We’re quickly approaching some final events for VR League Season 2. The Unspoken and Sprint Vector await news of finals. Onward fans seem to be enjoying the fact that they’ve been added to the VR League family. And Echo Arena competitors continue to battle for top spots in the fast paced zero-gravity game that remains a popular VR experience even for new players.
We’re halfway through stage 3 of the Echo Arena VR League Season 2. This will be the last stage before the North American and European Regional Qualifiers. Top teams in the league continue to play consistently well, but other skilled players endeavor to form new teams and adjust their rosters, looking for a good combination that might bring down the current champions. With that in mind, although results from this week’s tournament games were mostly as expected, there were a few surprises.
To the dismay of most of the European players, their teams were once again placed in two seeded cups. Many players complain that this results in highly unbalanced matches where the higher seeded team dominates the lower seeded team. This also means newer teams trying to get in on the action have to jump into the lion’s den by facing the top teams first, rather than adjusting to tournament-level competition in matches with other new teams.
In the European Cup 8-1, top ranked team Blast! took first place, but Backlash – a team created only two weeks ago – took second place in this cup.
It was no surprise that TeamGravity took first place in the 8-2 European Cup, followed by AfterShock. These two teams are consistent and are also in second and third place, respectively, in the stage 3 and full season rankings.
Halfway through Stage 3, Blast! and TeamGravity continue to vie for the top position in the European league. Here are the current points accumulated:
Since Blast! and TeamGravity already qualified to compete in the Stage 3 Finals, Backlash and AfterShock earned spots this week as the next in line.
In the North American Echo Arena VR League tournaments, the cups were once again random. This displeased some competitors, but it does make for interesting games and sometimes there are surprises.
In the North American Cup 8-1, Eleven Point Five took first place. They are currently in second place for overall points for the Stage 3 and the full season ranking. Ne Plus Ultra also did well this week, losing only one game so they are now tied for points with MetaMercs in the Stage 3 rankings.
In the North American Cup 8-2, the team that took the world grand finals title last year as well as a recent championship at the Echo Arena Invitational also took first place in their cup. Although ec.LiP.se lost professional esports player iShiny this season, they gained SimeonK21 and have continued to excel. These guys might be in for a challenge soon, though, as some younger players who are barely old enough to participate enter the competition. This week There is no Try managed to move up in the Echo Arena world as they beat three other teams in their cup, including Omegators, currently ranked third in Stage 3 points. They also managed to win one game against ec.LiP.se in the best two of three. Their success this week gave the young team an overall placement of third for their cup and a tied win percentage for the week with some of the other top teams.
There are two weeks left in Stage 3 before we see who will earn another spot in the regional qualifiers. If teams like There is no Try continue to play like they did this week, we could see some interesting upsets.
Omegators and ec.LiP.se won the spots in their respective cups during week 7, but this week Eleven Point Five and MetaMercs took earned their spots in the upcoming Stage 3 Finals.
When Oculus made the announcement in May that they were adding Sprint Vector to the Season 2 lineup, the original plan was to feature one month of the “fast-paced parkour racing” game. Fortunately for Vectorheads, they’ve actually enjoyed 8 weeks of competition and await an announcement regarding finals.
Participation did increase quite a bit this week in both the European and North American leagues, but the point system is designed to reward those who have worked hard and participated all season so the rankings for Cup 8 barely changed from last week.
In the European league, there was a third place tie after Cup 7 between Dirvel and Yawning Soldier. Yawning Soldier managed to pull ahead this week and leave Dirvel with a fourth place standing, although it should probably be mentioned that he only has a one-point lead.
In the North American league, the standings remained steady. Pr3Ci510n moved up to fifth place because Tonguepuncher17 didn’t participate this week, but Kazznaz is over 150 points ahead of the nearest competitor anyway so it would’ve taken a literal miracle for anyone to surpass him.
Miracles aside, Sprint Vector is one of the most awesome games in competitive VR gaming. The community is awesome and the races are thrilling. Personally, I am horrible at this game, but it’s one of the VR games I would love to see in person because it seems like it would be exciting to see how the real life movements translate into the races. Hopefully we’ll have an announcement soon regarding a final competition for Season 2 and of course we’ll share that right away.
With their Season 2 announcement in May, the VR League also stated that they would be supporting the VR Master League and the grassroots community that has grown around Onward, a military simulation game created exclusively for virtual reality. The game is based on a creation by Downpour Interactive founder Dante Buckley, who envisioned a first person military shooter for VR and set out to make it a reality.
The game has proven incredibly popular. Players only have one life so they’re forced to do use skill, teamwork and stealth to finish the mission in one piece. It’s incredibly challenging, but there are usually more experienced players around to help out and offer some friendly advice.
Currently there is no weekly prize money for Onward, but ESL has organized some special events and the game will be featured at Oculus Connect 5 in September. In addition, VR Cover and ProTubeVR sponsor the VR Master League so competitors can earn treats from these companies. In addition, This is definitely a VR League title that we’ll want to keep an eye on.
Matches are generated on a weekly basis and results are updated in regional standings and worldwide standings. Here are the current worldwide standings for Onward:
If you are interested in following the developments, check out some of the matches that are scheduled to take place during the coming week.