The popular multiplayer FPS is leading the way in competitive VR with a new pro league.
When virtual reality began making its reemergence a couple of years ago with the introduction of pioneering tech such as the Oculus Rift, only one thought was running through my head: Is this is? Are we FINALLY about to enter the age of competitive virtual reality eSports? Well it was a slow burn, but it appears as though the outrageous dreams of my naive 23 year old self are finally being made a reality with the Onward Virtual Reality FPS League 2017.
Kicking off July 15th to July 16th, the event will bring together the players from all over the globe in a final battle to bring home the coveted 2017 Championship Title as well as a limited edition set of ProTube Championship Rifle Stocks. Oh, and glory. So much glory!
Group stage matches will take place on the 15th, with the semi-finals and finals taking place the following day. In addition to live streaming the tournament on the official League Twitch channel, there will be additional, yet-to-be-announced viewing events in virtual reality. Expect more information on that as we get closer to the big weekend.
As far as match balancing goes, the tournament is stealing a few moves from other, more established eSport competitions. During the group stage teams will be divided based on skill level which includes a total of 8 teams divided into two separate groups of 4, each consisting of two high skill and two low skill teams. During the semifinal round, teams will have the opportunity to ban a single map, the team with a higher skill level making the first choice. In the name of fair play and regulation, teams participating from the semi finals and on will be required to live stream their matches. The finals will consist of 5 matches to decide the overall winner in which both teams will be permitted to ban two maps each as well as choose their starting points on the map.
So there you have it! We have officially entered the dawn of a new age in professional eSports. And honestly, I can’t think of a better title to lead the way then Onward. The multiplayer FPS features a wide variety of pleasant viewing options making it the perfect spectator VR sport. The competitive, almost Counter Strike-like gameplay is also easy to follow, making it an accessible and enjoyable viewing experience for those who have never seen the game before.
Hopefully the Onward FPS League proves itself an entertaining and viable event capable of attracting not only VR-enthusiasts, but competitive gamers, sports fans and general audiences as well.