At the conclusion of VR League season 1, we discussed how esports had been brought to a new level with the introduction of virtual reality games that involve ducking, jumping, dodging, and stealthy movements. Throughout season 2, competitors and teams have continued to discover new techniques in gameplay, improve their physical abilities in the game and truly raise the bar for VR esports.

We also pointed out that VR esports had entered this world as a “trust fund baby,” benefiting from the already-established billion dollar esports industry, but competitions such as the ones that took place this past weekend continue to prove that VR esports will make it’s own impact in the world.

Onward Summer Championship – Open Qualifiers

Stage one of the Onward Summer Championship began with the Open Qualifiers on August 11-12. The championship was open to any team ranked #14 or below in the VRML season.

Two groups of ten were required to play at least five matches against other teams in the corresponding group in a standard Swiss-system tournament. The first set of matches were determined randomly and partially seeded by standings.

The teams that won the Open Qualifiers and will advance to the next stage in the Summer Championships are Blaze and Burning Chrome. You can see highlights from the games on The Lonely Viper’s YouTube channel:

Stage 2 of the Onward Summer Championship is the Round-Robin Group Stage. The first six slots were taken by teams who were ranked #8 to #13 from the worldwide season standings. This left the two spots from the Open Qualifiers that were claimed by Blaze and Burning Chrome.

The Round-Robin Group Stage will take place this weekend on August 18th (group A) and 19th (group B). Teams will once again be split into two groups and each team will play the other three teams in their group in a round-robin format.

The top two teams from each group will be granted a position in the stage 3 semi-finals  that take place on August 24 (group A) or the stage 4 semi-finals that take place August 26 (group B).

There will be four teams competing at the World Finals for the $60,000 prize pool. Globochem earned a spot during the Onward Invitational event at the ESL studios in Leicester, England in June. During the semi-finals, one team from each group will earn a spot. The fourth team will be determined during another Onward Invitational in Leicester on September 1-2. Read more about the path to OC5 for Onward teams in this article.

Echo Arena – Stage #3 Finals

Unlike the weekly cups where anyone could participate, teams had to earn their way into one of the eight positions available in each of the stage finals. Teams could qualify for participation via three paths:  top two teams from each cup based on points, top team based on stage points, top team based on points in the ladder. (The next team in line advances if the top team already earned a spot.)
European League
In the European League, the following teams earned positions in the Stage 3 Finals:
During Sunday’s games, two more European teams qualified for the upcoming World Finals Qualifiers that will be held August 18-19. Although normally the teams in first and second place would earn a spot at the World Finals Qualifiers, Backlash and Gamma earned the positions through default because the teams who placed higher in the Stage 3 Finals had already earned slots in the upcoming tournament.
ESL featured the European stage 3 finals via their VR League Live Facebook page.
North American League
In the North American League, the following teams earned positions in the Stage 3 Finals:
The two North American teams that earned spots this week were Team Velocity and Ne Plus Ultra. Like their EU counterparts, these teams earned positions in the World Finals Qualifiers despite the fact that that were knocked down to the lower bracket early in the tournament and never made it back to the upper bracket. The four top ranked teams already secured their spots in the World Finals Qualifiers during the earlier stage finals so this allowed Team Velocity and Ne Plus Ultra the opportunity to make it through.
Some of the most exciting North American stage 3 final games can be viewed on the Twitch channel of StealthShampoo, a caster for VRespawn. Since much of the competition was running concurrently, ESL wasn’t able to cast these matches.
Last Chance Qualifier

Any team could enter the Last Chance Qualifier tournament that were held August 14 and 15. Numerous teams participated in the double-elimination best of three tournament.

In the European league, Smash Dash and Team Telepathy earned spots in the World Finals Qualifiers.

The two teams that earned spots in the North American league are Team Jokr and Atlas.

World Finals Qualifiers

On August 19 sixteen teams will compete for the opportunity to compete in a double elimination best-of-three format World Finals Qualifier. Two teams from each region will meet on September 27 at the World Grand Finals on the McEnery Convention Center stage at Oculus Connect 5.

The teams that will compete for these four spots are:
Be sure to tune in Sunday, August 19 to one of the VR League social media channels so you won’t miss the action!
The VR League is sponsored by ESL, Oculus and Intel.

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