15 October 2014 - 18:13

Sony embraces esports with PlayStation Official League

Sony has unveiled plans to bring esports to the PlayStation 4 with the PlayStation Official League, a platform featuring matchmaking, prizes, and structured season play
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Sony has unveiled plans to bring esports to the PlayStation 4 with the PlayStation Official League, a platform featuring matchmaking, prizes, and structured season play.

Sony’s James Armstrong made the announcement yesterday at the Santiago Bernabéu, the legendary home stadium of soccer club Real Madrid. The location underscores one of the initial titles expected to be part of the platform—FIFA 15. Also included are popular games like Call of Duty: Ghosts and War Thunder, with eventual support for Battlefield: Hardline, Invokers Tournament, and more.

The platform will initially only be available in Spain, but will expand to Italy and Portugal soon with the rest of Europe likely to follow.

The free service uses each player’s PlayStation Network account to track performance in game using some kind of rating similar to other ladder-style competitions, like ranked League of Legends. The goal is to create an even playing field for any level of competitor, casual or professional.

Similar to League of Legends, the Official League will split competitions into seasons of play, with the first starting in Spain on Oct. 16 and ending three months later on Jan. 11.

Sony’s platform doesn’t seem to do more than the ladders implemented in many games already, but centralizing the process and providing tools to allow third-party developers to utilize it should make the process of adding some semblance of competition to new titles easier.

The future form of the PlayStation Official League remains to be seen. The amount of prizes and how they will be awarded—based solely off ladder results, or with a live final tournament, for example—is still up in the air. But it’s safe to say that esports is becoming too big to be ignored, even for a behemoth like Sony.

Image via Gamereactor.es

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