This week VR League Season 3 moved into Stage 2. Echo Combat, Echo Arena, and Onward teams began the battle to see which two teams per region will qualify during this stage for the Online Closed Qualifiers. Six teams secured their spots last week, which marked the end of Stage 1.
The fourth featured game this season, Ubisoft’s Space Junkies, entered its first official week of league competition on Sunday.
The format for Space Junkies is slightly different from the other games in VRL Season 3. Teams had to check in by Friday, April 12 so they would be included in the Group Stage three-week format (weeks of April 14, 21, 28). They'll move on to playoffs in May.
During the first official week of competition, we were able to watch the action on VRL social media through the view of a new observer mode from Ubisoft. We'll continue to improve the at-home experience for all of the viewers, but Space Junkies has already delivered a fantastic observing system for broadcasts!
In the European region, one team to keep a close eye on is The Reapers, who perhaps should change their name to The Grim Reapers with the number of kills they were racking up. The Reapers were picked up by Team Gravity earlier this week after their incredible performance, and will be flying their banners in the weeks to come -putting Team Gravity as a force to be reckoned with in yet another VR League title.
There are 15 Space Junkies teams in the European region and 12 teams in the North American region. Since it’s the first official week of competition, it’s difficult to tell which teams will qualify for finals in Leicester, UK on June 8-9, but there were some exciting matches.
There’s a lot of overlap between the games as players try their hand at different VR esports so you’ll frequently recognize usernames or team names. In the match-up between Danglers and cash grab, for example, the players have also played a bit of Onward, Echo Arena, Echo Combat, and The Unspoken. Now they’ve come to compete in Space Junkies. Danglers was defeated by cash grab in the first match, but then they came back to win the series 2:1.
You can see how all the Space Junkies teams are doing in the Group Stage by visiting ESL Play.
European teams gave us another great show in Echo Arena this week. Ouroboros, Synergy, and Smash Dash continue to do well, but they’re still a step below Team Gravity, the number one team in EU.
During the fifth Swiss round in a best-of-3 format, we were able to watch Team Gravity versus Synergy in one of the best match ups of the day. After being defeated in the first match, Synergy came back strong and took the lead. Team Gravity was able to tie the game and then with a well-timed stun just before the buzzer, they denied a goal by Nillewick so the game went into overtime. Boop90, one of the best long-range shooters in the game, secured the win in overtime with a beautiful bank shot.
In North America, things are definitely heating up for all the top teams. Several teams ended the day with a 4:1 win/loss record. Those were Eleven Point Five, Kangorillaz, Eclipse, and Team Jokr.
Team Jokr, the youngest team in VRL Season 3 (with players ages 14, 15, and 15), took a series loss against 11.5, but they also had a default win in round 1. Kangorillaz suffered their only loss of the day to top ranked Eclipse (in Swiss round 5) while Eclipse lost at the ends of 11.5 earlier in the afternoon.
Eclipse struggled a bit against Name-WIP in round 4, losing one game in the best-of-3 format, but they ultimately came back to win the series. Meanwhile, Kangorillaz defeated 11.5 in that same round.
Meanwhile Synapse continues to do well, taking one game in the best-of-3 against both Kangorillaz and Team Jokr. It will definitely be interesting to see which two teams advance from each region to the Online Closed Qualifiers from Stage 2.
Check out all the results from this week's cup with the links below.
Several match series in Onward went all the way this week in the best-of-5 format as BossFight nearly took down Beginners, Dead Logic almost defeated Silent Purge, and Vikings nearly defeated Article Thirteen.
At the end of the day, however, we ended up with Beginners defeating Silent Purge, Article 13 defeating top EU team Beginners, and Article 13 was defeated by the team that ended up in fourth place – Dead Logic. These matches were close and we’re sure to see more terrific competition over the next few weeks from these teams.
We also had three teams with a 4:1 win/loss ratio in North America. Of the top three teams, only G-Men suffered a loss to one of the others when Globochem defeated them in last of five Swiss rounds. Globochem had been defeated earlier by SMC Tactical (who ended up in 4th place for this weekly cup) and Blaze was defeated by Danglers in the first round of the day. Both SMC Tactical and Danglers ended up tying for fourth place in this weekly cup.
You can see all results on the ESL Play website.
The Team Gravity Echo Combat team continues to perform well in the European region. They ended the week again with a perfect record. Meanwhile, Blerst is right on their heels and is doing well in the EU region against all the teams except Team Gravity as this continues to be their only weekly loss.
In North America, VRespawn also had another perfect record. In a situation similar to that in the EU, Kangorillaz is fighting for that #1 position and took their only loss to the top team.
There were nine teams signed up in the North American region this week and eight for the European region. Teams can still register for Echo Combat and participate in Season 3. Since the top eight teams in each region win weekly prize money, it’s possible that you could earn yourself a little cash!
Find out where all the other teams placed on ESL Play.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
VR League Season 3 features Onward, Echo Arena, Echo Combat, and Space Junkies. Learn more about season 3 format, schedule, and prizes on https://vr.eslgaming.com/.
Choose a game and sign up at https://play.eslgaming.com/global/vrleague. You can join the competition at any point during the season. (Note: Space Junkies registration ended Friday, April 12.)
WHERE TO WATCH
Tune in to VR League social media channels next Sunday for continued coverage of weekly cups.
- Twitch - https://www.twitch.tv/VRChallenger
- YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/VRLeague
- Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/WatchVRLeague/
Sonya Haskins is better known among the gaming community by the username "hasko7." She greatly enjoys playing and promoting VR esports. Sonya lives with her husband and five children in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains in Northeast Tennessee.