Onward semifinals are complete and two more teams qualified for the grand finals that will be held at Oculus Connect 5 in San Jose, CA on September 26.
The popular military simulator game is part of the VR Master League, a well-established group that has collaborated with the VR League this season. Onward is in its fifth season so many of the players and teams already knew each other from previous tournaments and active online community. They've also competed throughout the summer to secure one of the four spots at grand finals. Teams will fight for a chunk of the $60,000 prize pool, the greatest portion of the total $120,000 prize pool for all the VR League games at grand finals.
Globochem was the first to secure an invite after they had a dominating performance at the Onward Invitational Event in the ESL UK studios in Leicester, UK on June 15-17, which they've kept up through the subsequent seasons in the VR Master League as the rank 1 seed.
Two additional teams qualified August 24 and 26 during semifinals A and B.
Three teams participated in each of the two semifinals groups in a single elimination bracket. Two of the teams in each group had advanced to the bracket after the round-robin group stage to challenge a higher ranking team in worldwide standings that received a bye. Each team was allowed to ban one map.
Semifinals A - Friday, August 24
The first match in the semifinals was between the Group A #1 team (Animal House) and the Group B #2 team (Silent Purge). They competed in a typical league style "best of 3" format.
Animal House won that series 2-1 so they earned the right to move on to Semis A Final to compete against BossFight, who had a bye in the initial round thanks to their #3 worldwide ranking.
The challenging team came out strong and won the first round. BossFight fought back and took the second round, but then Animal House again won the third round. In this "best of 5" format, this put BossFight in a bad position because if Animal House won another round, they would take the series in an upset.
It wasn't meant to be, however. BossFight denied Animal House any points in the fourth round and then they advanced to a fifth round to secure the win.
Check out the winning play when SkoobyDoo managed to enter the satellite uplink code, enabling BossFight to win the round 4-3, take the series 3-2 and secure a spot at finals.
Semifinals B - Sunday, August 26
The first match in the semifinals was between the Group B #1 team (Blaze) and the Group A #2 team (Legionnaires). Although Blaze put up a good fight, Legionnaires won that series 2-1 in the "best of 3" format.
With the win against Blaze, Legionnaires earned the right to move on to Semis B Final to compete against Beginners, who had a bye in the initial round thanks to their #2 worldwide standings.
Beginners has been a solid team since joining the VR Master League in season 2. They actually won the season 3 championships, defeating Globochem, who then turned around and snatched back the title in season 4.
Legionnaires came out strong, putting up a tough fight in the first two maps, but Beginners began to show their strengths and swept Legionnaires away in the third map, ultimately winning 4-0 this "best of 5" format.
— VR League (@VRChallenger) August 26, 2018
Onward World Finals Invitational Qualifier - September 1st-2nd
Meanwhile, this weekend, September 1-2, tune in for the Onward World Finals Invitational Qualifier to be held in Leicester, UK. The four teams ranked 4 through 7 in the overall worldwide standings were invited to participate in a double-elimination bracket that will determine the final team to compete at Oculus Connect 5.
These teams will play three maps in a regular "best of 3" format. Each team will ban one map per bracket. Be sure to watch the stream to find out which Onward team will secure the last spot and compete for the VR League Onward championship 2018 title.
WHERE AND WHEN TO WATCH?
Upcoming Broadcasts - All broadcast begin at 10:00 PST/19:00 CEST unless otherwise noted
- September 1st - 2nd - Onward World Finals Invitational Qualifier - Live this weekend
- September 8th - Road to OC5 Recap Show
- September 26th-27th - Oculus Connect 5
About the author
Sonya Haskins is better known among the gaming community by the username "hasko7." Although her version of "flat gaming" consists of cards and board games, she has extensive knowledge of VR esports and is an avid evangelist for virtual reality in general. Sonya lives with her husband and five children in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Northeast Tennessee.