The VR Master League will host an invitational event featuring Downpour Interactive’s Onward at NiceOne Barcelona (N1B), a gaming show dedicated to the world of digital entertainment.

With an estimated crowd of approximately 150,000 attendees, NiceOne Barcelona is a perfect venue to display the gaming power of virtual reality. In fact, with 1.500m2 dedicated to VR and AR experiences at NiceOne Barcelona 2019, there will be plenty of opportunity to experience unique immersive experiences, watch competitive VR esports in action, and try Onward with some of the best VRML players in Europe.

VR Master League is a community-driven platform that was established by DaKinMan in early 2017. Onward was the first game featured in the league that now officially manages the competitive scenes for some of the most popular VR esports, including davevillz’ Pavlov VR, Ready At Dawn’s Echo Arena, and Phaser Lock Interactive’s Final Assault.

Teams participating in the VR Master League Invitational at NiceOne Barcelona are Loyal Dogs, from the Canary Islands, and Phantoms, from Spain. Both of these teams are part of the rising population of VR enthusiasts and pro players who want to encourage growth of VR gaming and esports throughout Europe.

“We couldn’t be more proud of seeing these two VRML teams going on the main VR esports stage at the NiceOne Barcelona festival,” states DaKinMan, founder of the VR Master League. “We’re certain they’ll be able to showcase how competitive Onward is meant to be played and we’re excited to see if some people from the crowd are going to try their chance competing with and against them!”

Like most VR esports, it’s exciting to watch Onward being played in a LAN environment because spectators can truly see how players’ actions in physical reality translate in game. Some games require tremendous amounts of physicality like dodging, ducking, jumping, etc. In all competitive VR esports, there is a lot of stamina involved as players frequently play 6 hours or more on tournament days. Teamwork and skills such as stealth, strategy, and accuracy also often determine which teams end up claiming the championship titles.

In addition to the competitive show matches that will take place each day of NiceOne Barcelona November 28 – December 1, players from Phantoms and Loyal Dogs will be on hand to introduce exhibit visitors to the game and play with them.

Typically played in 5 v 5 matches, Downpour Interactive’s Onward is a first-person shooter created by Dante Buckley from the ground up for virtual reality. There are various options for gameplay, several maps, weapons upgrades, etc. One of the most competitive games in VR esports, Onward has been featured in every season of the VR Master League and the past two seasons of Oculus and ESL-sponsored VR League.

The VR Master League and players from both invitational teams are excited to present Onward to NiceOne Barcelona attendees.

“In VRML, we would love to do so much more,” continues DaKinMan. “We would like to use this opportunity to attract the attention of the 150,000 attendees at the event and show the people in Spain, but also in all EU, that VR esports is NOW!”

While VR esports is rapidly expanding, much of the work in the industry is being done by volunteers with little to no funding. Many people invest their own resources and spend many hours training new players, traveling to community-building events, etc. Festivals such as NiceOne Barcelona provide an excellent opportunity to reach greater numbers of people in physical reality so they have the chance to put on the headset and actually try virtual reality, but funding is always a challenge.

Thankfully for groups such as VR Master League, big companies such as Oculus have stepped in to provide support in the form of computers and other hardware. Smaller companies such ProTube VR, a regular sponsor of the VRML, also provide sponsorship.

A couple of decades ago, no one had heard of esports, but now it’s an industry expected to top $1 billion by 2022. With the introduction of headsets such as the Oculus Quest, virtual reality has only become more accessible for average consumers. The VR esports industry is much smaller than it’s more traditional cousin that features flat games, but news of VR esports arenas, tournaments, competitive VR games, etc. all point to a bright future for this more immersive form of competitive digital gaming.

If you’re interested in attending NiceOne Barcelona, you can purchase tickets here.

If you’d like to know more about the VR Master League or find out about sponsorship opportunities for the VRML Invitational or other events, visit the VR Master League website.

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