Guild Wars 2 systems designer Jonathan Sharp has outlined the future of the game's Structured Player vs. Player component, in a blog post on the official site. Using a torturous iceberg metaphor (opens in new tab) , he revealed that the first things fans can expect are paid tournaments and custom arenas, both of which require the use of gems (a currency you pay for with real money).
At the moment, we're making do with free tournaments, which reward the top 4 players with glory and rank points, currencies that come fairly low down in the Guild Wars pecking order. Paid tournaments, on the other hand, will offer greater rewards, including tournament tickets and even gems. To compete, you need to stump up gems and come as part of a group.
In order to practice for these events, you will be able to rent custom arenas, modify their parameters, and use them as private, password-protected training areas. If you wish, you can also fight private battles against rivals of your choosing. As with paid tournaments, there's no mention of either the cost or the roll-out date, but we can expect them "in the near future", which coincidentally is when most modern sci-fi is set.
From the changes, it's clear that ArenaNet are aiming to make Guild Wars 2's sPVP more akin to an eSport, even if it's one that lacks certain features commonly associated with them. Sharp hints that these much-requested features are on their way, even if they aren't ready to be shown off or talked about yet. "We know leaderboards are important. We know the ability to spectate matches is important. We know larger tournaments are important. We know streaming is important.
"Paid tournaments and custom arenas will be coming online in the near future – paid tournaments will come first, followed by custom arenas. And when we're done with those, we'll start working on other features to add. Guild Wars 2 competitive PvP is taking its first steps, teams are starting to organize, and some key features are about to start showing up. But are we done working on it? Hell no. The way we see it, Guild Wars 2 sPvP may be shipped, but it's far from finished."