NA Teams Advance to VR League Season 3 Finals

NA Teams Advance to VR League Season 3 Finals

The final push toward VR League Season 3 Grand Finals has begun. This past weekend qualified North American teams competed with other top teams in the region to determine which ones would advance to finals at Leicester, UK on June 8-9.

VR League Season 3 has a total of $250,000 in prizes up for grabs and features Echo Arena, Onward, Echo Combat, and Space Junkies.   

Echo Combat

This 4v4 zero-gravity FPS from Ready At Dawn features the same unique locomotion system as other games in the Echo universe, including Echo Arena and the award-winning single player version of the games, Lone Echo.

VRespawn entered Online Closed Qualifiers with a flawless record of series wins and they maintained that record this past weekend, effectively shutting down the other North American teams and hoping for the same results once they go up against the European teams at finals.

Although they chose to compete in both Combat and Arena, which means they’ve had to divide their practice time, Kangorillaz proved that you can do that and still be a top team in both games. They defeated Alpha Derezz in the lower bracket and after being bumped into the lower bracket by VRespawn, Kangorillaz once again faced Alpha Derezz. The rematch was exciting as Alpha Derezz almost took the best of 5 series, but ultimately Kanga defeated them 3-2.

Echo Combat Teams Advancing to Finals:

Space Junkies

Space Junkies top two NA teams - DanglersSJ and VRespawnSJ - had been battling all season to see who would come out on top. VR communities are pretty close-knit and it must’ve been fun for the players on these teams to trade bragging rights through the group stage and they would do the same during Saturday’s playoffs.

Both teams easily advanced to the upper final, but then DanglersSJ took the best of 5 series 3-0, bumping VRespawnSJ into the lower bracket. VRespawnSJ secured their spot at finals by defeating SaS in the lower bracket, but they’d still have to fight Danglers once again.

Since both teams had already earned their spot at finals, the grand final was best of 3 to determine seeding. It was a close battle, but VRespawnSJ regained momentum and came back to defeat DanglersSJ 2-0 with a win on the second map when they reached the cap score of 15.

Space Junkies Teams Advancing to Finals:

Echo Arena

Perhaps the most exciting competition of the weekend was in the Echo Arena closed qualifiers. During the first matches of the day, Eleven Point Five and Kangorillaz were both bumped into the lower bracket. This left the 2-time world championship team Eclipse to face the number four seed, Team Jokr.

Eclipse has attended more LAN events than any other NA team and they’ve maintained their status as number one team since the first competitive matches began in July 2017. With the minimum age for participation in the VR League set at 13, some of Team Jokr’s members were barely old enough to compete in the past two seasons. The youngest team competing this season, Team Jokr proved that they have what it takes to go up against the world’s best Echo Arena players.

The team of 15-year-olds took the first goal in the series, but Eclipse quickly scored their own and retained a slight lead until Jokr tied it up at 1:42. Neither team was able to score for over a minute, but Team Jokr passed like pros and after a quick snap around the goalie, brought the score to 9-7 with 19 seconds left. This would’ve put Eclipse in a perfect position to score a 3-pointer and take the win, but they weren’t able to move it downfield quickly enough so Team Jokr took game one.

Eclipse came out strong in game two and quickly scored the first 2 points, but Team Jokr evened it up only 13 seconds after the next launch with a 2-pointer of their own. Jokr then pulled ahead, keeping a slight lead for the rest of the game. The win was ultimately secured the win when RyanRhino8 was able to sneak in a nice 3-pointer from below the goal, putting the score at 11-6 with only 20 seconds remaining. Palidore was able to snag a dunk at the end, but with 2 seconds left, Eclipse lost the second match in the best of 5.

Although Eclipse could’ve taken advantage of a technical situation when one of Jokr’s team members dropped at the beginning of game 3, they waited for a restart. Considering the stakes for this particular match, it was an example of the fantastic sportsmanship we’ve come to see in VR communities.

Game 3 remained tied at 7-7 as Jokr seemed to stun Eclipse every time they had the disc, but finally Simeonk21 scored 2 points with 48 seconds on the clock. Eclipse predicted Jokr’s next move and quickly scored another goal. With a four point lead, that would require Team Jokr to score not one, but two goals within 36 seconds in order to take the match and series win. Check out the video to see how these young men managed to take down the world’s top team with one second remaining on the clock.

In the lower bracket, Kangorillaz defeated Eleven Point Five 2-1. Eclipse could’ve had one more opportunity to go against Team Jokr, but it just wasn’t Eclipse’s day and Kangorillaz also took down the world’s top team 3-0. In the final match of the day, Team Jokr took the win over Kangorillaz, earning them top seed at finals.

Echo Arena Teams Advancing to Finals:

Onward

In from Downpour Interactive’s popular FPS Onward, Globochem once again demonstrated why they are the number one team in North America and arguably the world. Although Beginners had claimed the first VR League Onward title last fall at Oculus Connect 5, Globochem already had bragging rights for numerous VR Master League championship titles and they defeated Beginners at a showmatch at the start of VR League Season 3.

On Sunday, during North American Online Closed Qualifiers, after Globochem and G-Men had both secured their spots at finals, the final best of 3 series would determine seeding. Globochem was up 2-0, but G-Men came into the third game and threw a bunch of flares. Whether or not this startled Globochem is uncertain, but G-Men was able to win that round when they killed all of Globochem’s players less than a minute and a half later.

Ultimately Globochem came back to win the next 3-1, earning top seed in Leicester.

Onward Teams Advancing to Finals:

Upcoming Events

Season 3 European Online Closed Qualifiers will take place on May 25-26. Day one will feature Echo Combat and Space Junkies, and day two will feature Echo Arena and Onward.

  • May 25:  Echo Combat/ Space Junkies
  • May 26:  Echo Arena / Onward 
  • June 8-9:  VR League Season 3 Finals at Haymarket Theatre in Leicester, UK

WHERE TO WATCH

Tune in this weekend to VR League social media channels to see which European teams will advance to finals.

Also check out Twitter and Instagram for updates, highlights, and more. The VR League is powered by ESL and Oculus.

Sonya Haskins is better known among the gaming community by the username "hasko7." Sonya lives with her husband and five children in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Northeast Tennessee. 

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