The first esports tournament for Dead by Daylight, an asymmetrical horror game from Behaviour Interactive, begins today. Today’s bracket is for the PC version on the game, with the next two days focusing on the PS4 and Xbox One versions, respectively. The announcement of this tournament comes as quite a surprise. Behaviour’s title recently had its second birthday, and there have been no prior esports-oriented tournaments surrounding the title. Organized in conjunction with Space Esports, the prizes for each day’s events include $5,000 for the top team, along with exclusive merchandise.
The gambit of Dead by Daylight
Dead by Daylight is unique within the esports landscape. For starters, asymmetrical titles are rare. Rather than balancing their games based on even team numbers, asymmetrical titles focus on unique gameplay mechanics to separate players from one another. In Dead by Daylight, each match contains five players. Four act as survivors, seeking to outlast the fifth player, who controls a villainous killer. There are various characters on both sides of the equation, with some of the killers modeled after infamous tropes from the horror canon. In this inaugural tournament, teams of four or five players are pitted against each other. Over the course of three rounds, survivors of one team play against the killer from another, and vice versa.
Aside from the asymmetrical gameplay, this surprise tournament is strange for a few other reasons. Not only is Dead by Daylight a couple years old at this point, but Behaviour recently revealed its follow-up title. Deathgarden, another asymmetrical multiplayer game, takes the ideas from their first title and places them in a new setting. This puts the longevity of Dead by Daylight into question. Is this tournament a one-time celebration of the game’s second anniversary, or are there more events down the line? Asymmetrical game are notable for having difficulty maintaining an audience. For example, the developers of Friday the 13th, perhaps the game most similar to Dead by Daylight, recently announced the end of their title.
For this first-time event, a total of 297 teams registered to compete. Although registration is closed for the event, you can view matches on Space Esports’ Twitch account at 3 p.m. Pacific on each day. What are your thoughts? Would you like to see more lesser-known titles receive the esports treatment? If so, what title would you like to see enter the competitive spotlight?