Gameplay officially began this past weekend in Season 3 of the VR League, sponsored by Oculus and ESL. The four featured titles will give players and spectators an opportunity to witness the next level of esports and see who takes home some of the $250,000 total prize pool.
Over the next six weeks, teams will compete in weekly cups for the opportunity to win prize money as well as points that could allow them to qualify for the Online Closed Qualifiers in May. During closed qualifiers, top teams from each of the four games will compete for the opportunity to advance to the Grand Finals at the Haymarket Theatre in Leicester, UK on June 8-9.
Note: The total prize pool of $250,000 includes the weekly award amounts not listed. The total prize pool of just the Grand Finals competitions is $173,900.
VR League introduced Downpour Interactive’s Onward during Season 2 through a collaboration with VR Master League, a community-driven platform that offers a well-established ecosystem of players, teams, and casters. After a positive reception from players and fans alike, the popular VR first-person shooter is back with the largest Grand Finals prize pool of all four games.
The world’s top two Onward teams were featured in the Season 3 kickoff show match at IEM Katowice on March 3 and over the next 2 months, competing 5-v-5 teams can earn weekly cup prize money and a chance to be flown to the UK in June.
Onward Grand Finals prize pool: $63,000
One of the new games this season is Echo Combat, an expansion to Ready At Dawn’s Echo universe. Echo Combat is a first-person shooter set in zero-gravity where teams of four must capture and maintain control of a point or escort a payload through the map before time runs out.
Echo Combat was also a featured game at the Season 3 kickoff show match with the two top Echo Arena teams battling for that first Echo Combat title.
Echo Combat Grand Finals prize pool: $46,800
Echo Arena is a popular zero-gravity sport game from Ready At Dawn and has been a featured title since the inception of VR League in 2017. Teams of three must coordinate their skills in order to fly around a virtual arena where they boost off each other, pass the disc, stun opponents, and score goals against the other team.
The only non-FPS game featured in Season 3, Echo Arena is an appealing option for players who want the sensation of a traditional sport in virtual reality. Many describe the game as soccer or ultimate frisbee in space.
Echo Arena Grand Finals prize pool: $38,700
Ubisoft’s Space Junkies will launch on March 26 so it’s a new addition to the VR League, but there are already several teams signed up for the March 31 and April 7 warm-up tournaments. This jetpack-fueled game includes a wide variety of weapons that players can use against their opponents in 2-v-2 hostile space battles set in low gravity. The non-VR League version includes 1-v-1 and a multitude of game modes.
Following the warm-up tournaments, teams will begin competition in the league system on April 14.
Space Junkies Grand Finals prize pool: $25,400
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 Grand Finals at Haymarket Theatre in Leicester, UK:
- June 8-9
If you’d like to learn more about the VR League or games included in Season 3, visit https://vr.eslgaming.com/. You can also visit https://play.eslgaming.com/global/vrleague and sign up today or visit the VR League YouTube and Twitch to watch games when they’re live.
Sonya Haskins is a Senior Editor at VRespawn, a VR esports dedicated publication.