Five new titles, generous prizes, and a more flexible tournament system could take VR eSports to new heights.
Whether it’s the conventional headset technology used in Ready Player One, or the futuristic, cerebral connection featured in Sword Art Online, it seems as though the end goal for competitive esports has always been VR. So while titles such as Starcraft 2 and Overwatch may be positioned seemingly permanently at the top of the current esports food chain, the popularity of last years VR Challenger League, a VR-dedicated esports competition hosted by Oculus & ESL, has shown that fans may be ready for immersive esports sooner than we thought.
To ensure that fate comes to fruition, Oculus and the ESL have returned with VR League: Season Two: another round of competitive VR gaming, this time featuring a handful of new titles, a bigger prize pool, and a slick new title. Whereas season one of the series featured just two tournaments for the VR titles The Unspoken and Echo Arena, season two expands the line-up to include five additional multiplayer competitive VR titles including the fast-paced competitive runner Sprint Vector, ultra-realistic military simulator Onward, as well as three other yet-to-be-announced titles.
The competition kicks off today with a solid month of mystical mayhem in The Unspoken before heading into a month of death-defying parkour sprinting in Sprint Vector, beginning June 4th. Echo Arena will also return for a month of futuristic sports action May 20th with a competition running simultaneously to The Unspoken’s. According to Oculus, last year the zero-gravity competition managed to draw in 258 players across 98 teams from all over, a feat the company hopes to dwarf during this years series. It was also announced that the games developer, Ready At Dawn, will be bringing its sister title, Echo Combat, to the league sometime later this year.
“Oculus is committed to fostering long-term growth of the VR esports ecosystem, and Season 2—with its new format and additional games—is an amazing next step on this exciting journey,”spoke Oculus Head of Esports, Christopher K. McKelvy, in an official statement.
In addition to the above mentioned tournaments, Oculus & ESL have brought their support to the pre existing VR Master League for an official Onward Invitational taking place June 16th – 17th. The event, held at ESL UK Studios, will provide support to Stack Up, an ongoing charitable program assisting US and other Allied veterans through gaming.
Oculus & ESL has provided a total prize pool of $220,000 for this years victors, $20,000 more than last years haul. All of which leading up to the epic grand finale at Oculus Connect 5! Think you may have what it takes to take home some of the sweet dough? The competitions are open to 13+ legal residents of the U.S./D.C., Canada, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.
Image Credit: Oculus