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The esports venture for Injustice 2 is already prepped to get underway despite the fact that the game is still a week away from release. Both NetherRealm Studios and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment are intent on getting in on the esports digs early.
According to VentureBeat, following the May 16th release of Injustice 2 next week, Warner Bros., will be partnering with various organizations to help proliferate the tournament scene for their superhero fighting game. These partnerships include GameStop, the ESL, Gamelta esports Professional League, Sony and Twitch, and will span a four-month long tournament season that will run from May to September 17th.
They will be hosting the tournaments on the PS4 version of the game, which has become standard across most tournaments in the FGC these days. The first of the Injustice 2 tournaments will begin on May 26th, the weekend after the launch of the game and the tournament will see participants battling it out online as well as across select GameStops until there are 16 finalists left for the grand championship set to take place in Los Angeles, California on September 17th.
For those of you living in Europe, the tournament begins almost immediately after the launch of Injustice 2. The Path to Pro Tournament, hosted by the ESL, will be livestreamed and take place on May 20th across France, Germany, Italy, the U.K., and other territories within the region. South America will have a separate tournament as well that will kick up at some point at the tail-end of May.
I don't know if they should be planning global esports tournaments so far ahead of the game's release. What happens if it's really popular with casual gamers who just want to play some of their favorite superheroes and villains but aren't interested in any serious competitive play? What happens if the game is popular but doesn't generate an audience? What happens if the only people interested in Injustice 2 are the die-hard esports fans?
There are a lot of variables to account for when attempting to measure the success of a game and build an electronic sports league around it. More times than not the whole esports affair falls short when companies attempt to push it into the community with a bit more force than what the community is willing to embrace.
Usually, the biggest esports communities come from games that build organic competitive communities, sort of like Rocket League, which was a smash hit and a surprise success, or Counter-Strike, which seemed like an unlikely candidate to strike it big on the esports scene.
However, as far as actual gameplay is concerned Injustice 2 definitely has a lot of potential to be a big contender when it comes to esports. The combos, the moves, the specials -- it all looks really snazzy and some of the characters have some good ins and outs when it comes to techs, counters, manuals and reversals. So I would definitely like to see how this game fares on the esports circuit given its ample potential.
I guess we'll find exactly how popular it is within the fighting game community once May 16th rolls around next week.