New Heir to ESports Throne
by EMILY LAW
From the recurring trend of playing battle royale video games like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG), auto chess games have recently taken over the throne as the most popular new game genre this year.
Chess is a strategic board game that consists of precise rules and roles that each piece has. Since the world is gradually advancing in technology, especially in the gaming world, the popular Steam game, Dota 2, released a Dota 2 Auto Chess mod in early January.
Although Dota 2 Auto Chess is a game within a game, with nontraditional roles of chess pieces, it received numerous amounts of positive feedback. Gamers started to stream their gameplay on a popular streaming site, Twitch, which broadened auto chess throughout the gaming community.
Eventually, large gaming companies like Valve and Riot started to incorporate their own twist on auto chess, as Valve created Dota Underlords and Riot added Teamfight Tactics (TFT) within their primary game, League of Legends.
Dota Auto Chess, Dota Underlords and TFT operate similarly by the use of strategy, timing and accuracy to build stronger teams, excluding the differences in the auto battlers. What makes auto chess different from other game genres is that it does not require player input other than buying battlers in the game and changing the placement before battling different opponents.
Auto battlers all possess different abilities especially when placed down on the board, so most gamers find it appealing to watch the battlers fighting automatically.
Similar to battle royale games, auto chess does require practice to get better, which is done by trying different team combinations, items and placement of auto battlers on the board. If certain teams do not work, the player learns to try different tactics to win their next game.
Riot’s game, TFT, also led to video game streamers frequently recording their gameplay and uploading them to Twitch and YouTube which encouraged more gamers to start playing, too.
Although it is beneficial for Riot to attain more gamers, it may annoy those who want to play due to longer queue times to prevent them from joining a game immediately. This shows how impacted auto chess games have been throughout this year.
Due to the success that auto chess games achieved, there may be a chance that other gaming companies will incorporate this game genre into their list of games, too.