Echo Arena VR Master League Season 1 begins next week and aspiring VR gamers who join the fun will reap benefits from friendships to in-game badges.
Ready At Dawn’s multi-player VR sport game Echo Arena has had an active community ever since the game launched in beta in June 2017. Since that time, players and developers have worked in tandem to create a positive experience in the immersive zero-gravity environment.
Competitive VR games have a beneficial impact on players like the 14-year-old from Florida who helps mentor other players and manages his own team.
Or 17-year-old David Robidas, who states, “the community that has grown around Echo Arena has pushed me and many others to achieve their goals competitively and personally.”
“For those interested in joining,” adds Daniel Bartley, a player from Alberta, “the community that the competitive scene has fostered has been one of competition and rivalries, but also a place that has many extremely helpful people.”
Known in game as Shepard, 23-year-old Bartley says his “experience with competitive VR so far has been nothing short of amazing.” He cites the time he has spent learning the game, making friends, participating in the community, and playing with teammates he enjoys being around.
“Every day I love getting to play and grow with my team,” says Bartley, who is on team Flare this season with ChromePlatypus, Game-, Grumpiestbroom, and V00D0025.
Although he’s on a team with experienced veteran players, Bartley recognizes that there are many great teams in the league.
“I’m looking forward to the new season for the experience and challenges it presents to me and my team,” he says. “I look forward to overcoming the challenges.”
The VR Master League platform was designed specifically to engage the community in such a way that it would be fun and convenient for experienced players like those on team Flare as well as newer players or teams who might be participating in their first competitive season.
The league runs with a ladder structure rather than traditional tournament brackets so that teams are matched with competitors who have similar abilities. This limits new teams being stomped by high ranked opponents, some of whom have been playing the game competitively for nearly three years.
There is also a flexible structure so teams set their own schedules. Team captains arrange match times to take place during a given week. There are two required matches per week, but teams can play more if they choose.
Although you’ll find 3v3 matches when you queue into a public match from the lobby and private matches can also be played with up to 5v5, Echo Arena VRML has been set up as a 4v4 competition.
Matches will be played as best-of-3 ten-minute rounds. Results go toward MMR that create rankings for the Echo Arena VRML leaderboard. (This paragraph has been edited to reflect changes made after original publication.)
The league offers a challenge option, allowing teams to schedule up to one challenge per week with another team.
Other rules can be found on the VRML site: Echo Arena VRML Rules.
Echo Arena VRML Boot Camp
Although the VRML ladder system is designed to encourage participation by both new and veteran players, it’s beneficial for rookies if they have someone walk them through some of the basic concepts of competitive play. The Echo community has taken an active role in encouraging new VR esports
players through events such as boot camps.
Boot camps are designed to help players learn specific skills during a scheduled training time. Players arrange these as a community event, create a syllabus of content for each session, and take responsibility for teaching the sessions.
In preparation for Echo Arena VRML Season 1, there will be a boot camp on Saturday, February 1 beginning at noon PT / 3:00 p.m. EST. This will be taught by C-Jason and IS0LAT3 with special guest instructors
VTSxKING and Cruisen teaching goalie skills.
The following will be included:
- Shooting practice
- Block drill
- Boop / Kungg shots
- Offensive setups
- Defensive setups
- Goalie skills
- Midfield coverage
In addition to advice that will help players perform better in the game, trainers will also address some practical topics such as:
- Making the most of your practice time
- How to set up scrimmages (practices with other teams)
- How to stay motivated
Boot camps are planned in advance and players can sign up on the Oculus events calendar. Sign up isn’t required, but it’s recommended.
To participate on Saturday, go to the Echo Games Discord server, hop into the Pick-Up Nights voice channel and someone will be happy to join you there. If you have questions about VRML, post in #league_general.
Scheduled Time with a Coach
Sometimes people can’t attend boot camps due to a schedule conflict, but there are also coaches available to teach individual players or mentor a team. These veteran players can schedule a training session with you on Saturday. Simply reach out on Discord by tagging one of the following coaches:
- MoJolly (goalie skills)
General questions or addition help can be found by tagging a mentor or posting in the beginners channels. Mentors are always available on Discord to answer questions or go into private matches with players for extra training.
As a reward for competing in at least one match of Echo Arena VR Master League Season 1, players will unlock access to limited-edition badges that they’ll be able to wear on their Echo bot uniforms
After Ready At Dawn announced the badges, Echo VR Community Manager Wyvern stated on Discord that these badges would “fly above your head” in real life, so that when players take off their headsets, “your achievements will follow you everywhere,” but we’re pretty sure she was kidding. Unless perhaps Ready At Dawn is also secretly working on some augmented reality apps, but there have been no announcements about that so it’s most likely that these will be confined to in-game cosmetics.
How to Participate
Players can participate in season 1 as a substitute, create a team, or join an existing team. Register and learn more on the Echo Arena VR Master League website.
To find out more information about the league, reach out to a coach, or become involved in the Echo VR community, join the Echo Arena Discord.