Yesterday, May 17th, Oculus and ESL (eSports League) announced that VR Challenger League has a new look, a new name, and other exciting changes! VR Challenger League is no more, so everyone, welcome to the brand new VR League, a five-month-long virtual esports competition like no other!
New Season, New Games
Season 2 of VR League is getting a new online and offline tournament system to go along with 7 gaming titles (potentially more) to compete in. To start things off, dueling spellcasters will compete for an entire month starting today, May 18th, with The Unspoken (Insomniac Games). Next month, the League will shift into Sprint Vector (Survios) tournament mode, sending intergalactic racers to otherworldly and trap-filled maps on June 4th.
Echo Arena (Ready At Dawn), the League’s premiere and highly popular esport game, will have players battling it out during a four-week-long tournament that kicks off on May 20th. The fun doesn’t stop there, the zero gravity ultimate frisbee game will celebrate their new game renovations and updates with an Echo Combat competition as well. With a different season comes more experienced players, so we’re all in for a wild ride.
There are a few more surprises in store, my friends. “We’ll unveil an additional two titles with prized competition on ESL Play during the months of July and August, plus additional action as three new games make their first foray into esports,” reports Oculus. From June 16th to the 17th the VR Master League will get their stealth on by playing Onward, which is just in time for making the most of your summer break or a mini vacation set in VR.
The eSport Treatment
Having so many different VR gaming titles for players to compete in and rise up the ranks not only brings attention to VR League, Oculus, and ESL, it also gathers attention around the movement intense games themselves. Giving games like The Unspoken, Sprint Vector, Echo Arena, Echo Combat, and Onward the competitive esport treatment will hopefully influence players that are loyal to a particular game, genre, or style of gameplay to maybe try out something new and to get active at the same time.
In It To Win It
In comparison to last season, this season has an extremely expansive net being cast as far as VR gaming communities and talent concerns. VR League’s gaming communities will come from both Europe and North America. Virtual esports is competitive sure, but is also very physically demanding, requires muscle memory, quick reflexes, planning, and skill. Having a range of 7 or more games means more players, more diversity in gameplay and skill, and higher stakes. Last season’s prize of $200,000 just grew to a Season 2 prize pool of $220,000! Depending on how many people split that pool across 7 titles, is going to determine the divvying up of said pool at the Oculus Connect 5 world championships.
Let’s not forget about the enjoyment that the League’s competitive games will bring the players participating and fans watching. Oculus Head of Esports, Christopher K. McKelvy, is excited to keep the core of the success, the fans and gaming communities, from Season 1 overflowing into Season 2 stating, “Oculus is committed to fostering long-term growth of the VR esports ecosystem, and Season 2—with its new format and additional games—is an amazing next step on this exciting journey.”