Gigantic is the latest MOBA that's trying to stake its claim in the esports market. Is it ready?
(Featured image via Motiga.)

First Impressions: Is Gigantic a Viable Esports Contender?

Jul 28, 2017
(Featured image via Motiga.)

The world of video games has been bombarded with titles aiming to take the throne of esports king. The newest game to reach for that crown came out only recently, and it’s called Gigantic.

Gigantic is a “strategic hero shooter” MOBA in which teams of five players aim to power up a giant entity, dubbed “The Guardian,” and destroy the opposing team’s Guardian. The Guardian can be powered up by eliminating players, capturing points or destroying creatures which each team can spawn on said points. When a Guardian is at full power, they leap across the map and pin down the enemy Guardian at which point attacking players have to deal damage to the enemy Guardian’s weak spot, thus wounding it.

(Image via Motiga.)

Wounding the Guardian three times wins the match. Defending players have to eliminate the attacking players and attempt to get their own Guardian to pin down the enemy Guardian.

Gigantic offers a variety of heroes to choose from, with everything from assassins to bruisers. Each of the 19 playable characters has their own abilities, as well as a unique ultimate ability dubbed “Focus.” The game offers a character (and playstyle) for almost every type of MOBA player.

Screenshot from Gigantic.
(Screenshot via 2P.)

The game’s third person camera and use of “Guardians” is very reminiscent of SMITE, and the graphics and art sport a modern, minimalist style. The abilities are easy to learn and the core concept of the game is fairly simple, especially if you’ve played a MOBA in the last ten years. The game’s simple-to-upgrade abilities further solidify the similarities between SMITE and Gigantic, and fans of the former won’t have a hard time adapting to Gigantic.

Unlike other MOBAs, however, the game is not split into lanes. Sure, there’s different paths you can take to get to the different capture points, but they’re not lanes, at least in the traditional sense. On the more complex maps, fights will be split between the different alleyways (comparable, I suppose, to jungles) and the capture points. On less complex maps, like Ghost Reef, most of the fights are going to happen on the main pathway between the Guardians.

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Gigantic could certainly use more polish, especially when it comes to character balance and the stamina bar. One particular character that annoyed me to no end was Tripp — she’s able to continuously swing her swords at you until you’re dead. Tripp can chase your character almost everywhere you go, and it’s almost impossible to escape her grasp. This was made even harder by the game’s stamina bar, which always seems to run out at the worst of times, often leaving you unable to escape from a pursuing enemy. Personally, I’d prefer the game if the stamina bar was removed entirely.

The real question, and the entire reason why this article exists, is “can this game make it as an esports title?” The answer is maybe, but that’s all on the developer and the game’s community. The developer of Gigantic will have to focus on making the game “esports-ready” through a variety of features, including a ranked gamed move and ensuring stable connections with high-bandwidth servers.

(Image via Motiga.)

A great example of a game losing its player base due to connection issues is For Honor. With an all-time highest peak of active players at 45,923 active players, For Honor’s player base has fallen below a 2000 average daily low player count, which we can partially attribute to the ongoing problems that are facing the game’s servers.

The good news is that the developer aims to add a ranked mode as well as a way for players to organize their own league and tournament matches. In a Reddit post six months ago, the Lead Game Designer commented that “we plan to implement a ranked mode at some point, but that’s a fairly large chunk of work which we have not yet dedicated resources to. Our first step is likely going to be to give players a way to organize their own matches so that the competitive community can run their own leagues/ladders/tournaments etc. as they see fit.”

The game is also published by Perfect World Entertainment, the NA subsidiary of Chinese MMORPG company Perfect World. They have experience publishing a number of fairly succesful MMORPGs like Neverwinter Online, Star Trek Online, Torchlight I and II as well as Blacklight: Retribution. Perfect World’s most significant contribution to the esports scene, however, has been the fact that they’re responsible for publishing Valve’s titles in China, including Dota 2 and CS:GO.

With the right amount of cooperation between the publisher (Perfect World Entertainment), the developer (Motiga) and the community, it’s always possible that Gigantic will become a popular esports title in the near future, but it’s got plenty of competition.

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Esports journalist with a passion for writing. Won't stop until I get to the top. Has previously worked with other organizations such as Denial eSports, Echo Fox, GAMURS and GosuGamers.
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