Sony has announced a partnership with ESL to bring pro-gaming to the PlayStation 4 via a new feature it calls PlayStation Tournaments.
The latest salvo in the ongoing battle for console gaming supremacy against rival Microsoft, Sony's PlayStation Tournaments aims to add support for high-profile official pro-gaming competitions to the platform - including, for its first outing, prizes for the top three winners including a DualShock 4 controller and unspecified 'PlayStation gear
'We're incredibly excited to be able to offer this seamlessly integrated solution for the most passionate eSports fans. ESL's mission is to bring competitive gaming to fans around the world, and when doing so, to create an environment that allows them to fully focus on their gaming skills,
' claimed Marcel Menge, ESL Technology's managing director. 'In the partnership with Sony Interactive Entertainment, we’re going to host hundreds of weekly tournaments for players from any corner of the world. Anyone who wants to try their hand at competitive gaming can now easily do so across a wide variety of titles.
The launch event will be centred around basketball title NBA 2K17, and is open only to those with paid-up PlayStation Plus membership. Those wishing to compete will also need an ESL account, which becomes linked to the registered PlayStation Plus account. When live, each tournament will appear under the Events menu on the console; players can sign up directly on the console, and will be prompted when match time comes around.
Sony's John Koller has confirmed that the PlayStation Tournaments feature will, initially, be limited to one-on-one competition, though has pledged that the company will 'continue to enhance the feature in the future.
' The service marks the second time Sony has tried to push the PS4 into the eSports arena, following on from 2014's launch of La Liga Oficial