MechWarrior Online competitive Tournament Series starts Sunday

Now that private matchmaking has been firmly bolted in place, MechWarrior Online's first official competitive event is set to launch Sunday. It's been dubbed Tournament Series: First Engagement and will to pit 12-man teams against each other across a variety of maps and game modes leading to the finals on May 30.

The first bracket begins Sunday with 32 teams for a showdown on the compact and varied Forest Colony map. Other maps to feature during the later rounds of the tournament are Frozen City Night, River City, Caustic Valley, before finishing with Crimson Strait in the finals. Spectators should be able to tune in and see how the later rounds of the tournament play out, as the quarter finals, semi finals, and finals will be streamed on the MWO website. At stake is a costly, real-money Hero mech to be awarded to the winning team members as well as a month's worth of Premium time in the free-to-play game.

MWO has long had a compelling spectator experience. With no respawn to fall back on, each encounter—and each decision—carries a lot of weight. Spectators, because of the UI available in the cockpit, get to see just how good a pilot is at map control, heat management, and weapon choice. And because mechs take damage in a modular way and don't regenerate or repair themselves, great last-man-standing events happen all the time. Getting to see an over-matched, one-armed light mech pilot use tactics and speed to out-maneuver an opposing team in a game of conquest can be pure pleasure, if you're rooting for her of course.

You can check out the full list of competing teams as well as keep up with their progress through the bracket here . For more on MWO be sure to check our review .