"DnDSports": Competitive Play With Prizes

It seems like the rumours of D&D as e-sports weren't so far off after all in today's bit of unexpected news, as D&D Beyond and Encounter Roleplaying have announced DnDSports. "DnDSports is the first online D&D Tournament in a cooperative Party vs Party setting from Encounter Roleplay & DnDBeyond with a grand prize of $5,000."

Screen Shot 2018-10-15 at 18.11.23.png

[FONT=&amp]Here's the full announcement:

Imagine if two parties fighting for opposite sides found themselves in the same dungeon. It’s kill or be killed. What will they do to survive?[/FONT]

DnDSports is the first online D&D Tournament in a cooperative Party vs Party setting from EncounterRoleplay & DnDBeyond with a grand prize of $5,000. Over the course of 4 weeks, 16 players will compete in teams of 4 in single elimination games. Each game is a best of 3 arena battle and played via Roll20.

How is it Played?

The full rules for DnDSports will be released shortly after our next round of Playtesting. We don’t claim to have created perfect balance, nor is that our aim, as every competitive game has an element of strategy. We’re also implementing MOBA-esque mechanics such as a Pick/Ban phase to help expand the strategy. We’ve been working closely with over a dozen talented DMs to create 15 pre-generated characters from which the players will choose, and adapt the pre-existing Dungeons & Dragons: 5th Edition rules.

We know that this will be an incredibly fun new way to play D&D, because as long as you’re having fun, you’re doing it right!

When is it?
Day 1: November 10th at 12pm PST
Heat 1: Team Beholder vs. Team Mindflayer

Day 2: November 17th at 12pm PST
Heat 2: Team Kobold vs. Team Tarrasque

Day 3: November 24th at 12pm PST
All Stars Charity game for 826LA foundation

Day 4: December 1st at 12pm PST
Grand Finals

Where can I watch it?

Watch live on Twitch here.
The VODs will be uploaded to Youtube here.

Who is involved?

The EncounterRoleplay & DnDBeyond crews have teamed up to bring this production to life!
As for who’s competing? Keep an eye on the DnDSports Twitter & here on the blog to learn more about the teams as they are revealed!

But D&D Shouldn’t be an eSport?!
It’s not an eSport. We created something that would make competitive gamers feel safe and comfortable trying out D&D5e for the first time. It’s a new way to display the versatility of combat in D&D5e in a unique setting. We encourage you to respect the way different people play D&D because we know that this will be a fun event and there is no wrong to play D&D, as long as you are having fun!

(Thanks to Jeremy for the scoop!)

Many feel competitive play isn't what D&D is about, historically that's not entirely true. Here's a history of D&D and competitive play, going back to the 1970s.

"D&D has always had a competitive streak. Many of co-creator Gary Gygax's published adventures were adapted from tournaments that were played competitively at conventions, like Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan and Tomb of Horrors.

Thanks to its wargaming roots, tournament play was well-established by the time D&D came along. Tournaments were associated with wargaming conventions. The first large-scale D&D tournament took place at Origins in Baltimore, MD on July 25-27. An estimated 1,500 attended, with 120 participating in the D&D tournament."

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Elder Thing
I get that balance isn't a goal - they explicitly stated as much. But Kobold vs. Tarrasque seems REALLY lopsided, challenge-wise.

Matt S1

Started playing D&D in 1977 and this is totally not for me and in no way how I see D&D. But hey, if the young new players want this then knock yourself out. My friends and I benefit if this helps make the game more popular.


I don't understand this. Without a strong narrative, acting, or at least some comicalness, D&D is not really entertaining to watch. It's not even that good for people who are interested in tactics, strategy, and the likes because D&D (even more so 5e with bonded accuracy) is mostly about randomness. I can't picture this becoming any popular, D&D is too different from competitive strategy games like League of Legends or Starcraft that have become popular as "e-sports".


New Publisher
Good luck to them! And, whatever grows the brand is good for the game overall (probably). I just wish D&D miniatures came back, as I was almost good at that......


I see someone is really going to try to force this square peg of cooperative tabletop gaming into the round hole of e-sports. Even my college/HS aged kids are wondering what the point of this is.

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