If you're remotely into eSports and have a copy of Battlefield 3, DICE has offered a first look at the long teased "Matches" feature coming to the game. Added to Battlelog not too long ago, it seemed to be a way to set up tight scrimmages between different clans, or just groups of friends. That turns out to be true. Along with the confirmation comes a few juicy details...
Matches for all platforms are set up via Battlelog, and can only be set up by a player renting their own dedicated server. Assuming that's well and good, the host customizes the match name, start time, mode, player count, and maps, then a variety of gameplay settings including friendly fire, spotting, weapons, and lots more. Quite sadly, there is no option to disable suppression.
The next step involves picking your players; a team captain for the other team does the same.
When the match actually begins on whatever date and time you've set, you'll find yourself in warmup mode, which remains until all players signify they're ready to go. After it all goes down, you can view various results and details in Battlelog. If not immediately, hopefully later on DICE adds the ability to track long term wins and losses for tournament purposes.
There's still no word on whether or not spectator mode will make it in, and last I heard, a public version of Battlerecorder hadn't even started production, so it's anyone's guess if we'll see either of those anytime soon. eSports players have already pointed out spectator is more important than this Matches feature. Convenient as it is, it's already ongoing through various organizations and websites, just with less efficiency. Spectator, however, can't really be emulated, at least not without huge hassle.
A launch date for "Matches" is to be determined, but it's safe to figure it'll be sometime between now and September, when the "Armored Kill" DLC releases. Too little, too late, some might say. If you're in it for the long haul anyway, though, and you're a serious and talented player, it should prove a welcome addition.