SWC Review – is Summoners War a Worthy Esport? 


As Esports become more popular, studios and game developers strive to be part of the said competitive sport – one of which is Com2Us.

First off, Summoners War is a free to play online strategy game where players summon monsters to fight in turn-based battles working with over 1,000 monsters, various attacks, and passive abilities. It’s a great gacha game where you have to synergize your monsters instead of building a team of rare monsters that can cheese the game.


Is Summoners War Esports-Ready?

In June 2017, the company joined the Amazon Mobile Masters Invitational in New York alongside Hearthstone and Vainglory catering to its gaming community. The company still pushes its Esports efforts, but we can’t help but see that it puts players in an unfair situation where they don’t have the same pool of runes and monsters.

For instance, the game is far too-RNG based, meaning, any activities in the game are governed by luck. Although this system is essential for the game, the thing about it is that everything is RNG: may it be runes, units, scrolls, violent procs and etc. Take, for example, in summoning monsters, players have little to no chance in acquiring natural 5* and 4* monsters as they have 0.05% and 8.0% chance to be pulled respectively.

Even in the game’s PVP arena, matches tend to have absurd RNG-reliant gameplay. For instance, a single Vio proc can turn the tables and win or lose a match. The accuracy-resistance stats are also too RNG-based, with 100 resistance sometimes being conquered by 25 accuracy.  Surely, participants won’t be able to help themselves but get salty.

One insane example that happened in the SWC is an insane Antares proc. Antares, the fire Lich, has a set percentage to instantly move after an opponent’s turn. Needless to say, it can get really frustrating if you lose because this monster procs so much.

Unfortunately, the Antares example was not an isolated case. SWC championships are usually dominated by RNG-based movesets and monsters. Ranging from turn 1 Fran sleep procs to the ridiculous Antares example above, this level of RNG is frankly not fun and let alone fair.



The Core of Esports Games 

Esports games are all about fairness. This means that for Summoners War to be called an Esports, players should have the same pool of monsters and runes. At least, they should have the opportunity to eventually acquire all monsters without buying the entire company.

Just take a look at Clash Royale, LOL, Mobile Legends, and Hearthstone. Players may not have the same pool of units at the beginning, but there is a distinct end to the grind because it is realistic for players to acquire absolutely everything.

Clash Royale may need a level of luck to pull the best units, but players will eventually get all units. The same goes for the cards of Hearthstone. On the other hand, it is impossible to complete your Summoners War monster collection, especially when it comes to LND lightning.


What Com2us Can Do

The best course of action is to give pro players the same pool of resources and runes during events. This puts them in an equal playing field, making the game truly skill-based. To add the cherry on top, they can make the runes of the participants customizable, further improving the fairness of the game. Com2us does not have to implement this on the entire RTA scene. Instead, they can implement it for qualifiers.

Another great step is to totally remove RNG. Instead of being proc-based, RNG skills and runes should have a predictable result. For instance, they can make Vio a guaranteed proc every three turns. RNG debuffs should have a threshold to fill instead of pure RNG (e.g. stun target after three attacks). This will reduce the layer of RNG in the game to a mostly acceptable level.


In a nutshell…

As a fun, I’d love to see Summoners War succeed as an e-sports. Unfortunately, the game is really far from one. Maybe if they will work on the rune system and the RNG in general, the game will make a fine Esports that can probably rival even the competitive scene of Pokemon. Nevertheless, Summoners War is still enjoyable to play and even watch. The RNG itself makes the game entertaining, especially when crazy procs change a game. Well, at least when you are a spectator and not a participant.

In the meantime, you can play Summoners War on PC and continue the grind until we can finally enjoy a true Esports experience.