Is Amazon’s Breakaway looking to become the next big Esport?
Does Amazon’s new competitive gaming title have what it takes to go toe-to-toe against the existing Esports giants?
As Esports continues to be dominated by big MOBA titles, namely League of Legends and Dota 2, with the First Person Shooters taking the immediate lower ranks like Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch, which rising popularity is currently not seeing any end soon, people have long been asking, which new title will look to topple or maybe even get in par with the current titans?
Enter Amazon, the american e-commerce service provider that has made its move towards the market of Esports through its multi-million dollar acquisition of Twitch, while their most recent plan in their continuous venture into Esports include a star-studded mobile game tournament, the other big move involved developing their own competitive video game title which is called Breakaway.
Breakaway is mashup of sports, mythological and hero brawler themes with the core gameplay being able to “dunk” a relic, which is in form of a ball, into the enemy’s base, which then serves as the “goal”. Speaking of mythological, the characters draw heavy inspiration from Nordic, Greek, Roman and Egyptian lore, with slightly modern themes mixed in such as the Wild Western Rawlins and the pirate Anne Bonny.
Sports and Hero Brawler mashup
Sound weird? While it may not actually be a true sport game, the core gameplay element does involve you and your team transporting a ball across the playing field while trying to dodge or live through enemy attacks and at the same time trying to stop the enemy team from scoring by dunking the ball…err relic into your own base. Part of the gameplay also involves placing turrets, both offensive and defensive ones in key locations around the map which will help target down enemy heroes or heal up you and your allies.
Integration with Twitch: The biggest Esports viewing platform
As Breakaway describes itself to be “Made by Streamers for Streamers”, the game has direct interaction elements with Twitch, undoubtedly the world’s largest Esports viewing platform today, and also a subsidiary of Amazon, such as using your Twitch account to play, instant replays, a Broadcaster Match builder feature and performing live interaction with your audience right within the game.
Becoming the next big Esports title?
So how will Breakaway become the next big Esports title? Amazon’s one edge with Breakaway would rely largely on how they plan to take advantage of the Twitch integration feature which can easily turn everyone with a bit of know-how to becoming game streamers, easily propagating the game’s popularity on the streaming platform. Another advantage would be the game’s simple mechanics, you form a group of 4, find a match, dunk the enemy relic or wipe them out, then you win, no need to worry about creep or minion timings, or if whether which dragon has spawned, you setup and play the game, that’s it. Amazon also looks to be already investing big bucks for the game to succeed as an Esport such as hosting an exhibition match in front of a live crowd in their very own Studio last September 2016.
Walls to overcome
While Amazon may have everything in their arsenal to develop Breakaway in its journey to becoming the next big Esports title, there are still obvious and rather large hurdles to overcome should it really fulfill its potential. First off, the scene is already dominated with MOBAs, while Breakaway may have a few elements of a MOBA but still largely is not a MOBA, the game’s high similarity in themes with other titles such as SMITE and Rocket League draws skepticism from a crowd who is already looking for a new competitive title to play that’s not similar to already existing titles. This factor may potentially hurt the community support that Breakaway needs into becoming an Esport as players may just shrug and say “I’d rather play X than this because they are just similar”. For instance, SMITE prided itself on innovating the MOBA genre and was once deemed to also compete directly with Dota 2 and League of Legends but then 2 years after, its viewership numbers on Twitch alone proves that it is nowhere near to even becoming next to these 2 clashing titans.
Nevertheless, as what we have stated, Amazon may have everything in their arsenal to develop Breakaway as the next Esports title, and perhaps they will be able to if they pull the right strings.
Breakway is now rolling out their Alpha tests, with the most recent one held last Dec 15 to 19, 2016, more should come soon as the game is nearing its release and you can check out the official Breakaway website, PlayBreakaway.com for more details and future announcements.