In April, Rezzil launched a major update for their VR sports platform which included the announcement of one of the biggest competition series’ ever for the VR community. Each month there will be $5000 cash and an assortment of other prizes, such Fitbits and jerseys, up for grabs for the highest performing players. The catch, however, is that Rezzil Player is not your average VR esports title – it is first and foremost an athletics training experience. Expect to pay in sweat for your prizes over the course of any month you want to top the leaderboard.
Andy Etches, co-founder of Rezzil, expressed that this tournament series was aimed at exposing more people to both virtual athletics and to experiences that occupy a space between games and training. Rezzil wants to provide an accessible medium where both sports enthusiasts and VR enthusiasts can find enjoyable and worthwhile experiences. One of the long-term ideas Andy conveyed was to connect professional athletes on their Rezzil Index platform and VR sports champions on their Rezzil Player platform and see who would come out on top in a head-to-head virtual athletics challenge.
Rezzil Player, formerly titled Player 22, released in August 2021 as a first of its kind multi-sport training application. Included are modes dedicated to American football, soccer, basketball, racket sports, and reaction training. Each genre of activity has a variety of levels and modes that train form, speed, and accuracy in their respective proficiencies. With the latest update, a variety of these modes come together to form the physically demanding pentathlon competition, where you’ll find your fellow VR athletes vying for a share of the $5000. The pentathlon is complemented by a number of other challenges, such as a soccer league and a monthly series of cardio levels.
The American football drill, named Field General, pairs a combination of moving target rings and defender dummies to create a dynamic virtual football field. The primary focus of this drill is initially to teach you proper throwing form and evolves to practicing vision and timing for when to make passes based on the moving layout of the field. Players familiar with the Madden Football mini camp QB drills should find this one familiar. The catch-and-release speed and power you will have to incorporate to chase the gold medals is sure to get your blood pumping. Field General is a persistent level in the monthly pentathlon challenge.
Hoops, the basketball experience, and the reaction trainer are both focus and coordination-based activities which double as excellent VR cardio options. Hoops is framed similarly to many rhythm games, requiring you to hold a basketball and place it precisely through the center of basketball hoop sized targets synchronized to energetic music. The targets will move around as they approach and sometimes even come in colored varieties, which you must match to a paired color silhouette appearing on either side of the arena as a test of your awareness and flexibility.
The reaction trainer is a bit more simplistic but no less challenging. With your choice of wall size, from 30 degrees to a full 360 degree array, you must rapidly hit the targets as they light up around you. For an added challenge, you can optionally add floor and ceiling targets for some squats and jumping. Both reaction trainer and hoops are also mainstays in the pentathlon challenge. Reaction training gets its own dedicated challenge compilation as well which escalates from a tight 30 degree wall to the chaotic 360.
The soccer mode, Headers, is a beast of its own entirely, broken out into four separate types of activities – controlling the ball, shooting on goal, clearing the ball, and passing using your head. As Rezzil is heavily involved with professional soccer via their Rezzil Index product, there is a wealth of technique and training exercises for aspiring soccer players to dive into in this segment. Like the other sports, each headers mode takes a form-first approach to make sure you have sound fundamentals and then takes you on a journey to making pro-level plays with the ball. As proper form takes fully body involvement, a snug and sanitary headset cover is definitely recommended for long and inevitably sweaty sessions.
The focus on headers as a core tenet of the experience is reflected in the array of challenges available involving the header modes. Two of the five monthly pentathlon challenges are from the headers category – shooting and control. There is additionally a dedicated challenge called Rezzil Soccer League which combines a curated selection of levels from all headers modes into a varied soccer competition. Most uniquely, there is a monthly challenge centered around recreating a famous professional goal, for which the champion wins a jersey from the team whose goal they mastered.
No matter what you’ve chosen to dig into within Rezzil Player first, you will likely find yourself leaving with calories burned and knowledge earned. All the modes provide a way for you to pursue some gamified cardio, and those brave enough to tackle the monthly pentathlon have will have a shot at substantial cash prizes for many months to come. Rezzil Player is available on the Oculus Quest store and welcomes you to join their discord to talk sports, esports, fitness, and more.