After a rocky start following their launch earlier this summer, the High School VR League is back on track and their first tournament finals began last week.
While the league was initially announced with three games for the first season, an administrative decision was made to postpone Echo Arena and Rec Room. This allowed the small admin team of High School VR League (HSVRL) to focus solely on Beat Saber for the first season.
During regular season competition, which began on October 2, competitors submitted their runs through the HSVRL Discord. Each week, the top three places for each song were given rank points and the top ten players advanced to finals.
These finalists have been preparing their best runs for the past week from a roster of songs chosen from custom sets for enjoyability and ability to challenge the competitors.
“We tasked our Beat Saber competitors with finding the best way to round out the finals for the tournament,” stated Tyeron Hammontree, Founder of the High School VR League. “We really like seeing our players come together to build this community. A couple of meetings in VR and a short period of time later, the organic creation of the custom Beat Saber final came together.”
After the top ten finalists submit their best scores later today, the top five will advance to week two, which begins tomorrow.
Following another weeklong competition, the top three competitors will be announced on Monday, December 14.
First, second, and third place winners in the High School VR League Beat Saber competition will each be awarded a $10 credit to buy a Beat Saber song of their choice. This prize comes from VR Community Builders, a community-driven organization founded to encourage and support the growth of positive, inclusive environments in virtual reality and beyond.
Like so much of the organic growth happening within VR communities, players who want to establish a voice within their respective games or leagues are stepping up to the plate.
“I saw students get involved and take ownership of something they wanted to see thrive. I was proud to see the first tournament bring out collaboration, critical thinking and sportsmanship amongst the community,” added Hammontree. “I’m excited to see what the next season will bring, with even more games and ways for league members to get involved!”
In addition to Beat Saber, other games for High School VR League Season 2 might include Rec Room and Echo Arena. Student leaders and others will need to step forward before those games can support a full season.
Although the official tournament season of Rec Room was postponed, high school students have been meeting for “league nights” when players can get together and play with other high school age Rec Room enthusiasts. Hopefully the game will be added to HSVRL with an official season in the near future.
There is an active playerbase for Ready At Dawn’s Echo Arena and there are a good number of high school age players. Since most high level players who want ranked play participate in the VR Master League, a community-driven league for competitive VR esports, the decision was made to postpone the game for HSVRL until there was more access to headsets through local high schools where students could form teams as part of a high school affiliated VR club or group.
The goal would be to enable students from specific high school teams access to compete in the league much as collegiate students have competed in the Collegiate VR Esports League. Unfortunately due to the pandemic many of these activities have had to be postponed for the foreseeable future.
Interested in Getting Involved?
If you’re a high school student, instructor, or administrator interested in information about how you can increase access to VR esports at your school, please reach out to Tyeron Hammontree via the High School VR League website. You can also join the High School VR League Discord server. Be sure to introduce yourself so everyone can say hello and admins can assign you some roles.