During the Gears of War competitive showcase livestream The Coalition Studio Head Rod Fergusson announced that Gears of War is going to delve into eSports in partnership with Xbox, ESL and Twitch.
The initiative will “start small” with Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, and will have a pre-season starting in September and lasting four weeks, with a series of different events. Sixteen teams will be selected across two qualifiers in the pre-season. Then they’ll fight into the first season between October and January, up to the finals that will pitch the best four teams against each other.
The overall prize pool for the first season will be $60,000, and the competition will showcase the new “Blitz” mode that is an eSports friendly version of King of the Hill.
After the first season, that will focus on North America, the team plans to expand to different regions and with bigger prize pools. On top of the Pro League there will also be an Open Series for those who want a more relaxed competition.
If you want to try your skills and luck, you can register your team here.
During the Q&A Session, Fergusson mentioned that there are no announcements to be made for now about cross-play between Xbox One and PC for the Ultimate Edition, but he’s “hearing” the question.
He also explained that all the existing DLC for Gears of War: Ultimate Edition are already in the box, so there won’t be more in the future, because the studio is now focusing on Gears of War 4. Creating new maps and content for Ultimate Edition would in fact ultimately impact the upcoming new game. That said, there will definitely be tweaks and initiatives to support eSports in the game.