While the main stage of esports features the pro players and personalities of the scene, it’s the grassroots of each title that often gets a miss. With the importance of supporting new players or fresh talent into the pro gaming space – I caught up with Mohamed Fadl to discuss about the efforts Wargaming puts into World of Tanks grassroots.
After explaining about how World of Tanks started as an esports – Mohamed Fadl talked about creating an ecosystem that supports not only the pro players of the game but the grassroots level. Grassroots is where new pros are discovered and to guide the lower tier players into the competitive space – Wargaming has created the TMS or Tournament Management System.
“Our vision is for players to create tournaments how they see” said Mohamed Fadl as he explains that to create competitive players, you need a system to support it. With the TMS, players can gather their friends to play competitive World of Tanks at their own time. The system allows you to even join existing teams and sign up for a range of various tournaments depending on your intentions and skill level.
“This is our vision, feed into what the players want – they want to compete. For this we need to create a system that allows them to compete on a very simple level. Just with friends without any real rewards.”
Mohamed Fadl has also mentioned about the mistakes of throwing money straight into tournaments citing that because real money is involved – it scares amateur or casuals away because of the level of competition.
“One of the mistakes we’ve learnt is that we’ve put money in right away – even in the grassroots tournaments which made people stop participating. We learnt from this that basic players want to play for fun. We had to study the ecosystem which showed that the biggest group just want to play, when they can – for fun.”
Despite the massive growth in esports over the years, the grassroots factor still plays an important factor for shaping the pro scene for the game. Without fresh new players to discover their competitive talent in no risk tournaments – World of Tanks wouldn’t be able to find new pro players. Wargaming has admitted it has learnt from the mistakes from scaring people with big tournaments and money so the TMS system is a great way for players with all skill levels to jump into the competitive fun.
This method allows players to discover themselves as well, putting players on the competitive level will help them discover their talents and if they want to take the challenge – World of Tanks allows that pathway from the casual level of competitive gaming to maybe one day, the Grand Finals stage where you and your team will be crowned world champions earning big prize money.