Could Borderlands 3 Really be an Esport?

Yesterday, Twitch Rivals hosted a tournament with what could be the next big esport, Borderlands 3. Four teams of four—all comprising one of each Vault Hunter—competed in a time trial through multiple difficulties of the Proving Grounds challenge maps for a total prize of $50,000. Can you believe it? A looter shooter is the next big esport! 

Start the Clock

It’s a race to see who can finish the fastest. There are three maps and teams have to clear each Proving Grounds map in 90 mins. The time left on the clock are the team’s points; points are multiplied the harder the difficulty so, teams need to get lots of time on the clock at the higher Mayhem levels for those X3 points. 

Each player starts off with a Lvl 50 Vault Hunter and a starting kit. The skill here is in survival and min/maxing with the weapons and equipment you find in the field, Say goodbye to all those legendaries you hold dear.

A true Borderlands experience was at the start of the tournament, they immediately started specing their abilities and dropped all the weapons they didn’t want to trade with their teammates. Seeing the different builds from streamers, like Edemonster on FLAK, paying close attention to all the new augments as he crafts his build. Long term fans of the franchise should be excited about how important driveby looting is in this race against the clock.

Enhanced Experience with the ECHOcast Extension

Moreover, the Twitch Rivals: Borderlands 3 Challenge was a real community event with Borderlands 3 ECHOcast Extension on Twitch. The ECHOcast Extension allows viewers to not only inspect the streamer’s Vault Hunter, including their gear, and skills but also take part in Badass Events, where the viewer can buff in-game enemies in real time. 

Borderlands is unique as a looter-shooter which is why a tournament like this works. While games like Destiny and Diablo share a lot of similar features, it’s Borderlands‘ abilities and FPS nature make it more palatable for a competitive crowd. Yet, Twitch Rivals biggest struggle is following the progression of all the teams at once; even as a long term player of the franchise, the tournament itself was often difficult to follow.

Is Borderlands the next big esport?

No. But Proving Grounds tournaments are something you’ll get stuck watching for hours. After the release of the season pass, It could be interesting to see more tournaments like this at higher Mayhem modes, new enemies and vault hunters. 

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