With the news last week that Playstation had allowed ESL tournaments to start being used on their consoles, Microsoft is striking back with a custom app for both the Xbox One and the PC, called Microsoft Arena. Arena is an app that allows gamers to make their own game tournaments.
Arena will provide players that don’t want to (or can’t) go into the professional circuit to make little tournaments of their own, whether through a clan or a smaller circle of various friends online. Considering that many of the games shareable between PC and Xbox One have a competitive circuit, this might bring more eSports attention to Microsoft products.
Various games that have recently come out on the Microsoft Xbox Play Anywhere Program are available to be used for Microsoft Arena, including Forza, Gears of War 4, and Killer Instinct. Arena also has a notable advantage over the ESL tournaments available on the Playstation 4: While in Microsoft Arena players can create their own tournaments, the ESL app does not have that capability. Players on the Playstation 4 can only hop into ESL tournaments.
Another difference between Arena and ESL is that ESL allows more professional players to get into eSports through the tournament app, Arena is designed mainly for amateur players and minor tournaments made among friends or clans.
Xbox and Microsoft aren’t the only ones that are getting into the eSports scene, either; Nintendo has teased some involvement with eSports in its trailer for the Nintendo Switch, and Super Smash Bros has already been a fixture at EVO and other fighting game tournaments for as long as those tournaments have been running.
Either way we’ll have to see how Microsoft Arena and Playstation’s ESL partnership works out, so in the meantime players will likely work out their own tournaments their own ways, and we’ll see what people think of each of the apps.