Players and teams representing universities across Europe will have an opportunity to participate in the newly established European branch of the Collegiate VR Esports League when competition begins in late January 2020.
The Collegiate VR Esports League began two years ago when several college-age enthusiasts recognized the need for a league that catered specifically to the needs of collegiate level players. The community throughout North America has continued to grow and by the fall of 2019, the league had nearly tripled in size as they prepared for the season 3.
This is a fantastic time introduce a European league for college-age students as universities are becoming increasingly aware of the new technology. They’re beginning to offer courses in VR game development, open VR labs, and sponsor VR esports teams. All of these things create opportunities for students to enjoy the technology and also potentially learn skills that will help them if they want to seek jobs in the tech field after graduation.
Efforts to begin a CVRE branch in Europe began at Oculus Connect 6 when Manello, a college-age European player from Germany, spoke with leaders from the CVRE league in NA and thought “it would be a great idea to create something similar in EU as nothing like that has been around here for VR.”
Manello began working with Na_da and AxisMunde, both active leaders in the VR esports community, as well as representatives of the CVRE in North America.
“Other people can get involved in many different ways,” states Manello. He encourages people to play and also spread the word about the collegiate league.
“Eventually this project will help to grow the VR scene,” he adds, “especially when we are looking at the semi-professional esports scene.”
In fact, VR esports have continued to show steady growth since the first leagues were formed in early 2017. The collegiate level program is simply one part of the industry that appeals to people who want to play computer games and take advantage of the latest technology, but who also want the athleticism and physicality of traditional sports.
These grass roots leagues are leading the way in terms of building the VR community and introducing people to competitive VR gaming.
CVRE EU Season 1
According to the CVRE EU website, the “mission within this league is to create a fair competitive environment for students to have fun.” Students are encouraged to participate regardless of experience or skill level.
In fact, many VR games have mentorship programs where veterans will train newer players and pass on game skills. In the collegiate setting, since many of the players live on campus or have access to VR labs, they’re able to assist them in a physical environment as well.
Every student currently enrolled at a university, college, or other institute of higher education in Europe can participate in the CVRE EU league. In addition, if a student’s college doesn’t yet have a VR program, they can team up with players from another university.
Season 1 of the Collegiate VR Esports League in Europe will coincide with CVRE Season 4 in North America and will feature two popular titles: Ready At Dawn’s Echo Arena and Beat Games’ Beat Saber.
Echo Arena is a competitive VR team-based game set in zero-gravity. Players work together on a 3-person team to score goals in the game widely considered to be the first official VR esport since players are using technology, but they also duck, dodge, and jump in real life. Echo Arena has been featured in all three seasons of the VR League, sponsored by Oculus and ESL, as well as the VR Master League.
Beat Saber is a VR rhythm game that can be played solo, giving students an opportunity to participate in competitive VR esports as a single player. Beat Saber is incredibly easy to learn and is easily the most recognizable and popular game in virtual reality. However, high level play is intensely competitive and students will need good coordination, quick motor skills, and incredibly accurate timing to be one of the best.
If you’re a college-age student in Europe or North America, you can find out more about the Collegiate VR Esports League through the following resources. Even if your college or university doesn’t yet have a VR program or esports team, the leaders in these groups can help you learn how to initiate that at your school.
CVRE North America