World of Tanks competitive league to offer $2.5 million prize pool
Wargaming.net has announced its intentions to enter the competitive eSports scene with its free-to-play MMO, World of Tanks. The new league, appropriately called Wargaming.net League, is set to launch in the first quarter of 2013. It will offer a $2.5 million prize pool for the first season. The league will function similar to that of traditional competitive gaming; there will be regular regional tournaments and playoffs to determine who will compete in the Grand Finals.
"The scale and popularity of competitive gaming has been skyrocketing over the last couple of years, and we have now reached the point where we can focus significant effort on advancing World of Tanks on to the global eSports scene," said Wargaming's Global eSports Director, Johnhyuk Baak. "Wargaming.net League is a groundbreaking step in our quest to bring the game’s eSports potential into the international spotlight.”
Andrei Yrantsau, VP of Global Operation, added: "Now we have a sustainable tool to broaden our global eSports involvement in an unprecedented way: stimulate the growth of the competitive community, organize bigger and better tournaments with larger prize pools than ever, and provide our best pro gamers with completely viable career opportunities.”
It was certainly an explosive 2012 for World of Tanks, which saw its player base grow to 45 million players worldwide. Last month, the developer/publisher acquired U.S. console developer Day 1 Studios. It's a move that will allow Wargaming to expand into the console game scene as well.