The company behind the upcoming fighting game Injustice 2 figures to make a big splash in the fighting game community. On Monday, we learned that it will make a big splash in the esports scene as well.
Developer NetherRealm Studios and publisher Warner Bros. Games announced the creation of the Injustice 2 Championship Series on Monday. The series will be composed of four different circuits and will offer $600,000 in prizing, a figure that equals that of the richest fighting game circuit, the Capcom Pro Tour.
The centerpiece of the Championship Series is the Injustice 2 Pro Series. The Pro Series will include a mix of online and offline events and award over $300,000 in prizing throughout the tour. Players will earn points for their performances throughout the circuit, and the top finishers will advance to the Pro Series finals in Los Angeles in October. Prizing for the Pro Series finals was not announced on Monday.
The first event of the Pro Series will take place over Memorial Day weekend at Combo Breaker, just a week and a half after the game’s May 16 launch. The event— which, like NetherRealm, is based in the Chicago area— will serve as a Premier event on the circuit and will feature a $20,000 pot bonus.
“I am stoked about this,” tweeted Combo Breaker lead organizer Rick Thiher. “This is going to be ridiculously great.”
CEO in Orlando, Moscow Fighting Arena in Moscow, and Evo in Las Vegas were also named among the circuit’s 12 offline events. Six online events—two each in North America, Europe, and Central & South America—were also announced.
Players who don’t fancy their chances in the Pro Series can still compete for prizes thanks to the other three circuits announced on Monday.
North American players can compete in the GameStop Hometown Heroes series, in which players compete in weekly regional online qualifiers. The top players from each region will advance to an offline regional final at a GameStop store, with the winners advancing to the finals at the GameStop Consumer Expo in August.
Those in Europe can compete in the Path to Pro. The competition follows a similar weekly format, with the finals held online in August. The first four weeks of competition are limited to players who pre-ordered the game, while weeks five through 12 are open to all players.
Players from select Latin and South American countries can compete in Injustice 2 Liga Latina, a series that will be a mix of offline and online events. The finals will take place on Aug. 13.
ESL will conduct the Hometown Heroes and Path to Pro series, while Gamelta will host the Liga Latina.
This will not be the first time that NetherRealm and ESL have partnered up for a championship series. ESL ran three Pro League seasons for the developer’s previous game, Mortal Kombat X, in 2015 and 2016. All three Pro League titles were won by Dominique “SonicFox” McLean.
The Championship Series announcement means that seven of the nine games in the Evo 2017 lineup have some form of circuit and season-long championship competition. Injustice 2 joins Street Fighter V (Capcom Pro Tour), King of Fighters XIV (King of Fighters World Finals) and Tekken 7 (King of the Iron Fist) in hosting developer-supported circuits. A pair of community-supported circuits were recently announced, both backed by Smash.gg: Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3‘s Curleh Circuit, and the Burst Series for the BlazBlue, Guilty Gear, and King of Fighters series.