Imagine that Armored Core could be played professionally as a recognized e-sport.
Imagine players (Ravens!) duking it out on stage to a massive crowd, and with a live commentated broadcast for television and the internet. There’d be organized teams complete with coaches and support staff and matching uniforms and gear from sponsors. Hordes of screaming fan girls (and boys) would be lined up for an autograph or photo of their favorite players. Ravens would be traveling the world to play on tournaments with lewd prize pools at stake.
Well imagine no more, as all that is actually already happening… except that the game isn’t Armored Core. It is actually Starcraft, which grew in South Korea to become the most popular and enduring professionally played video game today. No other game has achieved the same payouts, organization, professionalism, and mainstream acceptance.
They even have awesome intros
Now to dissect why exactly StarCraft became so popular and why Armored Core is… not so popular and what it will take just wasn’t the point here; that’s a topic for another time. The goal here was simply to provoke the thought that maybe someday, somehow, a decent living is to be made from playing some clunky overly complicated third-person giant-robot game. Maybe, just maybe, that opportunity will come with the release of Armored Core 5.
And with that one thought in mind, this wraps up with some rare footage from the Armored Core 3 era featuring Korean and Japanese ravens in what seems to be a previous (failed) experiment on the potential of Armored Core as a spectator sport and professional game.
Though the details have been lost through time and translation, it’s still a great glimpse of either an obscurity from the past or a template for the future.