Riot Games' autobattler has been fairly successful. After the flood of clones came crashing down, Teamfight Tactics emerged as one of the major players left standing in the new genre, and now, Riot is reaffirming its commitment to Teamfight Tactics as a separate entity from League of Legends.
Announced today, Riot Games is planning to establish a competitive scene for Teamfight Tactics. It's unclear what format this would take, as competition for autobattler games are still fairly nascent; whether a franchised team model like the League Championship Series is likely, or something closer to Hearthstone or Magic: The Gathering, hasn't been announced yet.
With patch 9.19, this also marks the end of what Riot is calling "Set 1" for Teamfight Tactics. Next month, the team is planning a larger look at what's been learned from the first set and what could be coming in Set 2, but that's essentially the end of the first "season" of Teamfight Tactics. In our interview with the Teamfight Tactics devs ahead of launch, there was some indication of what could be coming in new sets, including new versions of existing champions, so it'll be interesting to see how the game mode evolves.
But for a game mode within another game, much like Dota Auto Chess before it, Teamfight Tactics has managed to establish its own identity pretty well. Riot's numbers show it garnering a monthly player base of over 33 million, and it hiked up the peak concurrent player count of League of Legends by 30%. Teamfight Tactics has already seen some commitment from Riot in the past as not just another limited-time mode, but it looks like long-term plans are falling into place for the autobattler variant, including both competitive plans and expanding Teamfight Tactics for players who want a "less and intense and more social experience," the blog post says.
There's good reasons for why Teamfight Tactics has emerged from the "auto chess" kerfuffle as a major player, alongside Valve's Dota Underlords, and it looks like Riot Games is looking ahead at what the future might entail for it. What comes next for one of the biggest breakout genres of 2019 will be interesting to see.