Virtual Athletics League Season 1
The Season 1 Lineup! Credit to: Virtual Athletics League

Virtual Athletics League (VAL) is a global Virtual Reality arcade and eSports league that recently hosted their first tournament of the season with Space Pirate Trainer in September. VIVE’s Blog and a press release each announced that the official Season 1 of Virtual Athletics League will have more active VR titles than ever! Fit gamers will want to get in on this event!

VAL Collaborations and Partners

VAL announced a VR esports collaboration among SpringboardVR and LIV with a sponsorship from HP Inc and HTC eSports as sponsors. Season 1 of VAL will work with 7 VR game studios to bring their action-packed games to arcades and play spaces around the world.

Virtual Athletics League Season 1 Training

Credit to: Virtual Athletics League

Signing up for the league doesn’t take much effort (sign up online!), but practicing your timing, aim, and endurance will. Anyone with gaming experience and at any fitness level can participate in the league, but to rise up in ranking on a global leaderboard will take more than hopes and dreams. It’s going to take practice and fitness prowess for the VR games being played.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it till we’re blue in the face. Gamers looking for an active gaming experience don’t have to be couch locked or lazy! They can rise up and get in shape by playing mind-flexing and physically active games with VR!

Ryan Burningham of Virtual Athletics League and Virtualities shares this sentiment, stating: “The introduction of the HTC Vive two years ago and sophisticated controllers represented a tectonic shift – it moved players from behind computer screens, into the center of their living rooms and VR arcades worldwide.”

In August, VAL hosted a global Beat Saber tournament that attracted 168 arcades and thousands of fans and newbies of the game to compete. After that tournament, VAL excitedly announced that the league and game “saw the quickest install base of any title to date and a doubling of minutes the weekend of the tournament.”

Active gamers and new fans dove into the Beat Saber tournament head first and bought the game. The game is so satisfying to play and watch and has such catchy tunes, that it enticed more people to play it and go out and buy VR headsets to use at home. As a result, the tournament has helped people dive into VR and become more physically active.

Season 1 VAL Game Lineup

VAL eagerly announced that more global tournaments will be held in October, November, and are expecting more dates and game announcements soon.

Here are the upcoming VR games to train for:

VR eSports Fitness Intensity

VR and fitness exemplified. Ruirize from LIV at the VAL Beat Saber Tournament Credit to: LIV/Beat Games

After the Space Pirate Trainer tournament (watch the Twitch broadcast here), it was clear that “At the elite level players start to perform time bending moves, dodge lasers by sound alone, and land insane combos with dozens of drones shooting from all directions. People who a few short years ago had never heard of VR, are now competing in VR esports on a global scale.”

The league welcomes a diverse range of players with single and multiplayer games. But, they also address that the gameplay intensity, skill set, and ascent within the league and their respective games depends on the individual player. What we put our focus, fitness, and effort into is what we get out of it, right?

Season 1 has 7 VR game titles that are sure to make our heart rate rise, especially Space Pirate Trainer, Arizona Sunshine, Island 359, and QuiVR. However, we can’t help but longingly wish Beat Saber was headlining in Season 1. Especially since player’s “heart rates [were] topping out at nearly 180 BPM” and its fitness intensity being on par with tennis in their recent tournament with the league. Will the rhythm slasher will be added to Season 1 later or return for Season 2? Only time will tell.

Virtual Athletics League’s VR eSports Future

Looking toward the future of eSports, Virtual Athletics League will stay focused on global arcade tournaments where anyone can jump in and give it a go. But are also planning to attract serious VR gamers with “a more exclusive core league.” The future core league will involve “city-based play [that] will take place on the same scale as professional sports franchises around the world.”

Going on to say that “Our hope is for each arcade to eventually have things like jerseys, dedicated teams, professional casters and a Twitch fanbase.” The arcade vs. arcade model could not only mean more local, regional, and country-wide team and game loyalty, but it could amplify the return rate of visitors and even help fuel VR headset and game sales.

Season 1 of Virtual Athletics League is the perfect time for anyone looking to become more active or athletic to become a part of something as exciting as Virtual Reality eSports. This is a call to all fit gamers that want to take their training and fitness to a whole new level with serious competition. Try out these games, hone your skills, and get your friends to join you. Do whatever it takes to climb the local and global leaderboards. Your body and competitive spirit will thank you for it.