Home I eSports I eSports I The Future of StarCraft 2
In the professional eSports scene StarCraft: Brood War was one of the most respected titles, and no one can deny that. Also joining the league was Counter-Strike, Warcraft III, and numerous multiplayer games. StarCraft laid the very foundation of eSports and with time the industry has flourished, which cannot be said the same about the StarCraft franchise.
The successor of StarCraft: Brood War – StarCraft 2—didn’t go over that well. Although the fans were very much ready to give a warm welcome, a series of changes throughout the game’s development cycle eventually saw the game being seen as more “casual” than its predecessor. In Eastern Asia, the game developed somewhat of a big first impression. StarCraft 2 has just lost its edge and this can be credited not only to other MOBAs, but also to Blizzard’s Overwatch.
Much of the early success of StarCraft 2 can be attributed to the development team of the game, who made a major rework of the title by balancing it to proper measures. However, the game has suffered a terrible stale competitive scene and the future of StarCraft 2 is precarious.
The lack of diversity in the gameplay of the StarCraft 2 franchise has quite a negative impact, which is not seen in other MOBA titles. This is primarily because StarCraft only has three playable races with 2-3 well-known strategies under each race’s belt. There are some tactics that diversify the game, but with such a limiting number of combinations, it’s easy to see why the game lacked what DotA 2 and League of Legends obtained.
Without a large viewership, a game’s eSports scene dies because there is no money to be made. The rest is history.
Overwatch, the newcomer to the eSports industry, hasn’t favored the odds of StarCraft 2. The game has taken the world by storm. This investment by Blizzard has very much sabotaged its own StarCraft 2 title. Overwatch has gained so much popularity in the kingdom of StarCraft 2. In Asia, Overwatch was on the top of the charts for months.
The game not only surpassed StarCraft, but also DotA 2 and League of Legends. This all can be attributed to the freestyle play of the game. With unique classes of Heroes in an FPS with unique abilities, no doubt the game is a masterpiece and is in a class of its own. Overwatch features unpredictable plays and tons of strategies, which was becoming completely obsolete in StarCraft 2. Although Blizzard has released expansion packs and DLCs to make up for the damage, the impact is very minimal.
Just like the video game industry itself, eSports will likely go through phases. From arcades to fighting games, then to RTS and MOBAs, it is clear that eSports have shown anything but a sense of stagnation. While Blizzard doesn’t tend to shy away from pushing the competitive scene for its newer titles, the pattern tends to show that the players themselves are responsible for the success or death of a game’s competitive scene. After all, what’s an eSport without dedicated fans of the game itself? That puts the future of StarCraft 2 under question.
Right now, MOBAs have been hogging the spotlight for eSports for a while. Meanwhile, the video game industry has started churning out Multiplayer Online Arena Shooters for the past few months following Overwatch’s success. As such, the chances are that we’re on the verge of seeing MOAS titles take the spotlight. From there, who knows what the next big eSports discipline will be.
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