What does it take to go pro? Iron gaming has teamed up with Hi-Rez Studios, creators of Tribes Ascend and Smite, to answer just that question. Iron gaming is a website where a player can input their gaming statistics and play the games they truly love with other gamers at the same level of expertise. So let’s say you play in the MLG then, for a small fee, Iron Gaming keeps the statistics of the games and saves them to your player profile. Arena Gaming uses tools straight from Iron Gaming to make the decisions as to which players fit into which brackets and they keep videos, pictures, kill/death ratio. Iron Gaming is also a “ESPN type network” as they work with Twitch and YouTube to generate content and upload player videos to the masses. So far they have been able to establish a channel on the Comcast Network on Demand in the South East region of the United States. That means if you are in the South East and connected to a game using Iron Gaming there are chances you may end up on TV.
They are focusing on the evolution of ESports and what better way to do that then focus on school kids getting involved in gaming. Pandemonium Gaming is working with Iron Gaming and focusing on getting competitive gaming as a legitimate sport in different cities. They introduced this idea to several high schools and made the requirements similar to those as any other sport. Students would have to maintain a certain grade average, keep absences to a minimum, and have a good behavior in class to continue with the sport of gaming. This is a great incentive for students to do well in school because there are many students who are not interested in the physical aspects of sports such as basketball and football however may be much interested in getting a Penta-Kill in a game of Smite among their friends. I personally think gaming at school is the best thing to keep kids entertained. Sometimes the burden of schoolwork and studying can be so stressful it can actually hinder students from participating in any school related activities and video games adds another outlet for students to go to. I have found myself going straight from school/work to the computer because I find something relaxing about shooting the guts out of some strange alien race.
Hi-Rez Studios is also introducing their game Smite into the competitive gaming scene as a third person isometric view MOBA, which stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. It is a fast paced game compared to other MOBA’s such as League of Legends and Dota and this is fairly due to the fact it is not a simple point and click. Smite takes use of full character movement which involves the usual W, A, S, D keys and takes use of skill shots instead of auto-aiming lock on attacks. Smite has different game modes such as assault which is a one lane game type which has all the characters randomly chosen by the game, putting players in a awkward position if they are used to playing one character. To add an extra difficulty to the “All Random All Mid” they have the inability to recall to their base which means they must die to purchase more items from the store. The game mode arena resembles that of a gladiator Colosseum in which players duke it out with minions to kill as many of the other teams “gods” as possible. Conquest is a 5 v 5 three lane map where the god’s must destroy turrets to reach the phoenix, and ultimately kill the Minotaur. However for extra difficulty the Phoenix does respawn. Domination has the same three lane layout as conquest however it has three capture spots where teams must capture the points and hold the points for the longest they can. In my opinion Smite is a great game and if done correctly will fit right in the competitive scene as their is room for expansion. Smite is a free to play game where players can unlock god’s through experience however a player can purchase a ultimate god pack for thirty dollars to have all the god’s if they so want.
I got the honor of talking to Scott Smith which some of you might know him as SirScoots. He is has been around the competitive gaming scene for a very long time and if anybody should know about the MLG scene it should be him. He started gaming competitively with Counter Strike and is now playing games such as Planetside, ShootMania, and is really interested to see how Smite turns out. As we talked he made a lot of sense as to why Tribes Ascend went down as it did.Tribes Ascend was a game Hi-Rez Studios released for the plain fact of competitive gaming which SirScoots explains “the competitive nature of a game is slowly nurtured and evolved through a growing fan base”. As he explained that I couldn’t help but think how good of a job Hi-Rez studio is doing to promote their game and ensure the longevity of the game.