Once the awkward kid brother of competitive platforms like console and PC, mobile is building a reputation for itself in the esports circuit. Following the inaugural Mobile Masters New York event in June, Amazon is taking the show on the road to Las Vegas in October. Mobile Masters Las Vegas (MMLV) will take place on October 14-15 at the Millennial Esports Arena at Neonopolis.
Organized by Amazon in partnership with ESL and Esports Productions, the invitational tournament pits professional esports players against each other in popular mobile games for a share of an $80,000 prize pool.
“The growth of competitive gaming has been very exciting and we at ESL have had the privilege to be at the forefront of the rise of esports,” Sean Charles, senior vice president of publisher and developer relations at ESL, told AListDaily. “I think mobile gaming will absolutely be a big part of the future of competitive gaming. As more complex and strategy-intensive titles enter the mobile platform that fully exploit the ever-improving mobile device hardware and graphic engines, mobile games will continue to attract an increasing number of both casual and hardcore gamers.”
Mobile Masters Las Vegas will include pro teams Team SoloMid, Fnatic, SK Gaming, Echo Fox, Imperials, Immortals, ACE and more. They will be competing in mobile titles Vainglory, Critical Ops, Power Rangers: Legacy Wars and World of Tanks Blitz.
Mobile esports streams look much like any other—young competitors in matching jerseys sit in a row, each wearing headphones and a look of determination. They may be holding smartphones and tablets, but the competition is fierce and the pressure is on.
“While there are many similarities on the production side, mobile brings many nuances that distinguish the genre from console or PC competition,” said Charles. “Mobile gamers can play seated or standing in any position they feel comfortable in, and many times prefer to play on their own devices.”
Charles added that mobile brings a level of accessibility that builds community among the crowd, itself.
“An amazing and unique aspect of mobile gaming is that since everyone has a mobile device in their pockets, every event essentially becomes a LAN (local area network) party where fans of the game can meet new players and play together,” he said.
MMLV is free to attend and the Millennial Esports Arena holds 500 people, so the event should draw a crowd both in person and through livestreams. Fans may be slightly different than those at “traditional” game competitions, however.
“We’ve noticed that mobile esports have similar demographic trends as console or PC crowds, but tend to skew toward the younger crowd,” said Charles. “It’s very common to see a strong presence of high school or university students as well as parents in the audience.”
Random attendees at the event will be chosen to receive prizes, but Charles said it’s all about the experience, itself.
“The best esports tournaments are a celebration of community where fans, players, artists and personalities around the world all come together and partake in an incredible experience.”