Community members who play the zero-gravity game Echo VR have formed a new racing league called the Echo Grand Prix. The inaugural championship will take place today, starting at 5 p.m. EDT.
“Echo Grand Prix was formed mostly with the goal to just have some form of racing league,” states SirDimwi, one of the league’s founders.
“It was an idea we had bounced around a little bit just in casual conversation as a fun idea,” he says, admitting that “the dream would be to get RAD [Ready At Dawn] to actually create a racing game-mode.”
Ultimately, there was quite a bit of interest in the concept and now the racing league is a reality.
Ready At Dawn released Echo Arena in July 2017. The game has been featured in each season of the VR League, sponsored by Oculus and ESL, and recently was welcomed into the VR Master League.
Those of us who participated in the Echo Arena beta could fly relatively well, but when we watch videos of the “early days,” it’s amusing to see how slowly we were flying. After all, as a community we hadn’t yet learned to boost or regrab in order to generate exponentially greater speeds across the zero-gravity virtual arena.
Once we figured out that we could gain extra speeds by grabbing onto to the person in front of us (or turning back to swing around through someone behind us), it became obvious that this added even more excitement to the experience. Previously it felt like we were simply flying through space. Boosting allowed our Echo bots to zoom through zero-gravity at amazing speeds.
Over the past two years, the community has made numerous requests to Ready At Dawn regarding game mechanics, resources, special events, and more. The developers have been actively involved with community members since the beta, from helping new players to ensuring that the issues are addressed for high level competitive play. While we won’t know what the future holds in regards to any sort of racing game, the initiative shown by players for a racing league is sure not to go unnoticed.
Echo Combat, a first-person shooter also set in zero-g, was released as part of the Echo VR family in November 2018. Since release, there have been subsequent maps added to the game for a total of four: 2 capture point and 2 payload maps. The community quickly discovered that the Echo Combat maps actually provided more room to boost. And of course if you can achieve incredibly fast speeds, it’s only natural to see if you can go faster than your friends!
The community has basically formed the league and essentially a new “game” with existing resources so there have been some challenges.
“Since there is no in-game timer,” explains Boosey, another of the league’s founders, “we’re having to coordinate each match on the same central host so the finish line view is somewhat accurate.”
He adds that splitting the teams on opposite colors provided some additional challenge as well because they needed to ensure that the courses were uniform. The league organizers, which also include Giligin and Esend, have worked hard to ensure that the courses and format would be functional.
In today’s inaugural Echo Grand Prix, teams will be split across two different games: Game A and Game B. Both games will run three races on each track, beginning with the Echo Combat Surge map and teams will earn points based on placement in each race.
Points will be distributed as follows:
- 1st Place – 5 Points
- 2nd Place – 3 Points
- 3rd Place – 1 Point
- 4th Place – 0 Points
Following the races on Surge, points for each team will be tallied. With three races on that map and five points awarded to first place, the maximum number of total possible points is 15.
The top four teams in points will move into Game A and they’ll go to Echo Combat’s Dyson map. Once again, following the three races on that map, the total points will be tallied and added to the scores from Surge.
The top four teams in points will once again be moved into Game A. Players will race on Combustion for the last map and final placement will be determined by tallying points from all the races.
The team with the most points will be crowned the Echo Grand Prix Inaugural Champion and will be awarded with a custom color on the Echo Grand Prix Discord.
How to Participate
Registration for the Inaugural Echo Grand Prix was opened last week and the maximum number of participants was quickly reached. However, anyone interested in becoming involved with the Echo racing community or participating in future events can join the Echo Grand Prix Discord. Of course watch for more news about Echo racing and other VR esports opportunities on VR Fitness Insider as well!