Teamfight Tactics, the new League of Legends game mode, received some criticism from the community recently. Many content creators worry for the future of the promising game, seeing viewership statistics drop rapidly after the first month. Viewership of the game dropped 40 percent in just 14 days. Despite these drops, prominent organizations such as Cloud9, and more recently, Team Liquid picked up TFT players in preparation for a professional scene. TFT’s product lead Richard “Riot MapleNectar” Henkel announced Riot’s view on how TFT is doing and how the company will proceed with the booming game mode.
Liquid is now the Top 2 spots of the TFT Ladder ????
— Team Liquid (@TeamLiquid) September 24, 2019
Riot sees TFT as a complete success. Charts and numbers released show massive growth in the LoL player base as a result of the game mode. Nexus Blitz—a game mode with a cult-like following—was also shown on the graph. Striking down the hope of Nexus Blitz ever returning, TFT game hours doubled ARAM numbers and quadrupled Nexus Blitz. TFT also began stabilizing around the twentieth day while Nexus Blitz hemorrhaged players throughout its lifetime.
Spikes from TFT grew so large that they have measurably increased the LoL player base. The peak concurrent LoL players increased by 30 percent and the population hasn’t dropped since then. China, the region with 111 million of the LoL player base prior to TFT’s release, experienced a 35 percent increase in total game hours—a trend that remains. Henkel also brings big news to the future for the game.
Here’s the graph that he’s referring to 🙂 pic.twitter.com/8Sm4M1xGFB
— Teamfight Tactics (@TFT) September 25, 2019
A TFT competitive scene is confirmed to start in 2020. With 80 percent of all TFT games played being ranked, Riot took the hint that competition is huge to their player base. The game also resonates well with high esports regions such as Korea.
In addition to the competitive announcement, patch 9.19 is stated as the last major gameplay change for Set One. Set Two will be released next month, bringing new champions and synergies as well as removing some champions from Set One out of the game.
Major esports companies investing in the TFT scene, even before the Riot announcement, show the promise that the new esport brings. It has all the features of a successful esports game. There is a sizeable following on Twitch even after viewership drops. Concurrent players remain at a generally constant level with a high player interest in competition.
Looking forward, the TFT game mode has the potential to be Riot’s second major esports title with longevity in the professional scene.
Written by Jimmy Bellinghausen