It looks like Microsoft is going all in with eSports as Gears of War 4 was announced today to have its own Pro Circuit. At stake? A prize pool of up to $1,000,000 in cash awards. Gears of War 4 players can compete in the tournament, which is hosted by Major League Gaming (MLG) and Gfinity.
According to the Gears eSports site, players can earn what the tournament calls “Gears Pro Points” by competing in regional MLG GameBattles online ladder matches. Players can also compete in daily and weekly tournaments. As teams accumulate Gears Pro Points, they can qualify for international circuit open LAN events, which take place every one to two months after the Gears of War 4 fall launch. These events will go from October 2016 through July 2017. The events are truly international, moving between London, Paris, and Mexico City, while others take place in the USA.
Teams that qualify for the Gears of War 4 events via the Gears Pro Points will apparently be flown around the world to compete with each other at these events. Additionally, an event worth $100,00 will take place at an unannounced location during the program for a minimum of seven LAN events in ten months. Players from around the globe will also be able to compete online for what amounts to $50,000 in online prizes.
Xbox and The Coalition, the development studio behind Gears of War 4, say that the one million dollar prize pool is only the beginning.
“The $1,000,000 starting prize pool is just the beginning. Gears of War fans will also be able to purchase cosmetic digital in-game content to support Gears eSports. Plus, Gears eSports will collaborate with popular eSports team organizations to bring their brands into cosmetic digital in-game content that fans can wear and equip. Gears eSports also looks forward to working with local and grassroots tournament organizers on more events during the program where players can have additional opportunities to earn Gears Pro Points.”
eSports is on the rise in just about every corner of the video gaming world. Microsoft is doubling down on the lucrative business with their Arena update upcoming to Xbox Live. The update was detailed by Microsoft during their E3 2016 press conference (via Crave Online). Through the Arena update, players and tournament organizers will be able to host and compete in tournaments by using Xbox live. Additionally, companies such as EA are going to utilize this system with games like FIFA 17 and Madden 17. It makes sense that some of the companies largest franchises, such as Gears of War 4, would have their own eSports component. However, Xbox has not announced whether or not the Gears Pro Circuit will utilize this Xbox Live feature.
Additionally, Xbox and The Coalition announced a weekly eSports broadcast called the Gears eSports Weekly Broadcast by MLG. This is a live showcase of the goings on in the Gears of War 4 competitive scene, such as online tournaments and key ladder matches. Additionally, the show will feature live showcase matches with these weekly fight cards bringing what Xbox and The Coalition describe as the “most exciting and relevant matches from North America, Europe, Latin America, and Oceania.” The matches will showcase both amateur teams, as well as professional teams on the Gears of War 4 Pro Circuit.
Interestingly enough, there is no information as to whether or not the Pro Circuit will include both Windows 10 and Xbox One competitors. Additionally, there doesn’t seem to be any information as to whether or not players will be separated by platform if both platforms are present. The Inquisitr reached out to Microsoft, and we will update this story with any information they might reveal on the matter.
Players interested in learning more about the Gears eSports Pro Circuit can visit the Circuit’s official website. Additionally, you can follow Gears of War 4 and Gears eSports on Twitter for more information leading up to the launch of Gears of War 4 this fall for both Windows 10 and Xbox One on October 11.
[Image via Xbox/ The Coalition]