The Collegiate VR Esports League announces an Echo Arena Rookie Rumble that will take place in two parts during July and August. Players level 20 and higher are invited to participate with their teams for glory and a cryptocurrency prize pool.
Ready At Dawn’s zero gravity game Echo Arena was released in July 2017 and has become one of the most popular competitive VR esports. The playerbase has steadily grown, but there has been a massive influx of new players with the introduction of the game on the Oculus Quest stand-alone VR headset. Open beta for the Quest began on May 6 and while Ready At Dawn doesn’t release specific player numbers, if the rapid expansion of community groups is any indication, the playerbase has more than tripled. As an indication of this, in January there were approximately 5,000 players in the Echo Games Discord server and today there are over 16,000. A majority of the new members are experiencing virtual reality on the Oculus Quest, thus they’re now affectionately called “Questies.”
Event coordinators from the Echo Games Discord group hosted an Echo Arena Rookie Cup two weeks after the Quest open beta began and it was the largest community event to date. From the beginning, the Questies have been eager to participate in the community as well as flex those Echo unit muscles and see if they have what it takes to claim bragging rights in the competitive scene.
Now the Collegiate VR Esports League is jumping in on the action with a revised focus that expands beyond college-age players.
“With the Echo Arena Rookie Rumble, CVRE aims to establish a support system for the growing rookie playerbase and give up-and-coming talent an opportunity to shine,” according to Madi Hight, one of the Collegiate VR Esports League Coordinators. “By encouraging competition and mentorship between these new faces and our existing collegiate players, we hope to do our part in contributing to the health and longevity of the larger Echo esports scene.”
The CVRE Echo Arena Rookie Rumble will take place over two days in July and August. The initial event on July 25 consists of qualifiers and the rumble will take place on August 8. New teams have a couple of weeks to form and register by July 5. The spacing of events gives new teams an opportunity to develop strategy, scrimmage with other teams, and prepare for the tournament.
- Registration Deadline: July 5
- Qualifiers: July 25
- Rumble: August 8
Specific format and prizes will be released at a later date on the CVRE Discord server, but the following rules apply for participation.
- 4 v 4 teams
- Rift and Quest players can participate.
- The tournament is open to non-collegiate players.
- Anyone age 13+ is welcome to register.
- Competitors must be level 20+ at the time of registration.
- Registration is team based. Only 1 submission per team.
- North American teams
- Teams can register here.
Note: The Collegiate VR Esports League announced that they had expanded to Europe in December 2019. The timing was unfortunate and there wasn’t enough of an opportunity for growth before the pandemic began to shut down colleges and universities around the globe. While the current rumble is geared towards North American teams to minimize ping issues, hopefully there will be a CVRE event soon for EU teams.
The inaugural season for the Collegiate VR Esports League was held in fall 2018 and it has continued to grow at a steady pace. Colleges and universities can purchase headsets like the Oculus Quest at much more affordable prices than the traditional PC setups, which required not only the HMD, but also an expensive gaming computer.
Time will tell, but it’s likely that the pandemic will actually help demonstrate the need for virtual reality and VR esports throughout our education systems since many have recognized how helpful it would’ve been to have access to virtual reality in place previously. Headsets have been consistently sold out over the past few months and virtual education programs, sports, and social events have become increasingly common.
The Collegiate VR Esports League has had some challenges over the past couple of years, but they continue to adapt to the changes taking place in our world. Their persistence in the face of challenge is admirable and it’s likely they’ll continue to expand as they focus on providing opportunities for VR esports competitors.
If you’d like to learn more about how to become involved in the CVRE or Echo Games communities, check out the social media sites.
- Facebook – Community Group
- CVRE Discord Invite
- Echo Games Discord Invite
- CVRE Twitch Channel