Destiny's Esports Potential Solidified by MLG Exhibition
After years of hearing that their game was not competitive and had no future as an esport, Destiny fans rejoiced today as Major League Gaming and Bungie put on an exhibition of the game's new private match feature.
The 6v6 matchup showed off the new game mode coming in the Sept. 20 expansion Rise of Iron known as Supremacy. The teams featured some of the top competitive players from the community as well as streamers and YouTubers. The stream was commentated by MLG's Chris Puckett as well as YouTuber Michael "MTashed" Tash and Bungie Crucible developers Derek Carroll and Lars Bakken.
While Alpha team won four maps to Bravo team's one, the most important thing to take away from today's stream was the viewership. The stream peaked at about 65,000 viewers and MLG's was the No. 1 channel on Twitch during that time period, as well as catapulting Destiny to the fourth-most watched game in the entire directory. Those numbers cannot be ignored. There's a hunger and a thirst for competition in the Destiny community.
Supremacy was also an interesting game mode to watch and it looks incredibly fun to play. In the game mode, when someone is killed they drop a crest. Those crests must be collected to score points for your team, so it boils down to a mix of slaying and decision-making to decide whether to push or defend crests that have fallen.
Some of the most exciting moments happened whenever a player was able to pull off a killstreak with their Super ability, and hearing the players yell and pop off in the background of the casting evokes memories and comparisons to many esports.
It wasn't all positive, though. While the event was admittedly rough around the edges, as is to be expected as private matches are a brand new feature, it was without a doubt a good start for the competitive scene of Destiny.
It should go without saying, but the game does not work well in a competitive setting with 12 players. The best format will most likely be at 3v3 or 4v4, as 6v6 is hectic and hard to keep track of. The players of the scene will likely come together and decide what works best.
While Supremacy is a fun game mode to play, esports will without a doubt benefit from a gametype that is even more objective-oriented, such as Rift or Salvage. The 'sweaty' community may not like it, but Destiny's esports potential boils down to watchability, and simple team deathmatch game modes will not cut it in the long run. It's time for the community to begin branching out into other game modes now that private matches are available.
At the end of the stream, Carroll announced that private matches were activated and are now live for all Destiny players, regardless of whether or not they own or have pre-ordered Rise of Iron. GameBattles also announced that ladders for Destiny were also live, opening the door for competitive matches to begin right away.
The future for Destiny as an esport is bright. But it's all about potential, and there's plenty of it. The game is published by Activision, a gaming juggernaut with seemingly endless funds. It's developed by Bungie, one of the world's best developers with a track record that includes Halo and the beginnings of console esports' success.
But most importantly, Destiny has an avid community of dedicated players and fans who both watch and play the game relentlessly. Contrary to popular belief, Destiny is alive and well.
Can Destiny make it as a major esport in the future? Let us know in the comments below or on our Twitter @GAMURScom.