Gears Esports home

4v4, Escalation Beta & Gears Esports

Tucked within a jam-packed Operation 5 is a new and improved version of Escalation.  We’re rolling out the changes in a Beta playlist initially.

Here are the updated mode settings:

The ‘Escalation Beta’ is accessed in the in-game Custom Lobby. Once you select ‘Escalation’ as your game mode, then choose ‘Escalation Beta’ from the ‘Gameplay Tuning’ options. Please note that ‘Escalation Beta’ includes the current Dev Playlist tuning.

When enabled, ‘Escalation Beta’ makes the following changes to the current version of the mode:

  • Home hills are automatically captured at the start of each round.
  • Loadout options are completely removed from the weapon placement options.
  • All players spawn with utility grenades options (Smoke Grenades or Flashbangs).
  • The ‘Elimination Victory’ win condition can now be toggled on and off in the Escalation options.
  • Centerline weapon placement tree changes:
    • Enforcer, Hammerburst, Overkill and Claw have been removed.
    • Duplicate weapon options have been removed.
    • Weapons can no longer be ‘upgraded’ from one to another (once a weapon is placed it can only be upgraded, not changed).
    • The Dropshot now spawns with only one shot and can be upgraded to two (like the Boomshot).
  • Secondary weapon placement tree changes:
    • Longshot, EMBAR, Torque Bow, Claw and Frag Grenade have been removed.
    • Pistols have been added as the first tier of weapons.
    • Shock and Incendiary Grenades have been moved into Tier 3.
    • Teams are no longer forced to follow specific paths and are now able to place whatever weapons they’d like as they progress through the weapon tree.


We understand the changes above represent a major shift to how Escalation is played. We are not adopting this new version of Escalation mid-split.

That being said, UMG and Gears Esports are working with Pro teams to determine if these changes should be added to the Gears Esports Program going into the Split 2 of the current season. This is not a decision we’re taking lightly, and we want to make sure that pro players, active challenger players and the general public all have the opportunity to give feedback on the proposed changes.

To facilitate the feedback process, we are setting up competitions to allow teams to try the mode out in structured competitive setting. These include two open tournaments and a special Emergence Days tournament featuring Gears Esports’ top teams. These competitions will be played 4v4 using the lobby settings below.

Tournament Schedule:

  • November 18 – Emergence Days (Pro Teams/Invite Only)
  • November 19 – UMG Open Tournament #1 (Sign Up Here)
  • November 20 – UMG Open Tournament #2 (Sign Up Here)
  • November 21 – UMG Open Tournament #3 (Sign Up Here)

As these competitions are separate from the main program, they will be administered on

On the weekend following these tournaments, surveys will be distributed to all active Challenger and Pro League players. A survey will also be presented on the Gears Esports site to provide all Gears players and fans the opportunity to voice their opinions.

These surveys will be open until the evening of November 26th, at which point the results will be reviewed and any potential shifts to the program decided.

Do not miss your opportunity to provide feedback – make sure you fill out a survey.


  • Fill With Bots: Off
  • Bot Difficulty: Beginner
  • Round Score Limit: 250
  • Respawn Time: 12
  • Respawn Escalation: 0 seconds
  • Friendly Fire: On
  • Gameplay Tuning: Escalation Beta
  • Elimination Victory: Off
  • Use Lives: Off
  • Initial Lives: 4
  • Max Lives: 4
  • Restore Game (LAN): Off
  • Rounds to Win: 5

Reminder: This tournament will be played 4v4.

Follow us for the latest Gears Esports and pro-gaming tournament coverage.

Visit the Help Center for game support