The VR Master League (VRML) will kick off the first VR esports competitions of the decade on Monday, January 20 with Downpour Interactive’s Onward and davevillz’ Pavlov.
A community-driven platform the was formed in 2017 by DaKinMan, the VR Master League celebrates its three-year anniversary this month. VRML supports some of the most competitive VR games on the market and has an active community of casters, tournament managers, mentors, and more.
Esports have gained increased popularity over the past couple of decades and although VR esports only entered the scene a few years ago, gamers enjoy the physicality required in VR games so the industry is rapidly expanding. Onward and Pavlov are simply the first two of many VR esports competitions we’ll see this decade.
Onward is a mil-sim tactical multiplayer shooter that was released on Steam Early Access in August 2016. Players work together to complete objectives and defeat the opposing 5-person team through the use of coordination, communication, and marksmanship skills. The game has been a popular choice for VR esports competitions due to the supportive community and development team.
The VR Master League initially formed around the Onward community’s desire for organized competitions so it was the first game to be featured in the league in early 2017. There were 24 players in season 1. Monday marks the beginning of Onward VR Master League Season 9 and currently there are 437 players (including reservists) registered.
There are always a lot of fun rivalries between the veteran teams and occasionally new champions rise from the growing pool of teams as well. Some of the biggest rivalries have been between Beginners, Globochem, SMC Tactical, Boss Fight, and G-Men. Check out the 20 biggest rivalries of all time on the VRML website.
Originally created by Dante Buckley, who dropped out of college to develop Onward, Buckley established the development studio Downpour Interactive and now works with a team of developers on the game.
Onward can be played on all the major headsets, including the HTC Vive, Valve Index, and Oculus Rift. It is a cross-platform multiplayer game and developers are currently working on a port to the Oculus Quest.
It’s easy to become involved in the Onward community and participate in tournaments. Simply check out the following links, download the game, and reach out for help if you have questions!
Join the Onward Discord here.
Sign up for Onward VR Master League Season 9.
Watch competitions on the Onward VRML Twitch channel.
Keep up to date with the latest news via the Onward VRML Twitter feed!
Another popular multiplayer VR first-person shooter, Pavlov actually maintains some of the most impressive players numbers among VR games. According to Steam charts, numbers of players have been steadily growing since the game released in Steam Early Access in February 2017. In the past 30 days, there have been over 900 average players with a peak of 1,971.
Pavlov was first featured in the VR Master League in 2017 with 19 players in season 1. There are currently 386 players (including reservists) signed up for season 6, which will also begin on Jan. 20.
Pavlov can be played on all major headsets, including the Valve Index, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift. There is currently a working build on the Oculus Quest. Information about installation can be found in the Pavlov VR Discord server under “quest-installation.”
The following links make it easy to find the Pavlov community online, find a team, and sign up for league competitions.
Purchase Pavlov VR on Steam.
Join the Pavlov VR Discord here.
Sign up for Pavlov VR Master League Season 6.
Watch competitions on the Pavlov VRML Twitch channel.
Follow the Pavlov VRML Twitter page for the latest game news!
Since VR Master League is a community-driven platform, participation is free for players and teams. Prizes, website maintenance expenses, etc. are covered by league sponsors.
VR Master League Season 9 sponsors include VR Cover, ProTube VR, and FIXT Gaming.
VR Cover creates top quality accessories for VR gamers. Most pro VR gamers use VR Cover products for hygiene and comfort. (And no one pays me to say this. It’s simply the truth!)
The team at ProTube VR makes stocks compatible with all major controllers, including HTC, Oculus, PSVR, and Valve Index Knuckles. The products are pricey, but widely considered the best and easiest to use stocks on the market.
The VR Master League developed a new collaboration with FiXT Gaming for 2020. The independent record label provides music for games and gamers. FiXT’s music has been featured in some of the most popular games and we’re sure we’ll begin to see them in more VR games as well.