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Esports Life Tycoon Early Access Review

Edited by: John Gerritzen

Esports Life Tycoon, developed by U-Play Online and published by Raiser Games, promises a lot: a complete management experience for an esports team, including everything from selecting players to contract management and training schedules.

Managing Esports

At first glance, there is a lot of potential here, with fun and interesting elements, not to mention a huge amount of possible insider jokes, puns, and more. Sadly, the game fails to take advantage of that almost entirely. In a strange split between licensed brands and non-licensed ones, you get to see names like Fnatic, G2 esports, and more straight off the bat, but when designing your own character you'll see things like a shirt with “Adedis” and characters that bear an eerie resemblance toThe Hulk, Totoro, and Lucio from Overwatch. Later, you'll encounter a character named Harlei Queen, a blonde with dyed pigtails that extorts the player for cash — not exactly a cool Easter egg, though it could have been.

Another minor issue is that in the first few minutes of gameplay, just about every third click brings about a loading screen. Once the player is in management mode this stops, but it does make the character and team creation screens a little annoying.

Speaking of team creation, there are a lot of options for both characters and team design, with options for everything from eyebrows to company logos to the patterns on the players’ shirts. This is pretty fun and really makes the team “yours,” so to speak.

Speaking esports

It is relatively apparent that the native language of the developers was not English. This wouldn’t be a problem at all, were it not for the buttons, labels, and segments that remain untranslated at the time of writing this preview. When creating a character, the two buttons read “Next” and “Cancelar,” for example.

Oversights like these really take away from the experience because they simply feel unnecessary; surely there would have been time to translate those last few words? As a counterpoint to this, the characters and people we encounter have refreshingly varied names and nationalities that match up quite well. When creating a Korean team member, Korean names are given, and for Spanish ones, Hispanic-sounding names are available. In general, there are great options for customizing characters with varied international backgrounds, but this only makes the shortcomings more obvious.

Learning the ropes

There are tutorials everywhere throughout the first League you manage. This is actually nicely paced and does explain most things, though it moves relatively quickly and there isn’t a way to go back a step if you missed an instruction or the next step of your process. As you move through the early stages, you are introduced to a “certain popular MOBA” called “League of Heroes” [EN: no apparent relation to the real, not-MOBA game of that name]. In this game, you defend a Nexus across three lanes from the enemy team. Now if that sounds exactly like League of Legends… well, it is. Mostly. You can actually partially participate in the match by deciding how aggressive or defensive your players act and what lane to push. This happens on a round-by-round basis, which, when combined with the MOBA part, simply isn’t fun. Thankfully, it is entirely optional; you can skip it and have your players fight on their own. In between battles, the manager decides how the players spend their time – from research to relaxing to training, there are plenty of varied aspects, making for a surprisingly (at least given some of the issues) solid management experience.

The Verdict

With only roughly forty-five minutes of actual gameplay to test at the time of writing this preview, there really isn’t much to say about Esports Life Tycoon. Plenty of functionality and topics that are hinted at (such as the ability to move to better apartments and hire staff, including psychologists) simply isn’t there yet, making for a short demo that, because of its many flaws, isn’t nearly as fun as it could be. There is definitely potential in both the concept and the game itself, but at the moment this potential is being squandered almost entirely. In its current state, nobody could really enjoy it. Here’s to hoping that, as it moves through Early Access, things change.

See About Us to learn how we score

Mel Hawthorne
Written by
Thursday, 11 July 2019 05:28
Published in Strategy



Mel is a London-based copywriter that has been writing about video games for a few years now. After growing up in Vienna, Austria she followed her dreams and moved to London. Said dreams took her through a few different jobs (which included working as a web developer, shopkeeper and translator) before she settled on what she really wanted to do – periodically anger video game fans by expressing her opinions on games through various online publications. When she’s not writing about video games, she’s probably playing them... or walking her dog in a park. Since that depends largely on the English weather, Mel has plenty of time to indulge in her favourite games. These include but are not limited to Ark: Survival Evolved, Skyrim, GTA V, and oddly enough, Amnesia: Memories. She loves Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. She thinks Star Trek is way better than Star Wars and isn’t afraid to admit it – Live long and prosper!

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