World of Tanks developer Wargaming.net is entering the eSports fray with the formation of the Wargaming.net League, the company announced today.
Wargaming.net is planning to launch its new eSports league in the first quarter of 2013. The company will run it in the traditional eSports format, with regional tournaments and playoffs that whittle down the player base to a select few who will compete in a Grand Finals event. The Wargaming.net League will feature a total prize pool of $2.5 million for the 2013 season of play.
"Running our own eSports league allows us to truly focus on making World of Tanks not only a compelling and challenging eSports discipline, but also one that's incredibly entertaining for spectators," said Andrei Yarantsau, VP of global operations at Wargaming.net, in a press release announcing the creation of the league.
Jonghyuk Baak, Wargaming.net's global eSports director, added, "We have now reached the point where we can focus significant effort on advancing World of Tanks on to the global eSports scene." He called the establishment of the Wargaming.net League a "groundbreaking step in [Wargaming.net's] quest to bring [World of Tanks'] eSports potential into the international spotlight."
The Wargaming.net League won't be the first appearance for World of Tanks in eSports. The military MMO was part of the Grand Finals of the 2012 World Cyber Games held last fall in Kunshan, China.