The Farming Simulator simulator series is getting its own esports league, developer Giants Software announced today. The Swiss studio is fronting 250,000 euros (about $284,553) of its own capital as prize money for the 10-tournament season, which has no announced schedule as of yet.
Teams of three will compete in events that “combine real field work like harvesting with fun and challenging game elements,” according to the press release. Your guess for what that could mean is as good as mine.
But hey, instead of asking “why,” we should all be asking “why not?” If Giants wants to go out there and spend a few hundred thou’ on farm sports, let ’em! Maybe it’ll be incredible! In fact, maybe there are at least five other games that might as well be esports now!
No Man’s Sky
I dunno if Hello Games has the kind of liquid assets needed to set something like this up, but that’s a question for another time. The question for right now is: “How do you turn No Man’s Sky — a largely solitary, quiet game — into a sport?” Simple, baby! Arbitrary statistics!!
I’m talkin’ “scans per minute” (SPM), “planets per hour” (PPH), “total systems visited” (TSV), “artsy screenshots per session” (ASSPS), “number of times the player talked to a tiny alien that looks like a goofy little man in a baby voice” (NTPTTALGLMBV).
You don’t need rules, regulations, or even direct contact between players so long as you can boil a person’s value down into numbers, which are then ranked publicly. And just like capitalism, people compete whether they want to or not!
Tomb Raider 2
Tomb Raider 2 is esports now. Not the first one, or the third one, or any of the ones with subtitles or any of the ones on modern systems — just Tomb Raider 2.
Athletes compete by playing through the game in its entirety, live, in front of a panel of judges. Scores are then given after the game is finished, following the same rules as those used by judges during gymnastic floor routines at the Olympics. There is no prize, but top competitors do get the opportunity to visit some of the most exploited cities in the world, also just like the Olympics.
Heroes of the Storm
Now that Blizzard has de facto cancelled Heroes of the Storm‘s entire esports presence, there’s finally enough room for my underground bootleg league: Backyard Heroes Global Slampionship 2019. My innovative new format follows the same basic structure as Blizzard’s antiquated Global Championship series, except in my tournament, teams also compete in unregulated, full-contact wrestling matches between rounds of HOTS. Show your Juggalo membership card for a free pretzel at the concession stand!
Castle of Dr. Brain
This would basically be like that show Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, except contestants would have to play through Sierra On-Line’s classic 1991 edutainment game Castle of Dr. Brain. Also, that mean British lady from Weakest Link is there. Still counts as esports!
Alright, obviously the biggest hurdle here is going to be distribution. Television deals are right out. Twitch is a non-starter. We won’t be able to host recaps and analysis on Youtube for obvious reasons. We’re also going to need an extremely large team of attorneys on call at all times, and that’s not going to be cheap. Additionally, I’m going to have to explain this joke to my mom, which I’m not looking forward to. Once we get that Patreon set up though, it’ll all be worth it.