Newcomers to Ready At Dawn’s popular zero-gravity virtual reality game Echo Arena have an opportunity to join up with other rookies and a veteran coach to compete for glory and prizes in the Quest 2 Rookie Cup on November 21. If you’re interested in becoming involved in the rapidly growing field of VR esports, this is a great opportunity to experience the competitive side of VR gaming.

Echo Arena is a fantastic example of the future of competitive gaming. While skill is definitely necessary for traditional esports, VR esports adds physicality since VR gamers also use their bodies to move in game. Echo Arena is a particularly great example of this since players duck, dodge, jump, and use quick reflexes to move in the virtual arena that many compare to Ender’s Game, a movie based on the 1985 science fiction novel by Orson Scott Card.

Movement while gaming is a welcome evolution that helps reduce the negative impression of gamers as “couch potatoes.” With the addition of wireless headsets such as the Oculus Quest that launched last year and the Oculus Quest 2, which was released on October 13, increasing numbers of people are discovering the joy of virtual reality and VR esports.

After Echo Arena went into open beta on the Oculus Quest in May, thousands of players joined the playerbase and many of those are interested in esports. That same month there was a Rookie Crossplay Cup to welcome newcomers and a good majority of those signed up for the VR Master League, a community-driven platform that supports the most competitive VR games.

In fact, of the 195 players who responded to a post-cup survey, 88.7% stated that they planned to participate in Echo Arena competitive events in the future and participation in the Echo Arena VR Master League jumped from 237 competitors in season one to 1750 competitors in season two.

Community

Many of the original rookies who competed in May are now ready to “pass it on,” giving the new Quest 2 users an opportunity to experience their first competitive games in an event designed to appeal specifically to them.

Echo Arena officially launched on the Quest on August 27 and for the Quest 2 Rookie Cup event, a rookie is anyone who started playing the game after September 1. Of course this includes new Quest 2 users who joined the community more recently. Many of the Quest 2 users are brand new to the experience of virtual reality so they’re still developing their “VR legs,” so to speak. Fortunately Echo Arena is easy to learn so even the newest players can participate in and enjoy the rookie event. (The game can also be played on all major VR headsets. Players are not required to use a Quest for this event.)

VR gamers seem eager to move away from the toxicity of traditional (flat) gaming and there are many veteran players committed to the development of a positive ecosystem. This is part of the reason VR community events that encourage positive interaction between veteran and rookie players. Echo Arena has one of the most welcoming communities in virtual reality with veteran players who will provide training, share tips through video tutorials, and coach rookie teams.

Echo VR is such an amazing game.  I love the opportunity to coach and guide new players that have just started the game,” states Anthony Jones, known in game as T3CHNO.WUBS. The 21-year-old VRML player from Connecticut has been playing for about a year. He trains players in his free time, was a coach during the first rookie cup in May and was also a captain of a VRML team for newer players during season 2.

“I want to help mold the next generation of VRML players to create a more welcoming environment,” Jones adds. “It is exciting to see so many new people enjoy the game as much as I do. I am honored to be a part of the future of Echo VR.”

New players are encouraged to join the social media platform of their choice to meet other Echo VR fans as well as find teammates and coaches for the Quest 2 Rookie Cup. Links are at the bottom of this article.

A few Echo community members went bowling before Oculus Connect 6. VR community extends beyond immersive reality.

Quest 2 Rookie Cup Format

Teams of four rookies will compete against each other in the virtual arena with one veteran coach on the sidelines. Coaches have an opportunity to build their teams now and work with rookies as much as they want prior to the event.

Format for the Quest 2 Rookie Cup is as follows:

  • 4v4
  • Best of 3 ten-minute rounds
  • Double elimination
  • Open comms
  • Coach can be in spectator mode or in team area.

The Quest 2 Rookie Cup will take place on November 21, but November 22 is reserved for semi-finals and finals if necessary based on the number of teams that register.

Sign ups are now open for the Quest 2 Rookie Cup on Smash.gg so coaches and rookies are encouraged to form teams, register, and hop in the arena for some practice.

Registration

Register for the Quest 2 Rookie Cup.

Prizes

While gamers enjoy playing for glory and recognition, it’s always nice when there are other sweet prizes on the line. For the Quest 2 Rookie Cup, winners will receive the following prizes from event sponsors.

  • 1st place: Asterion Products Illuminated Charging Stand AND mouse pad from VR Community Builders. First place winners also receive a special Discord color!
  • 2nd place: Evolution Touch Controller Skins OR a $20 credit toward any product in the Asterion store AND 1 month Nitro from VR Community Builders
  • 3rd place: Evolution Touch Controller Skins OR a $20 credit toward any product in the Asterion store

Asterion Products has supported VR gamers through several community events and they develop products that enhance user experience. The Asterion Products Illuminated Charging Stand is an excellent example of a product that can help protect your VR equipment so it lasts longer. You can learn more about the history of Asterion Products in this VR Fitness Insider article.

VR Community Builders is also providing some special prizes for top teams in the rookie cup. The organization was founded to encourage and support the growth of positive, inclusive environments in virtual reality and beyond, including on social media and at LAN events.

Where to Watch

The Echo Community, sponsors, and VR Master League invite you to watch the Quest 2 Rookie Cup live on the weekend of November 21. Coverage will begin at 10:00 am PT / 1:00 pm EST on the VR Master League Twitch channel.

Experienced VR Master League casters will provide the video production for this event. The VRML production team puts on a top notch show with expert casters and cameramen to ensure that viewers watching on a 2-D screen can understand what’s going on in the game. If you miss live sport events, this is a fun and exciting alternative. If you’re interested in esports or VR gaming, it’s definitely something you don’t want to miss.

Connect with the Community

If you’re a new VR user, we encourage you to try Echo VR and become involved in the community. You’ll find casual as well as competitive players. Some people who play the game mostly for fitness or socialization. Others play for fun. Some see the potential for VR esports so they’re actively helping to build that ecosystem.

The Echo VR community is made up of people from every walk of life, various ages, and different nationalities. There are seated players, standing players and jumping players. Echo has an incredibly diverse community, but we focus on what we have in common – a love for the game. You are invited to join us.

Echo VR social media

VR Master League social media

Check out some of our other articles about Echo Arena, VR community, and the VR Master League. If you have comments or questions, feel free to post those below.

 

 

 

 


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