There’s a new kind of e-sport you may not have heard of. VR Esports are growing in popularity year after year accompanied by the introduction of VR headsets in the market.
But what exactly are they and why VR esports are a big deal?
What are VR esports?
If you are here you probably already know what esports are, but if you don’t, esports is simply the short name for electronic sports. Just like football players play football together, e-Sports players play computer games against each other.
Now that you are up to date let’s talk about VR esports. VR Esports are a subset of esports where players use a virtual reality headset to play videogames. You may think that it doesn’t matter, but it does and the use of a HMD (Head Mounted Display) allow players to control their avatars using their whole body, which makes this new kind of esport the perfect match between videogames and traditional sports.
What makes VR esports special?
We know that virtual reality is not mainstream yet but we are sure that it will find it’s place in the near future. Since Oculus Rift launch the VR esports scene has been growing along with the VR market organically.
One of the main differences with traditional esports is the added physicality. This means that a player has to move his body to aim a target, throw a disk or go prone. This means that your physical condition impacts the game directly and you have to stay in shape to face hours of combats during the tournaments.
This is appealing to a society that embraces fitness and health. People like virtual reality and they also like the fact that competitive VR esports require you to move, jump, turn, etc. So if you are tired of playing seated competitive games for hours you must give competitive virtual reality a shot.
Where do I start?
There are plenty of competitive games you can play. If you are starting we recommend you Onward by Downpour Interactive and Echo Arena by Ready at Dawn.
Onward is a Mil-Sim paced tactical multiplayer shooter where players have to use coordination, communication, and marksmanship to complete objectives in online infantry combat. It has a great and welcoming community where veteran players help newcomers to overcome the steep learning curve the game offers.
On the other hand, in Echo Arena players will face off against the competition in a zero-gravity clash of robotic glory as they glide, boost, and punch their way to scoring goals in a breathtaking virtual arena. Same as Onward it has a strong community and is one of the biggest virtual reality esports nowadays.
If you are looking for other competitive games you should try Pavlov, Tower Tag, Contractors, Final Assault or Space Junkies among others.
Finally, if you are already familiar with the games you can join a league where players fight for the lead along seasons in order to win prizes.
The first place to look is VR Master League, with thousands of players and growing year by year, this league is the main HUB for VR esport players. There are currently five leagues where you can jump in all along the season and we have another article explaining to you how to join.
Virtual Athletics League is another league which in the beginning was aimed to VR Arcades but lately it opened for everyone. Currently, they have a Pistol Whip tournament where you can test your rhythm and John Wick skills.
The Collegiate VR Esports League is specifically targeted toward the needs of collegiate level players. They plan to expand the league to Europe too.
In case you didn’t find a game or league of your interest, you should join your favorite game discord and check for tournaments announcements where you can test your abilities.