We went to Dreamhack Hannover to watch the Tarkov Arena Esport Debut invitationals and got a chance to sit down and talk with BSG boss and Tarkov director Nikita Buyanov about the future of their new competitive shooter.
To say Escape from Tarkov Arena's showing at Dreamhack Hannover was a statement would be underselling it. Not sure how it came across on stream but Battlestate Games surely made it feel like the most important thing at that convention. And I may remind you that they played the German ESL Finals just across the convention center.
And there was something poetic about the last ESL championship in Counter-Strike (for now) being played as a new fast competitive shooter made its tentative steps onto the global Esports stage.
Escape from Tarkov Arena Esports – Hitting it Big from the Start
Watching Takov Arena was a sight to behold, matches were fast and furious as six teams duked it out over the weekend for a hefty $100.000 prize pool. And while more people had a chance to play Tarkov Arena after the surprise launch on Sunday, we still only managed to get a glimpse at what the competitive scene could look like on the highest level.
While I personally enjoy Tarkov by ratting through Interchange and Reserve and minding my own business, I can't deny how hype it is as a spectator. Matches are short but the action is constant, the different gearsets provide tactical depth to keep rounds varied, and the introduction of the cleanup crew crashing the party after the time limit was up made the final instances of some matches incredibly tense.
And I also must admit, watching GamerLegion come back after Virtus.pro had their number in the group phase and the first round of PlayOffs made for a thrilling story for Tarkov Arena's first tournament. And will most likely be the first of many.
The Future of Tarkov Arena
On Sunday I also had a chance to sit down with BSG boss Nikita Buyanov and talk all things Tarkov, Arena, and Esports. You can read everything we talked about in regard to EFT here.
The biggest question around Tarkov Arena was how hands-on BattleState Games would be when it came to its Esports endeavors and if BSG floated the idea of running a league of their own or continuing to do Invitationals like the one played in Hannover.
Nikita told me that their current focus for Arena was to develop tools that'll make it very easy to set up and run tournaments as professionally as possible. And while he wasn't against the idea of an official league under BGS's management, he reiterated the importance of independently run grassroots tournaments.
I also asked what their plans for Tarkov Arena's long-term monetization were and if they'd consider doing skins for characters and weapons similar to other competitive shooters. He told me that they are considering small accessories such as armbands, badges, and load-outs similar to the Ryzhz preset pre-order bonus.
When asked about when players of Arena can expect the upcoming new mechanics in EFT (Vaulting, New Stances, and new Armor System) he told me that they're still testing these features in the competitive environment, but they would be added as soon as possible.
Lastly, I asked Nikita if they'd consider releasing tools that'll allow players to create maps and other user-made content. And while he didn't outright dismiss the idea, he told me that their focus was currently on the stability of the game and providing the tools necessary for tournament organizers.
And that sums up everything we learned from and around Tarkov Arena and its future in Esports. We'll of course have more on EFT and Arena very soon so stick with us here on ESTNN