The Electronic Sports League, or ESL are best known for creating and sponsoring tournaments at a professional level. ESL Technology decided create a system to make life easier for independent developers. The ESL Matchmaking will be a white listed development kit that developers can use to have a skill-based matchmaking system ready for them immediately. It will make its debut soon, with the upcoming racing game Formula Fusion by R8 games. Formula Fusion will be launching on PC, Playstation 4, and X-Box One in early 2016.
"Indie development has grown in leaps and bounds, continuing to be an area of amazing video game innovation in terms of content, game play and overall creativity. ESL recognizes the potential of indie games and we believe the ESL Matchmaking toolkit will help level the playing field for indies," said Arne Peters, Vice President of ESL technology. Putting a little faith in the little guys, ESL Technology are hoping ESL Matchmaking will help them find the next big competitive game. This is great news for any developer who always wanted to make a competitive game. The concerns about creating your own matchmaking system might become a problem in the past.
The toolkit itself is a platform-independent application programming interface (API) that is already in use in ESL's online tournaments. Games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and the FIFA series show a taste of what is in store for the future of competitive games. The intention of ESL Matchmaking appears to be to allow for any developer with an idea for a competitive game to focus on the game play, instead of how will players face each other. To quote Andrew Walker from R8 games, who's game will be showcasing the toolkit, “ESL Matchmaking will not only fuel the best possible online multiplayer experiences for our fans, but it will also help us focus our resources on game design, development and balancing. We are truly excited about this opportunity and the potential that offering industry-leading eSports support brings.”
We will know more information after Game Developers Conference (March 2nd through 6th, 2015) when ESL Technology will showcase the capabilities of their system. Here's to hoping it will create a whole new level of competitive games.