On 13 August, at the WBC’s 58th Annual Convention – held virtually – director Ash Habib and art director Andy Turner of Steel City Interactive presented a tremendous amount of information for the upcoming eSports Boxing Club.
Among the biggest reveals for the boxing video game were the new fighters on the roster, the planned roadmap of eSports Boxing Club release dates, and a look at some of the alpha-stage gameplay footage.
From all of the details about the game modes in eSports Boxing Club to the recreation of true legends of the sport, here’s what we learned from Steel City Interactive at the WBC convention.
What is the eSports Boxing Club release date?
In the virtual event, Steel City Interactive revealed that eSports Boxing Club is looking to release as an early access game on PC in December 2020.
After the PC launch, the team is aiming for a Q1 2021 release on the Xbox One, Q1 or Q2 release on the PlayStation 4, and then a move to the next-gen consoles and the Nintendo Switch.
It wasn’t too long ago that eSports Boxing Club first came to light, but in the months since, we’ve learned a lot about the game and its ambitious plans.
Also taking the restraints caused by the pandemic into consideration, it wouldn’t be surprising if most followers of the game thought that it was still a long way from launch.
With a December 2020 early access launch on PC planned, boxing fans and gamers don’t need to wait too long to try the highly-anticipated game.
(UPDATE: The release date is now scheduled for summer 2021)
eSports Boxing Club shows gameplay footage
The alpha gameplay footage shown below looked excellent.
It showcased an array of the roster’s boxers just going through some punches and moving around the ring, but the movement was very smooth and realistic.
Most impressive was the footwork of the boxers. In a lot of sports games, footwork can look almost glitchy, but in the eSports Boxing Club gameplay, it looked fluid and in-time with the punches being thrown by the boxer.
Still in its early stages, the gameplay shown certainly meets the high level of quality that we’ve come to expect following the release of the in-game, game engine footage of Johnny Nelson.
The developers discussed how the game is using state-of-the-art motion capture, thanks to Ten24, to create the most realistic game possible – both in terms of fighter aesthetics and the movement in the gameplay.
The highly-touted visual realism is being achieved by using 8K fighter textures, a 178-camera scanning rig, motion capture work performed by champions, including Robin Reid, HDR venue captures, and full-body sculpting of former greats by top-class professional sculptors.
The two legend sculptures shown were the working models of Joe Frazier and Arturo Gatti. They said that it takes about 45 weeks to complete a full-body sculpt of each legend that they include in the game.
How many boxers will be on the eSports Boxing Club roster?
The eSports Boxing Club roster is already shaping up to be an exciting mix of current stars, past greats, up-and-comers, and other talented pugilists from around the world.
It was made very clear that the game is to be globally appealing and inclusive of as many boxers as it can. Even though the WBC licenses the game, they haven’t focussed on just bringing in WBC-aligned fighters.
At launch, eSports Boxing Club will have over 50 fully-licensed boxers in the game. However, it has also been revealed that the company is in talks over a further 100 licenses.
Unlike the annual or repeat releases of other sports games, eSports Boxing Club will follow a seasonal model. So, post-launch, Steel City Interactive will continue to sign, scan, and add new boxers to the game.
Another point brought up was that the team is currently actively looking to build-up the roster of female boxers in the game, with a few on the books already.
eSports Boxing Club roster
With a superb mix of past greats, up-and-comers, and cult heroes, there are plenty of classy boxers already on the roster for this boxing game.
Although they couldn’t disclose everything yet, we were informed that four more current champions and six more legends would be joining the eSports Boxing Club roster. Below is a list of all the confirmed boxers on eSports Boxing club.
|Arturo Gatti||Super Featherweight, Light Welterweight, Welterweight|
|Micky Ward||Light Welterweight|
|Sergio Martinez||Welterweight, Light Middleweight, Middleweight|
|Ricky Hatton||Light Welterweight, Welterweight|
|Josh Taylor||Light Welterweight|
|Javier Fortuna||Featherweight, Super Featherweight, Lightweight|
|Jeison Rosario||Welterweight, Light Middleweight, Middleweight|
|Nigel Benn||Middleweight, Super Middleweight|
|Dalton Smith||Light Welterweight|
|Shane Mosley Jr||Middleweight|
|Jono Carroll||Super Featherweight, Lightweight|
|Jordan Gill||Featherweight, Super Featherweight, Lightweight|
|Anthony Yarde||Light Heavyweight|
|Anthony Crolla||Super Featherweight, Lightweight|
|Scott Quigg||Super Bantamweight, Featherweight|
|Johnny Nelson||Cruiserweight, Heavyweight|
|Herol Graham||Light Middleweight, Middleweight, Super Middleweight|
|Robin Reid||Super Middleweight|
|Enzo Maccarinelli||Light Heavyweight, Cruiserweight|
|Ryan Rhodes||Light Middleweight, Middleweight|
|Kid Galahad||Super Bantamweight, Featherweight|
|Sunny Edwards||Flyweight, Super Flyweight|
|Terri Harper||Super Featherweight, Lightweight|
|Hopey Price||Super Bantamweight|
|Charlie Edwards||Flyweight, Super Flyweight|
|Shannon Courtenay||Super Bantamweight|
|Patrick Rokohl||Super Middleweight|
|Mark Reyes Jr||Welterweight|
|Jason Moloney||Bantamweight, Super Bantamweight|
|George Davey||Super Welterweight|
|Lerrone Richards||Super Middleweight|
|Rosendo Alvarez||Super Lightweight|
As for boxer ratings and attributes in eSports Boxing Club, presently, Joe Frazier is the highest-rated boxer in the game.
What game modes will be in eSports Boxing Club?
eSports Boxing Club looks to be the ultimate modern boxing gaming experience, with a stacked set of game modes and another on the way in 2021.
With lots of single-player, creative, and online action, there’ll be something for everyone in the boxing video game.
Career Mode on eSports Boxing Club
The game will feature a fully-fledged career mode, in which you start as an amateur and build your way up to becoming a world champion. You’ll also need to manage boxer attributes.
Rather than just a series of fights ranging from easy to difficult, eSports Boxing Club’s career mode will feature deep RPG mechanics, through which you can train and adapt boxer attributes such as speed, strength and discipline.
Attributes can impact the gameplay a great deal, with the example given being an ill-disciplined boxer coming to training camp having put on weight. Thus, they need to focus on weight loss training as opposed to enhancing other attributes that would enhance their skill.
You’ll be able to box through multiple weight classes in career mode, and you’ll have the option of moving between weight divisions through training.
Boxer Creator on eSports Boxing Club
The boxing game will be stacked with real-world boxers, but you’ll also be able to create your own to fight with in the rings of eSports Boxing Club.
Coming with a comprehensive character creation suite, you’ll be able to build your own boxer in the game.
Online Tournaments on eSports Boxing Club
Steel City Interactive has lofty aspirations for its online game modes. There’ll be the traditional ‘play now’ boxing online against others in the world, and there will also be eSports tournaments.
Just as the title suggests, fully-fledged competitions will be hosted within eSports Boxing Club, with winners being rewarded real, physical WBC and Ring Magazine eSports title belts.
Tournaments will span weight divisions, with qualifiers taking place within the game’s online environment. From there, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and the finals will take the form of live, televised events.
More details on the way
It was made very clear that there are more roster additions in the works, and with the early access on PC coming in a few months, there’re plenty more details to come soon.
Given the quality displayed, it’s surprising how far eSports Boxing Club has come in a relatively short time, but game-starved boxing fans won’t be complaining.
Outsider Gaming would like to extend our thanks to Steel City Interactive for inviting us to the virtual conference: we look forward to seeing more from this ambitious boxing game.