A soldier, ready for war, in Battlefield 1

Nearly a year after the launch of Battlefield 1, EA and DICE are gearing up to introduce a new competitive mode called "Incursions." Before they go live, though, players have an opportunity to enlist for an upcoming closed alpha.

If you've been following competitive gaming, then you know that eSports are bigger than they've ever been. DICE and EA are looking to chomp on some of that flavor in the coming years, finally adding a ranked mode of play specially designed with high-level competitive play in mind. Before they unleash it on the masses, though, there's some testing that needs to take place. If you're interested in getting in on the alpha, all you have to do is head on over to the official website and register.

Obviously, registering for the alpha does not mean you will be granted access, but not registering is an even better way to guarantee you'll miss out on the early testing phase. Keep in mind that this is an alpha, though, so you shouldn't go in expecting the same experience you've been enjoying in Battlefield 1 for the past year. There's likely to be some kinks the developers still need to work out, some functionality might be missing, etc. But that's kind of the point of an alpha and beta testing period. This is DICE's way of having the community come in and help them shape a better experience. Also, if probably goes without saying, but all of your progress, unlocks and the like will be totally wiped after the alpha phase is complete.

I'm not going to lie; I kind of assumed Battlefield already had the type of competitive play being promised by the implementation of Incursions. The game is all about teamwork and class composition, so it makes sense that it would be a perfect fit for organized competitive play. In other words, more dedicated players are probably ecstatic to hear that the series is finally heading in that direction.

If you're looking for specifics, this mode is all about 5-v-5 showdowns, so the maps are going to be a bit smaller than those standard wide-open spaces. They won't be too compact, though, as vehicles are absolutely part of the equation. And as noted above, DICE is promising "strategic depth" in this new mode, as you've only got four other players to rely on. Unlike the skirmishes boasting dozens of players on either team, it will be more important for players to craft a well-rounded squad of members who execute their roles well.

If that's not enough information for you, then they've got a pretty thorough FAQ at the bottom of the registration page linked above. While there's still no launch date for Incursions mode in Battlefield 1, the developers hope to begin the alpha testing this September. So if you want to participate, you might want to register as soon as possible.

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