The creator of the autobattler genre has quietly revealed that it’ll be hosting an Auto Chess tournament in October with a prize pool of approximately $1 million. This event will be the first of its kind in the autobattler scene and it’s further proof that the nascent game mode is here to stay.
The rise of Auto Chess has been absolutely meteoric since Drodo Studio debuted the Dota 2 mod on the Arcade toward the end of last year. For many months, more people were playing Auto Chess than Dota 2 and the game was a definitive hit.
Valve was bound to develop a competitor considering the original was using Dota 2 assets, and soon, Riot Games chimed in with Teamfight Tactics, League’s take on the genre. Teamfight Tactics has been so popular that League’s Public Beta Environment (PBE) regularly has queues of over 200,000 players trying to get in.
But Auto Chess made the first move, which has helped Drodo beat Valve and Riot to the punch by announcing the first major autobattler event. The invitational-style format will feature players who fight their way through regional qualifiers as well as popular players and streamers who will be directly invited to the event.
It’ll take place in Shanghai, potentially to capitalize on the monstrous success that Dragonest’s mobile port of the Drodo game has had in China. As a result, we may not see as many well-known Western players at the event. But if this tournament goes well, it’s easy to imagine that more events could be on the way.
Auto Chess continues to grow. It went from the original hit inside Dota 2 and moving to a mobile platform to now being in the position to host a tournament with big money on the line. It seemed inevitable, but the fact that it’s here will encourage third parties to engage and increase the game’s popularity.
With this tournament announcement, both Valve and Riot Games will be eagerly watching to see if the fledgling esport has staying power. The game’s popularity and the esport’s popularity are two completely different things, and if the collaboration between Drodo, Long Mobile, and ImbaTV goes well, it could prove that the autobattler has a future in the scene.