ESL was great for many reason, but mainly it gave the hardcore players something to fight over. It makes the game feel like it's actually alive and growing. When the game first launched, and throughout the life of ESL, esports were still in their grass roots stage and only started to catch on. Now they're at the point where the esports industry makes more then the NBA. I really do think Gw2 has the potential to turn it around, because the gameplay is there, and it does have passionate players that love the game.
I know there's a lot of salty people that complain about PvP and say it's unbalanced. The truth is, if you play any other MMOs, Gw2 is still the best one in terms of PvP by a long shot. The close second would be WoW, which actually has pretty well casted PvP tournaments that prove MMO PvP can bring viewers. In terms of PvP, the rest of the MMOs basically are competition with each other in the special olympics with it really just being an after thought.
We don't need massive prize pools for PvP to be hype again. ArenaNet support really does go a long way in giving hope to the community, and we really only hear from Ben who does a wonderful job, but he's only one person that can do so much.
My suggestion: When 2v2/3v3 ATs are all sorted out, it would be nice if ArenaNet actually casted some games like back in the ESL days. People want something to boast there ego. Even if the prizes are just gems, that would be enough. Also Anet really needs to double down on Twitch. Their attempts feel weak with just some developers who barely play their own game, going around and pressing 1 on doors in WvW. the Twitch has loot drops now, maybe have twitch loot boxes drop loot for watching streams? Also, maybe even a Twitch Prime partnership like Fortnite did, which was crazy successful.
To the other players who don't believe PvP can come back, you should look at Smash Bros Melee as an example. The game had a small scene, and when the sequel came out, the scene was on life support and was very quiet. Then came a documentary for the game, then tournaments became more common, and despite being a 15 year old GameCube game, it still became EVOs most watched game. If a really old GameCube game can come back from death to be one of the most popular export games, I truly believe that Gw2 can come back, especially while esports just continues to grow.
Something extra I wish for, but probably won't happen: It'd be nice if the spectator was improved a bit to show characters more clearly, similar to how WoW casts their PvP tournaments. Also a bit of a big request, but maybe tone down the visual effects so animations are more readable for spectators.
Overwatch esports spectating was a train wreck when it first launched. Yet they stuck with it, and improved the viewer experience, and now it regularly brings in 100k+ viewers and is one of the most popular esports games. There's no reason why Anet needs to give up on esports just because it wasn't popular during the ESL!
Shípp - Mesmer main 🐉
Feel free to add me in game.
I mostly PvP and open world PvE.