…is forced and painfully flawed. I think ultimately this is why I can’t get behind esports-related efforts in this game.

From the red-carpet article posted on IGN a week or so ago, paving the way for today’s announcement that the IPL will be running a $100,000 tournament for the game:

Elite mode also attracted a lot of attention at Ubisoft’s recent digital day in Paris, drawing players and onlookers alike with its fast-pace and easy to fathom rule set. Beauchemin attributes this to the mode’s concentrated distillation of a key element of spectator sports: excitement.

“The best moments in FPS esports are when you’re near the end of a round and maybe there’s just one guy standing and everyone knows he’s going to have to pull off an amazing feat to win,” Beauchemin enthuses. “We’ve boiled that down to one single game mode where it comes down to the last minute of the round: there’s one guy with a powerful gun and three armour points versus three guys with one armour point each who are working as a team.

Yes…but those sorts of moments become the best moments because of the lead-up, and because the sole player left typically has the odds stacked against them to convert the ‘clutch.’

Sure, watching a forward on a breakaway against two defenders and a keeper, and seeing that forward beat the defenders and score, can be pretty exciting, especially if they scored for your team. That doesn’t mean you can build an entire sport around repeating just that situation.

Simply dropping players into a three-versus-one, round after bloody round, with weapons and other mechanics balanced for this particular situation, does not even come close to replicating the moments that come from a single player saving a round for their team that they were on the verge of losing.

That ‘last minute of the round’ can’t be manufactured for it to still have the same impact; that’s just running drills for practice.

It’s just as much how you get there as it is the end result. It’s because not every round ends up like this in other games, that they sometimes come to full teams rushing and pushing towards two defenders, or come down to three defending a plant against a full team, or one player with a scope annihilating the entire other side; it’s the variety that keeps the game interesting to watch, and injects that extra bit of adrenaline into the situations that Shootmania looks to make commonplace.