VR gamers will have an opportunity to help children and teens through donations raised during the Arena Charity Cup on October 17-18. The event features Ready At Dawn’s fast-paced team-based VR game Echo Arena and proceeds benefit Gamers Outreach, a charity organization that helps young people cope with long term illness by providing equipment, technology, and software for use inside hospitals. The mixed-region charity cup will most likely have some high pings at times, but there are some fantastic prizes from HyperX and it's a fun opportunity for friends from different regions to play together and raise money for a great cause!
When Echo Arena went into open beta on the Oculus Quest in May, it brought an influx of players to the game while community groups have quadrupled. One of the recent “Questies,” an affectionate term applied to the newcomers, is Zack Schmidt, the 18-year-old tournament organizer with a vision to make a positive impact.
“When I first began organizing this tournament, I was driven by two main things,” states Schmidt, “my desire to bring more visibility to this incredible Echo Arena community, and my goal of supporting a cause that we can all connect with.”
Schmidt says Gamers Outreach Foundation is a perfect choice to benefit from the Arena Charity Cup because they do purpose-driven work and they’ve impacted thousands of lives.
“I decided on that organization because personally video games gives me a break from the real world and it allows me to kind of put away the stress for a few,” states Schmidt. “Gamers Outreach Foundation does that with kids that are in treatment and it allows them to kind of step away from the stress of what they’re going through in the hospital because I know it definitely isn’t easy.”
When asked if he has had personal experiences in that type of setting, Schmidt noted that while he hasn’t been a patient long-term, he has seen family in those situations. He wants to do something that will make a positive impact.
Players can register for the 4v4 Arena Charity Cup as a team or find teammates through the recruitment tool on the Arena Charity Cup website.
Currently the leagues that feature Echo Arena have a region lock so that players from North America, Europe, and Oceania are in their own brackets. As more players have joined the Echo community and the competitive scene has grown, the decision was made to split regions in the major leagues in an attempt to avoid lag related to ping issues. For the Arena Charity Cup, there will be no region lock so friends from different areas around the world will be able to play together. This is intended to be a fun event to raise money for charity so the organizers are offering this opportunity for friends to have fun on mixed-region teams.
- Teams of four
- No region lock
- Bring a team or find teammates on the website!
- Groups of approximately 10-12 teams compete in group stage
On October 17, teams will play best-of-three 10 minute rounds in a single elimination bracket with groups of approximately 10-12 teams each. The number of registered teams will determine the number of groups. Top teams will advance to playoffs on October 18.
- October 17: double-elimination, all teams
- October 18: double-elimination playoffs for top team from each group
Rules are a little different in this tournament than most of Echo Arena events because it’s intended to be a fun community event to accomplish the ultimate goal of raising money for a worthy cause. Teams who perform well in game and in the fundraiser will be rewarded.
HyperX is providing some fantastic prizes for the Arena Charity Cup. The company sponsors more than 20 gaming teams globally and is a prominent sponsor of notable gaming events such as DreamHack and PAX. This is their first sponsorship for a major VR event.
When asked about their stance on VR esports, Vince Quan, Marketing Coordinator for HyperX, had a lovely response.
“We are excited to be sponsoring Echo Arena with prizing for Charity Cup, continuing our support in esports community. We embrace all gaming enthusiasts everywhere with our core belief – We’re All Gamers."
For the Arena Charity Cup, HyperX will be providing the following prizes for members of the top three teams.
- 1st Place: Cloud Mix headset (Bluetooth wireless headset that can also be used wired for gaming)
- 2nd Place: Cloud Alpha headset (dual-chamber drivers for better bass and less audio distortion)
- 3rd Place: Cloud Earbuds (with gaming headset-grade in-line mic)
Whatever your chosen gaming platform, HyperX embraces all gaming enthusiasts and provides products to enhance the gaming experience and boost performance. Join the global HyperX family and find out how you can improve your game.
In addition to rewarding the winning teams, Arena Charity Cup organizers want to recognize participants who are most successful in their fundraising efforts.
The three players, casters, or streamers who raise the most money for Gamers Outreach through Tiltify will each be awarded a $50 cash prize sponsored by VR Community Builders, a group comprised of individuals who promote positive environments, accessibility to immersive technology, and inclusive communities that welcome people in virtual reality and beyond.
You can support the Arena Charity Cup and help provide access to games for children in hospital. Whether you play, spectate, or donate, you can make a positive impact!
Visit the Arena Charity Cup website and register your team or use the link on the website to make a donation on Tiltify. You can also follow progress of the tournament via the group's social media platforms.
For more information about Echo VR and to meet other enthusiasts of the game, visit the following social media platforms to find community members, developers, competitive players, and more.
Editor's note: Dates in this article have been updated to reflect a change in event scheduling.