Should Destiny 2 finally make the jump to esports?

Jayden Perry Editor

By , Jayden Perry is a Roar Editor

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    Destiny 2's multiplayer is prime material for eSports. (Image: Activision)

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    Bungie is no stranger to esports. In the past they’ve built a successful esport shooter empire in Halo, but the fact that this hasn’t been capitalised on with Destiny is strange.

    It seems a cautious step. It could be a wise one though – shoehorning in esports without an audience that definitely wants it and competitive player base rarely ends well.

    But with Rogue signing a ‘pro’ team recently to play the game competitively and a show match tournament run at GuardianCon, the worries of a quick cash-in fade a little. With the focus on revamping PVP to create greater team synergy, surely there’s competition on the minds of Destiny’s developers?

    Be it the beta’s point capture ‘control’ or competitive ‘countdown’ mode, a meta will develop pretty soon for the four versus four modes. Titan walls, supers and support style abilities all drive the game towards a team experience. For now though, the game doesn’t even have private lobbies. This is something that keeps popping up on forums and would give the community their trial run of what competitive Destiny could look like.

    Until private lobbies are introduced, esports are off the table, but Bungie has said they’re “interested” in the possibility. They’re committed to making sure that the launch experience goes well for players, so I can understand why it’s not at the top of the priority list. A game like Destiny has a long lifespan, and as the game develops so too may its competitive play.

    But should it be on their minds? Definitely. Being competitive doesn’t mean the game needs competitions the size of DotA 2′s TI7 or CSGO Leagues to maintain a healthy community. With a competitive base you develop a community committed to a title, and that means longevity. The ‘platform’ model for games like we’ve seen with the original Destiny and Rainbow Six: Siege ensures the game stays at a stable level of play when the audience is engaged.

    Look at World of Warcraft, with Legion, the Blizzard team managed to revamp an entire facet of the game, turning the PVP back into a respectable esport. They also managed to prove that PVE can be equally competitive, launching an introductory tournament for the Mythic Dungeon system.

    There’s huge potential for Destiny in similar ways, especially as the multiplayer retains a bit of Bungie’s Halo style. Raid world firsts (already a big part of the community) and challenging Nightfall runs foster a high level of competition between clans and players, and this gets channelled into the PVP.

    Weapons, gear and perks are all gained by playing PVE, so unlike MOBAs and more common FPS titles, MMOs like Destiny are in a perfect spot to offer a complete competitive package. But, for now, it’s up to Bungie to try what they think with their vocal community, and to give that community the tools to test and build something for themselves.

    With Competitive matches and skill rankings, maybe Bungie are quietly paving the way ahead for a healthy ecosystem. They’re playing their cards close to the chest though, with Luke Smith not wanting to make any promises when asked the question. With as much as Destiny has to prove – namely to right the unfair, poor press the original game launched with – it’s more important to deliver a fantastic game.

    So yes, Bungie really should begin to dip their toes into esports for Destiny as soon as they can. Bit by bit the interest shown in the community will either ring true or collapse without much investment on the side of Bungie. But if it goes well, the sky’s the limit for a game like this – there’s room to reinvent the shooter in a hero-shooter age, and Bungie may be just the team to do it.