Worldwide VR Esports Community Pistol Whip Competitions

Worldwide VR Esports Community Pistol Whip Competitions
  • Post category:Community

In March, the biggest names in VR esports will host a month of competitions in Pistol Whip, the action rhythm shooter game from Cloudhead Games. There are several groups involved in these events so we wanted to give you a sort of “who’s who,” put all the dates in one place, and make sure you know how to participate.

There will be opportunities for everyone, whether someone is competing at home or in a VR arcade. Players can also submit videos for a Pistol Whip social media contest during the month of March.

The Tournaments

VR League is hosting Pistol Whip cups on ESL Play each Sunday from March 1st through the 22nd. Each week the top player from both North America and Europe will win an Oculus Rift S.

The Virtual Athletics League (VAL) will host a month of events that includes a social media contest kicking off on March 1. Then, a worldwide Pistol Whip tournament open to players at home will take place on March 13-14. Following the at-home tournament, VAL will host a global competition through VR arcades on March 19-22 and then there will be grand finals for the tournament on March 29.


Here’s a breakdown of all the Pistol Whip ESL and VAL events throughout March.             

  • March 1:  ESL Play Cups
  • March 1-29:  Social Media Contest
  • March 8:  ESL Play Cups
  • March 13-14:  VAL home tournament
  • March 15:  ESL Play Cups
  • March 19-22:  VAL arcade tournament
  • March 22:  ESL Play Cups
  • March 29:  VAL Grand Finals

Who’s Who

It seems like everyone in the VR esports community is coming out of the woodwork for these tournaments. If you’re familiar with VR gaming and esports, you’ll recognize many of these names, but some will be new.

Game Developer

Let’s start with Cloudhead Games, the veteran VR studio behind the fantasy adventure trilogy The Gallery, a winner of over 30 awards and nominations, including ‘VR Game of the Year’ at VR Awards 2018. Cloudhead Games released Pistol Whip in November 2019 and it was an immediate hit with VR enthusiasts and esports players.


Virtual Athletics League began in 2016 as a concept at Virtualities, an arcade in Salt Lake City, Utah. Since that time, founder Ryan Burningham has formed VAL into a league that provides arcade owners with a network of support for coordinated tournaments, prizes, etc.

VR League began in 2017 with sponsorship from Oculus and Intel. Originally called VR Challenger League, VRL is run by ESL, the world’s largest esports company. Following a recent rebranding, the VR League is focused on community involvement and community-focused tournaments such as the weekly Pistol Whip Cups.


Sponsorship for the ESL Play Cups comes from Oculus in the form of Rift S headsets and Virtual Athletics League tournament’s $10,000 prize pool includes contributions from Oculus, iBUYPOWER, SpringboardVR and LIV.

Oculus has been creating innovative products since it was founded in 2012. The Facebook-owned company has been an active supporter of VR esports and gaming. In addition to sponsoring the VR League, Oculus has also supported the efforts of the Collegiate VR Esports League and community groups such as VR Community Builders.

iBUYPOWER provides customers with VR ready PCs that are built from the ground up for a seamless VR experience. “Equipped with the latest generation of processors and video cards to handle maximum frame rates,” said Darren Su, Co-Founder and Executive Vice-President at iBUYPOWER, “the Pistol Whip competitors and spectators will feel the tournament come to life.”

SpringboardVR provides VR content and simple-to-use management tools to help arcade owners in the emerging industry of VR. Currently over 500 operators in 46 countries are using SpringboardVR to successfully operate their own VR arcade.

LIV is a technology platform that enables VR creators and game developers to interact with their audiences in real time. The company is redefining what live-streamed gaming looks and feels like. Since their launch in 2018, LIV creators have driven over 1.5 billion views.

Other Supporters

VRespawn has unparalleled technical skills in mixed reality and live streaming. According to Vivian Chazen, Founder of The Hive as well as Content Director and Partner at VRespawn, “We love the collaboration within the VR Sports community and we are excited to work with VAL to premiere the first-ever Pistol Whip tournament. The Hive team will be hosting the tournament virtually in a VR social app while our VRespawn team will be on location providing a top-tier event experience.”

Broadcast talent from the VR Master League (VRML) will also stream competition from the VAL tournament. The VRML was established in 2017 as a community-driven platform that’s home to the most competitive VR esports games in the industry.

Splitverse is a mixed reality specialty company that highlights amazing moments in VR gaming. They work with game developers, media publishers, VR influencers, and esports organizations to create memorable videos that have a lasting impact on the viewer such as the Defy Reality ads for the Oculus Quest. So many headsets were sold as a result of the Defy Reality ad campaign that Quests on an extended backorder.

Social Media Contest

For players who don't quite have the skills to earn top scores, they can still join the fun by participating in a social media contest with categories such as “Best Dressed,” “Best Deadeye Score,” and “The Whip Challenge.” Winners of the social media contest will receive a swag package from Cloudhead Games and a custom avatar from Wolf3d.

People can participate by responding to social media challenges that will be posted on social media accounts from VRespawn and Virtual Athletics League. Participants will also be able to use a contest hashtag that will be announced soon.

More Information

You can read more about the ESL Play Pistol Whip Cups here and players can sign up for their region via the ESL Play website.

Read more about the specifics of the VAL tournament here. Players and arcades can sign up on the Virtual Athletics League website.

Use the icons on the left of the page to stay tuned to VR League social media channels. We’ll keep you up to date on all the latest news about VR community activities and esports.

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Sonya Haskins

Sonya Haskins, also known as "Hasko7," is a respected voice and leading journalist in the field of VR esports. She has experience in VR tournaments as a player, attendee, and organizer. Sonya was the first seated player and the first female player to qualify for VR League in Season 1. She founded VR Community Builders LLC, has written 8 books and lives with her family in Northeast Tennessee.