Twitch’s newest sensation is Teamfight Tactics. You may have caught the Twitch Rivals event earlier this week or noticed TFT has been one of the most-watched games on the streaming platform over the last month.
Well, the hype is real and TFT is well on its way to becoming one of competitive gaming’s most popular esports.
What is Teamfight Tactics?
Teamfight Tactics is a multiplayer auto battler game distributed by Riot Games on the League of Legends client. Players compete against seven other individuals in a round-robin style match on a gridded game board. Undoubtedly a response to Dota 2’s popular Dota Auto Chess mod, TFT was released in late June and has attracted casual gamers and League of Legends regulars alike.
Similar to Dota Auto Chess, TFT action is computer automated, making it a game of strategy and resource management. In the end, the goal of TFT is to be the last one standing in your lobby of eight. Players begin with a set amount of gold which they use to buy champions. Champions are organized on the chess-type board each round and battle other teams one at a time. Players earn gold and experience points based on their performance each round.
How do Players Level Up on Team Fight Tactics?
With gold, players can buy new champions or level up faster; with each level, they can buy better champions. The champions in TFT are the same in League of Legends and are categorized into 13 origins and 10 classes. Champions that share an origin or class with others in a player’s lineup will unlock abilities and strengths.
It’s important to consider the origins and classes of champions when selecting and organizing champions on the board.
Much of the game’s strategy comprises of lineup composition and champion relationships. Champion purchases are random, making it even harder for players to build desirable teams, but gold also buys items that improve champions’ attack abilities and HP. Additionally, if a player drafts identical champions they can be merged, improving the champion’s attacking statistics.
Teamfight Tactics Strategy and Meta
Since combat in TFT is automated, the game lacks mechanical skill. Therefore, strategy and decision making are paramount. There is significant luck involved but players need to be able to adapt to unpredictable champion draws and other automated eventualities. Having a good understanding of items, champions, their abilities, origins, and classes will be key to becoming a top player. Players that collect champions with common origins and classes will get the most out of their lineups and experience the most success.
Because the game is new and a competitive landscape has yet to be outlined, a gameplay meta has not been established. With time, trends will emerge and skills will be developed.
Betting on Teamfight Tactics as an Esport
At this point, TFT is in its infancy but it’s evident that the game has real eSport potential. The success of Dota Auto Chess paved the way for TFT and has proved that there is a thirst for auto battlers in competitive gaming communities. Riot’s success with League of Legends lends to the optimism.
Key to turning TFT into a bonafide eSport is developing a viable tournament structure. Drodo Studio, the creators of the Dota Auto Chess mod, went on to develop its own version of the game, simply titled Auto Chess, in May and will host the first official auto battler tournament this coming October. Invites will be handed out to Auto Chess pros while the rest of the field will be determined via regional qualifiers. Riot will surely pay close attention to the Auto Chess Invitational–which boasts a $1 million prize pool–and could build off of its positives.
What’s in Store for the Future of Team Fight Tactics?
In the future, Riot may want to establish TFT as its own entity. Though League of Legends is massively popular, gamers who don’t like or play the game may not even consider TFT. If TFT continues to grow and shows signs of contending as a tier-one eSport, it should be separated from League in some capacity. As it stands, gamers must download the League of Legends client to play TFT. That’s not going to fly with some crowds, and tier-one eSports shouldn’t feel like other titles’ mini-games
Betting Potential of Team Fight Tactics
A lot has to happen before punters can place bets on Teamfight Tactics, but if auto battlers continue to grow in popularity it will only be a matter of time. It will be interesting to see what types of bets sportsbooks offer for TFT, but it’s safe to say outright and futures bets will be in the cards. Assigning odds for outright winners of tournaments and matches are common across eSports and expect bookies to do the same for TFT. Special and prop bets will be diverse and gameplay specific if offered and could add an interesting dimension to TFT betting. A special TFT bet, for example, could be a bet on which player in a tournament will build the most tier five champions. The possibilities are seemingly endless.
Remember a decade ago when gamers were growing old of standard shooters and MMO’s? The desire for something new facilitated the rise of multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games and opened gamers mind’s to other types of competitive video games. Since then, battle royale and hybrid shooters, like Overwatch, have burst onto the scene, and now auto battlers are making waves. The timing of TFT’s arrival is not an accident or a shot in the dark. Piggybacking off the success of Auto Chess and League of Legend’s continued eSports supremacy, Riot is ensuring they remain relevant as competitive gaming evolves. TFT is rich, complex, vibrant, and fun. It will undoubtedly be the standard of auto battlers as they grow in popularity
Keep an eye on this title; it has the potential to be the next best thing in eSports and an eSports betting monster.