Is Splatoon 2 Nintendo's Full Court Press For eSports?
The first feature, explained via their Tumblr and Twitter accounts, is LAN connectivity. "LAN Play" will allow connections between up to eight docked systems using a wired LAN setup. This will let players to create local co-op battle tournaments without an internet connection.
The other feature revealed is Private Battle Spectator. This allows two non-participants to view a private battle. These two act as camera operators in order capture all the action. (This is, of course, in addition to the 8 players who fight in the Private Battle.)
With the spectator mode, you can view the entire map and not just the players. This will allow a spectator to be able to analyze player's actions -- and we all know that analysis is a key part of the commentating that comes in every pro stream.
For the purposes of eSports, there are two factors that will play into the experience and whether or not it's viable for a competitive scene. The first is the ability to play anywhere -- which will invite players of all skill levels to participate. The other is the viewing experience for fans, which needs to be reinforced with knowledgeable and engaging commentators if the scene is going to gain any traction.
These features seem imply Nintendo may in fact plan for Splatoon 2 to be an eSport. Fans of action shooters can expect more details coming soon. Splatoon 2 is scheduled to launch Summer 2017 for the Nintendo Switch.