eSports is a rapidly growing segment of gaming; garnering millions of views and generating millions of dollars in revenue for streamers, players, and companies that put on the events. While games like DOTA 2 and Counter Strike: GO dominate the conversation, there’s also a significant audience for mobile eSports.
So significant that Amazon has invested heavily in the platform, assisting in the development of the ‘Mobile Masters’ series.
At Mobile Masters, games like Hearthstone and Vain Glory are featured – and are more accessible to the masses, meaning a champion doesn’t need a $1600 gaming rig – or even a TV and console, just a phone (or tablet), a brain, and the quickest thumbs (and brain) in the world.
And thanks to the Mobile Masters series – and the upcoming Mobile Masters: Las Vegas (running Oct 14th-15th), those gamers with a phone, a dream, and dedication, can compete on the world’s stage in front of millions of viewers.
What is Mobile Masters? When is it? Who’s involved? Where can you watch, and why should you?
Read on to find out.
1. Mobile Masters: Las Vegas is the second major Mobile Masters Tournament.
The Mobile Masters Series is just getting off the ground. The first invitational tournament, Mobile Masters: New York, took place in Newark, New Jersey in June 2017. There were over 12,000 in-person attendants.
$65,000 were up for grabs in at the event, spread across Summoner’s War, Vain Glory, and Hearthstone. The two day tournament brought in talented e-sports teams and single competitors alike, including Hearthstone streamer Anthony_Kongphan, who famously raised over 100,000 dollars for charity via his Twitch TV channel.
The second event, Mobile Masters: Las Vegas, looks to be even bigger, badder, and more intense.
2. It’s Happening At A State of The Art E-Sports Stadium
Millennial E-Sports Arena in Downtown Vegas is a structure located in in the futuristically cool looking Neonpolis Entertainment Complex in Vegas. The arena has held Halo World Championship qualifiers, Madden Tournaments, and is part of an effort to bring e-sports to the forefront of Vegas. In fact, the Luxor hotel (the one shaped like a pyramid) will have an E-sports arena of its own sometime in 2018.
By hosting the Mobile Masters Tournament in a brick-and-mortar location like The Millennial E-Sports Arena, Mobile Masters: Las Vegas lends itself, its players, and the games being played a legitimacy they deserve, but rarely get; It’s hard enough to get the masses to respect e-sports. Getting them to respect mobile e-sports is an entirely different challenge – and a prestige location is a great first step in earning that much-deserved respect.
3. All The Games Are Free-To-Play
Part of the challenge in getting that respect, and appeal of Mobile Masters, and Mobile E-sports, is the free-to-play nature of the games on display: Power Rangers: Legacy War, World of Tanks: Blitz, Critical Ops, and Vain Glory – the games being featured at the event, cost the player zero dollars to play.
On mobile, free-to-play has a bad reputation due to concerns regarding paywalling, pay-to-winning, and general money-grubbing tactics that can suck the soul, fun, and money out of the player in the name of fun or loot boxes.
But at the same time, that’s also the beauty of mobile gaming. As long as you have a phone, the drive, and the time, the buy-in for these games is zero. You don’t need a massive gaming rig, you don’t need a special kind of monitor or a mouse with 16 preset buttons. Anyone can get in, and the best will rise to the top.
4. There’s $80,000 Up For Grabs
It’s fitting that Professional Poker Player Maria Ho will host the event. With 80,000 dollars up for grabs, It’s not unfair to compare Mobile Masters: Las Vegas to a World Series of Poker or World Poker Tour Event.
Competing for their share of the prize money are professional e-sports teams Cloud9, TSM, SK Gaming, Fnatic, Echo Fox, Gankstars, and Imperials.
There will also be individual competitors that are part of a team’s brand, for example Power Rangers: Legacy War, which is a mono-a-mono kind of adventure.
The prize money will be divided up amongst the games on display. Vain Glory players will be competing for 50,000 in Prize Money, while, Power Rangers, World of Tanks Blitz, and Critical Ops will compete for 10,000 each.
The prize pool is larger than that of the Mobile Masters Invitational in New York, and it’s intoxicating to think some of the people playing downloaded a game on their phone out of happenstance, then find themselves poised to make real, life-changing money on an international stage.
5. You Can Watch on Twitch.TV and Amazon Prime Video
So, how do you watch Mobile Masters: Las Vegas if you’re not making the trip to Sin City? The same way you always would; Twitch.TV, Amazon Prime Video, and Youtube.
The event takes place from Saturday, October 14th to Sunday October 15th.
The go-to link appears to be this Twitch.TV channel which is the official ‘game center’ of the event. An international audience of over 1,000,000 is expected.
Saturday will see World of Tanks Bliz & Critical Ops streamed, and on Sunday, Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, and the ‘Main Event’ of Vainglory will be casted around the world.
With a massive audience expected, serious corporate backing by way of Amazon, and professional teams and competitors eager to assert their dominance (and the mobile platform’s dominance), Mobile Masters: Las Vegas looks to be both a major opportunity and major stepping stone for the players, and the world of mobile esports itself.
Stay tuned for updates, info, and details – including winners, losers, and info on the competitors.