My First Impressions of Gears of War
Throughout this article, I will be giving my first impressions of the Gears of War esports scene. I will be focusing on the game, the players and the overall feel of my first taste of Gears. But first, let me tell you a little about myself.
The first time I was introduced to esports was during Call of Duty: Black Ops II's World Championship, better known as CoD Champs. I was instantly hooked and even tried to play competitive Call of Duty myself. Watching teams battle against each other for money and bragging rights was awesome and it was something new to me. I was never a huge fan of conventional sports like football or rugby, but gaming was always something I enjoyed.
The next esport I got into was Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. I have been following this game for around a year and half and I have tried to study all of the team's stories and past accomplishments to get a good understanding of them. I watch and write about every tournament, and I share my opinions about the game and the esports scene on Twitter a lot.
Since I have become a writer, I slowly got to grips with a few other games, such as Halo and Overwatch, with many more to come. So when information about a Gears tournament landed in my inbox, a game I have not played in years, I was eager to see how it would fare.
I went onto YouTube and watched the Season One Finals of the ESL Pro League between Denial Esports and Team EnVyUs, two organizations I was very familiar with.
The gameplay was a mix of exciting, fast-paced team fights with limbs being thrown everywhere, to long, drawn out stalemates that often amounted to nothing. This was because they were only playing on one gametype called Execution. Each team member has one life. If your team is wiped, the other wins the round, much like CoD's Search and Destroy gametype.
I quickly realized that movement was a huge factor in Gears. Players sliding into positions and rapidly swapping adjacent covers while quickly firing off shots from their Gnasher Shotguns were the norm. Another thing I saw during the MLG Gears Esports Open event, held July 30-31, was something called “sliding the boom,” where a player would do both the animation for picking up the Boomshot and sliding into cover at the same time.
Frankly, it sounds like something that would be explained at an "Awesome Games Done Quick" event as a frame perfect trick.
Just before the MLG Gears Open, I actually went and bought myself a copy of Gears to give the game a go to see if some of this movement was intended. I found the game to feel awfully slow. Also, I felt like aiming and sliding were far more difficult than they looked.
Another thing I realized was the importance of getting first blood. In other games that are similar to Gears, such as CoD’s Search and Destroy and CS:GO, first blood can be damaging. However, you have the option of carrying grenades around with you, which can be used to your advantage to potentially gather multi-kills and push threat. In Gears, this option is not prevalent, and in nearly every round I saw, the first blood team ultimately won the round.
It became quickly apparent that the players of the game like to be as hype as possible, shouting and screaming after every kill regardless of round win or loss. This reminds me of some the old CoD days when people would shout at the enemy team to psych them out, or how the Splyce CS:GO roster was like during the MLG Columbus Qualifiers. If you are not sure what I am talking about, you can learn here.
Initially, I expected only a few teams to shout and have this aggresive mindset, but it ended up being a common thing throughout the scene. The players liked to joke around and throw verbal jabs at their opponents during their pre-game interviews and on Twitter.
I found my first exposure to Gears a rather positive one, however, there are some things that I do not like. Playing the same game mode is really repetitive and sometimes boring to watch, but with the announcement made by MLG, Gfinity and The Coalition concerning the $1,000,000 tournament and multiple major LANs spread across the coming year, Gears has skyrocketed into a potential esports to stick around for.
To conclude, the game:
- Looks fun
- Is somewhat confusing at first
- A bit repetitive
- Joke around a lot
- Care a lot about their game
- Are obviously highly skilled individuals
The tournament organisers:
- Know what they are doing
- Have good intentions and a well-thought out plan
What are your thoughts on Gears as a budding esport? Do you think it will last? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow us on Twitter at @GAMURScom for more esports updates and coverage.