if you are trying to appeal to a wider base. There's something of an intimidation factor involved with eSports when you consider the competitiveness of some leagues, as well as the ridiculous skill levels involved in the high profile tournaments. By focusing on the "all skill levels welcomed" aspect of The Next Level, Ubisoft can accomplish two things: remove the "you have to elite in order to play" stigma, which, in turn can attract more players to a welcoming environment. While speaking to Polygon, Josh Milligan, Ubisoft's senior director of player engagement, confirmed this approach:
"The analogy I draw is eSports is like the post-graduate program for gamers, and there's nothing before it," he said. "It's the most advanced thing. There are a certain number of people who can really understand the details of the most intense, amazing StarCraft match, and there are a lot of other people who play games on a regular basis who don't necessarily get into that."
As indicated, further details about The Next Level will be revealed at PAX 2013, however, IGN indicates, again via Milligan, that tournament prizes could include scholarships, trips to various video game events, and, of course, some good ole cash money.
Expect more details to be made available when PAX kicks off in 3 days.[Lead image via]