VR League doubles-down with new games, more broadcasts, and bigger prizes.
VR League, the first officially-recognized VR esports organizer, has once again returned for another round of pro-level competitive VR gaming. Last year’s tournament culminated in a thrilling battle between Onward most talented players as teams battled till the very last second for the title of grand champion. For season three, ESL & Oculus are giving their budding VR competitive series a fresh coat of paint.
With Season 3, VR League is mixing up their roster of games, introducing Ready At Dawn’s zero-gravity shooter Echo Combat and Ubisoft’s jetpack-fueled arcade shooter Space Junkies to the list, which will serve as replacements for Survios’ Sprint Vector and Insomniac Games’ The Unspoken which have been removed from this years competitions. Along with new games, VR League is also offering more broadcasts of their weekly cups in both Europe and North America, all of which culminating with an inn-person grand final in Leicester, UK at the historic Haymarket Theatre.
“2019 will be a huge year for VR gaming with the launch of Oculus Quest and Season 3 & 4 of the VR League,” states Christopher K. McKelvy, head of esports at Oculus. “This year will be Oculus’ biggest investment in esports yet. We’re adding new games, more broadcasts and a bigger prize pool.”
The competition officially kicked-off yesterday in Katowice, Poland as the top teams in Echo Arena and Onward went head-to-head in a rematch of last year’s Season 2 finals during Oculus Connect 5. You can check out the full Season 3 broadcast schedule here.
Of course, a bigger competition means more impressive prizes. This year VR League is offering its largest amount yet, offering a grand total of $250,000 USD in prizes; $130,000 more than last years pool.
Despite its brief existence, the support of both the ESL and Oculus has cemented VR League as one of the current leading organizers in VR esports, giving viewers the opportunity to spectate professional-level VR gameplay through ESPN-quality broadcasts. If consumer VR stands any chance of permanently embedding itself in the esports scene, it will require the efforts of bold organizations like VR League to pave the way and establish a foundation.
With the release of the Oculus Quest headset rumored to be just around the corner, it’ll be interesting to see how Oculus and ESL integrate the standalone headset into their lineup. Standalone technology would not only make for less cumbersome live events, but the entry-level price point could drastically increase the potential competitor pool by introducing a wave of new VR owners who’ve patiently been awaiting a more convenient headset solution.