The VR League and Oculus are teaming up with VR Master League and Collegiate VR Esports League to present a VR LAN gathering at DreamHack Atlanta featuring virtual reality training, casual play, and esports scrimmages. Volunteers from established VR communities will be present to answer questions and fellowship with visitors to the VR Freeplay area from November 15-17.
VR LAN events such as this represent a focused effort to highlight community involvement and introduce VR esports to a wider range of audiences. With 30 VR headsets available to visitors in the VR Freeplay area, this will be the largest VR LAN party featured at DreamHack, the premier digital lifestyle festival that hosts events around the world.
Oculus Quests will be available for guests to play Beat Games’ Beat Saber 360 and Cloudhead Games’ Pistol Whip. Oculus Quest is the popular standalone VR headset that was released from Oculus earlier this year.
The Facebook company continues to support long-term growth of the overall VR esports ecosystem. From the partnership with ESL in 2017 that established the VR League to current engagement with VR community groups such as VRML and CVRE, Oculus has shown a commitment to increasing awareness of opportunities in VR esports.
“Oculus and ESL are beyond excited to collaborate with the VRML and the CVRE to give the community another chance to meet up and compete IRL and teach newcomers the fun of competitive VR,” states Kitt Boyd, Partner Manager at ESL Gaming America. “We can’t think of a better venue than Dreamhack to host some community run scrimmages, and we anticipate some great competition from our pro players and newcomers alike.”
In September over 200 VR community members attended Oculus Connect 6 in San Jose, California. People who meet in VR often develop close friendships and want to meet in real life so events like Oculus Connect and DreamHack are the perfect opportunity.
“This is my first LAN event,” states Anton Franzluebbers, a veteran Echo VR player who will be attending DreamHack later this week. “I am looking forward to meeting some of the players that I’ve known for a while, but have never seen behind the veil of the Echo Unit.”
One of the things that makes it possible to develop intense relationships through virtual reality is the fact that there’s “presence.” Body language translates well in VR so it’s easier to tell if someone is happy or sad, upset or excited, etc. When you meet VR friends in physical reality, their body language is already recognizable.
The goal with events like DreamHack is to welcome players from physical reality into our immersive realms, help them understand how to become involved in the leagues, and encourage interaction with established groups.
In addition to open play time, pro players and VR community members will direct new player workshops for Downpour Interactive’s Onward, Ready At Dawn’s Echo Arena, and Phaser Lock Interactive’s Final Assault.
Pro players from the VR League, VR Master League, and the Collegiate VR Esports League will also present show matches on the Oculus Rift S for Onward and Echo Arena.
The VR Master League has grown from the passion and input of a growing community that was started in early 2017 by DaKinMan. The community-driven platform initially supported Onward, a military tactical shooter from then solo-developer Dante Buckley, but it has grown exponentially and now supports several of the most competitive VR esports games in the industry.
The Collegiate VR Esports League was started in January 2018 by college-age enthusiasts who saw the need for VR esports league that catered to collegiate level players.
DreamHack attendees are invited to visit the VR Freeplay area from noon to 8:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday as well as 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday.