The Battle of Bucharest has been announced as the first ever live Mount & Blade eSports tournament. Organised by TaleWorlds Entertainment and the Lithuanian Esports Federation, the event is taking place on 20 May 2017.
FPS, RTS and MOBA - sure, I can see those being eSports, but a Mount and Blade: Warband tournament is a bit unusual. The Battle for Bucharest event, with a prize pool of $10.000, is scheduled for 20 May 2017 and will be fought in 1v1 and 5v5 player categories.
Mount and Blade: Warband was released back in 2008 and has maintained quite a following helped by a lively and dedicated modding community. Little surprise there, since the game has sold over 7 million copies since launch, but debuting as an eSport almost 10 years after release is quite out of the ordinary.
It is possible that Eastern Europe has developed a competitive scene while no one was looking, especially since the PC is still king in that part of the world as far as gaming platforms go, and Warband is old enough to run on a toaster if need be. Alternatively this might just be TaleWorld's attempt to stir up some publicity in preparation for the long awaited sequel coming this year, Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord.
Time will tell if this is a one off promotional thing, or if Warband has a future as an eSport. Either way, a bit more variety in eSports is always a welcome thing.
You can tune in for the live-stream and make up your own mind on 20 May 2017. A great way to pass the time while waiting for Bannerlord.