VR League Season 3 returns with weekly cups, qualifiers, a finals LAN event in Leicester, UK, and a $250,000 prize pool! Games included this season are Space Junkies, Onward, Echo Arena, and Echo Combat.
The third season was launched in grand fashion with live coverage of kickoff show matches from IEM Katowice, Poland on March 3. Featured in the kickoff event were the world’s top teams from Echo Arena and Onward, competing in rematches of the VRL Season 2 finals that took place at Oculus Connect 5 in September.
The top two Echo Arena teams were first on stage at IEM Katowice, but rather than an exact rematch of the previous season’s finals, they actually played Echo Combat. Ready At Dawn’s Echo Combat is a zero-gravity first-person shooter with the same locomotion mechanics as Echo Arena, but it’s a 4-v-4 format and players use guns, tactical mods, and ordnance to achieve a goal rather than a disc.
Since they were playing Echo Combat rather than Echo Arena, Team Gravity revised their team roster. Founding member and coach VR_Jersey actually helped on the casting desk while the line-up for Echo Combat included Boop, Affenterror, Viatrex, and newcomer Flushgogo. Eclipse added power-player Strembitsky to their Season 2 line-up of Lemming, Palidore, and simeonk21.
While Echo Combat offers a payload and capture point mode, in the show match, the teams played capture point on the Dyson and Combustion maps. Team Gravity hoped to claim a victory over two-time world championship North American team Eclipse, but it wasn’t meant to be as Eclipse took the win 3-1.
The second show match at IEM Katowice was Downpour Interactive’s Onward VR, returning for VR League Season 3. This popular tactical mil-sim was featured as part of VRL Season 2 in collaboration with the VR Master League (VRML), a grassroots organization dedicated to players where they can find teams and participate in seasonal tournaments.
When Globochem and Beginners met at Oculus Connect 5, Globochem had already established a positive track record by claiming every seasonal championship title in the VRML except for one. (Onward had just completed VRML Season 5 when it appeared in the VRL Season 2.) However, Beginners played expertly and claimed the victory during the VR League Season 2 Grand Finals. The show match was an opportunity for Globochem take back the loss at OC5 or for Beginners to deny it.
These teams bring out the best in each other and the show matches were intense, but in the end, with less than a minute left in a best of 5 series, Thund3rPilot made a last-minute decision to abandon the uplink and instead killed the last member of Beginners left alive on the map, claiming the win (and redemption) for Globochem.
If the kickoff matches are any indication of what’s to come, then we’re set to have an exciting season! In addition to Echo Combat and Onward, Echo Arena will return for the third time and we’ll see the addition of Space Junkies.
Echo Arena is the fast-paced zero-gravity first-person shooter from Ready At Dawn. The game requires a tremendous amount of athleticism as players must have quick reflexes to boost around the arena, punch (or block) opponents, and pass the disc around a virtual arena in a 3-v-3 competitive setting.
Ubisoft’s Space Junkies is a low-gravity first-person shooter set in hostile space where teams face off in 2-v-2 battles against opponents in Orenas (orbital arenas) as they fight for limited resources in space. The game contains an impressive number of weapons and gadgets. Space Junkies will launch on March 26 so there will be no weekly cup on March 24.
Season 3 Schedule:
- Online Weekly Cups Stage 1:
- March 24
- March 31
- April 7
- Online Weekly Cups Stage 2:
- April 14
- April 21
- April 28
- Last Chance Qualifier:
- May 5
- Online Closed Qualifiers:
- May 18-19
- May 25-26
- Season 3 World Finals at Haymarket Theatre in Leicester, UK (offline event):
- June 8-9
VR esports is a fantastic opportunity to use virtual reality for fitness so stay tuned to VR Fitness Insider for regular updates regarding VR League Season 3. You can find more information about the games on the VR League website. Sign up for Season 3 at ESL Play. And be sure to follow the VR League on Facebook and Twitter.