Virtex is excited to announce their first live event, which will feature Echo Arena, a VR esports game from Ready At Dawn, in Virtex Stadium, an immersive entertainment platform that enables fans to experience esports competitions in live 3D with other fans.
Unlike anything we’ve seen before, Virtex is designed to put spectators in the stadium so they can hang out with friends in an environment designed for social interaction, watch matches together, and float alongside players throughout the competition. This would be like going to a football game with your buddies in physical reality and jumping onto the field to see action from players’ point of view.
Except better because you can do it from the comfort of your own home, but still feel like you’re in the stadium with friends thanks to the magic of presence in immersive reality.
“As a fan, even if you’re not playing the game itself you get just as hyped, excited and passionate for the big moments as the players do themselves,” said Tim McGuinness, CEO & Co-Founder of Virtex. “We want to bring fans as close to the action as possible and by removing the limitations of 2D screens.”
The concept isn’t exactly new as players were previously able to get together and watch games in Horizon Venues, for example. However, they were still doing just that – watching the action on a 2D screen, even though it was inside a 3D environment. That’s no longer the case with Virtex.
Echo Arena also has a spectator mode that enables players to watch a match in the 3D arena environment, but it is designed as a true spectator mode so you can’t interact with others. It’s perfect for casting or streaming, but not for interacting with your friends.
Virtex Stadium was birthed by McGuinness and Christoph Ortlepp after they met at a VR League finals event in 2019. McGuinness, a former Team Gravity Echo VR player, was casting for the event and shared an early prototype of Virtex Stadium with Ortlepp, a tech entrepreneur recognized the potential. This led to Virtex being founded in 2020.
In addition to the seed round which occurred earlier this year, recently the company welcomed investors Anorak.vc, who were also first investors in Oculus and RecRoom, as well as FOV.ventures, a new games & XR-oriented fund who invested in, among others, ReadyPlayerMe.
The first live event for Virtex Stadium is set to take place on December 17 and 18 in partnership with National Esports Professional Association (NEPA) as they host a dedicated Echo VR event where some of the best Echo VR esports teams will compete against each other and feature the full Virtex Stadium experience for the first time.
This will be a milestone for esports – not just VR esports, but esports overall. Even if you aren’t familiar with Echo VR, this event is just the first step as it sets the foundation of Virtex’s ambition to become home to the most memorable and unique events in gaming.
The Virtex Stadium experience is currently available on closed beta via Oculus PCVR with compatible VR headsets. Since partnering with Meta and Ready at Dawn in February 2022, rigorous testing for Echo VR in Virtex Stadium has taken place and the team is working to accommodate even more players for this wonderful sport experience.