For all the competition and innovation they brought to the world of video games, eSports can still feel a bit restrictive at times. To reach the necessary level of skill to be a part of this highly competitive industry one needs to practice long hours and do largely the same things. Different strategies, new tactics and patches prevent professional players from becoming one trick ponies. However, only a handful of the game modes available are used and the vast majority of eSports focus on a single one.
The Most Balanced Game Mode Always Wins
League of Legends and Dota 2 top the list in terms of active players as well as prizes and they do so for good reason. The games have changed very little since they came around and despite having several modes, a single one is played extensively.
The 5v5 mode is played in all competitions even though League of Legends players also enjoy Ascension, Black Market Brawlers and Nemesis Draft among other game modes. The same goes for Dota 2 players who only get to enjoy Single Draft, Random Draft, All Random and Captains Mode in casual games.
The Future of Asymmetrical Team Setups
There are a couple of reasons to believe that the eSports industry might one day be more open towards asymmetrical game modes. First-person shooters lead the way and Counter Strike was the first game to tinker with the game modes. It happens quite often that despite the game designer’s best efforts, one team has an advantage over the other.
Bomb Defusal, hostage rescue and VIP game modes sometimes give defenders an edge. When the teams change roles these advantages even out, so the matches remain fair, yet slightly different. There were other attempts at pushing original game modes into the eSports industry, but they generally fell flat.
Some even blame the relative lack of success of Call of Duty in the eSports arena on the fact that it changed too often. Its game modes are usually nothing more than a welcomed distraction from the grinding routine, at least for professional players. Zombie modes and other innovative concepts have no chance whatsoever of being played at competitive level.