Champions Arise at VR League Season 3 Grand Finals

Champions Arise at VR League Season 3 Grand Finals

VR League Season 3 came to an exciting conclusion in Leicester, England last month, nearly two years to the day after the league launched in June 2017. VR League, powered by Oculus and ESL, is the world’s largest VR esports league.

Featuring a $250,000 prize pool, season 3 continued to draw in new competitors with 451 unique players across 146 teams in the four featured titles. Teams competed through ESL Play in weekly tournaments that offered the opportunity to win prize money. In addition, teams earned points toward a stage system that determined which teams would advance to qualifiers. Following online closed qualifiers, 16 teams traveled to England to compete in grand finals at the historic Haymarket Theatre.

Onward

Onward, the popular first-person shooter from Downpour Interactive, returned for VR League Season 3 after being introduced to the VRL during season 2 in partnership with the VR Master League, a community-driven platform that has seen tremendous growth of the Onward competitive scene.

Beginners, the VR League Season 2 Onward champions, qualified twice for finals so the ticket they earned through the VR Master League went to Boss Fight. These two European teams were joined at finals by North American teams Globochem and G-Men.

Competition kicked off Saturday with G-Men versus Beginners on Cargo. Some very fast back-to-back eliminations allowed Beginners to tie the map 2-2. In the next round, The Man took the map when he shot Woods43 with a pistol.

The teams moved on to Bazaar next in the best-of-3 maps series. It appeared that the reigning world champions might take this map. Beginners were up 2-1 and a win would allow them to move on to the third map, but it wasn’t meant to be. In a stealthy move, while everyone was focused on action happening around the map, G-Men managed to put in the uplink, securing their second map win and a spot in the final bracket.

Next up in the semi-finals was Globochem versus BossFight. The teams started out on Bazaar, a map that has been a favorite of teams throughout season 3. Although the score was tied 1-1, BossFight took map 1 after they were able to input the uplink code.

The second map was Quarantine and it appeared that BossFight might take this map as well. They had definitely brought their A-game, but Globochem managed to make a comeback and take that second map 3-2.

With the map tally 1-1, Globochem came out strong on the third map, Suburbia. They took three rounds back-to-back, knocked BossFight out of the competition, and moved on to finals.

Day 2 was an epic performance from both G-Men and Globochem. The teams basically traded wins as G-Men took the first map, then Globochem took the second map. In a theme that had been repeating throughout the weekend, G-Men took the third map by managing to send the uplink.

The fourth map was Quarantine and Globochem basically dominated this map, making some efficient kills and tying the series 2-2 so the teams moved on to the fifth and final map, Subway. There was some impressive communication and gameplay from Globochem and ultimately they were able to secure the win and the VR League Season 3 Onward Grand Finals Championship title.

Echo Combat

Ready At Dawn’s first-person shooter Echo Combat was released on November 2018 and joined RAD’s original zero-gravity multiplayer game, Echo Arena, in the VR League Season 3 line-up.

Blerst and Team Gravity secured invitations to finals from the European region while VRespawn and Kangorillaz represented North America.

In the semi-finals matches, Kangorillaz took the first map, Fission, then Blerst took Dyson, sending the teams into a third map in the best-of-3 series. Blerst was able to take Combustion, claim the semi-finals win, and move on to finals.

VRespawn and Team Gravity were up next and the North American team took Fission and Dyson with apparent ease.

In the finals rounds, VRespawn would face Blerst and take all three maps in the best-of-5 series.

 

Space Junkies

A first-person shooter set in hostile space with low-gravity, Ubisoft’s Space Junkies was new to the VR League for season 3. It actually released a couple of days after competition began for the season so the first two weeks were warm-up cups for the 2-person teams, but the game quickly gained popularity as it’s fun to play and enjoyable to spectate.

The day started out with Team Gravity versus Danglers. As expected, Team Gravity came out strong, but Danglers brought it back and the game ended in a tie at 12-12, sending it into sudden death. Danglers were able to get the next kill and thus took the first map from Team Gravity.

Team Gravity took game 2 with a five-point lead so the teams headed to game 3. Danglers took the semi-finals match with a mercy win after they were able to achieve the maximum 15 kills.

The second semi-finals match-up of the day was VRespawn versus The Leftovers. Both teams were positively thrilled to be in Leicester and The Leftovers’ MrRJGreen talked a bit about his fascinating journey to Leicester in this article and during media day.

Unfortunately for The Leftovers, VRespawn was able to take the both of the first two games in the best-of-3 series, ending The Leftovers’ hopes to compete in finals the on day 2. VRespawn put forth a terrific performance, however, and advanced to the finals, where they would face the other North American team, Danglers.

The teams didn’t disappoint us during finals and both teams gave an outstanding performance with nail-biting action as they took the competition all the way to a fifth and final map. After an excellent performance all the way through the best-of-5 series, the score was tied with 7 – 7 kills and 2 map wins apiece. It was an example of why VR esports make fantastic spectator events as each team would manage to pull ahead slightly for just a moment, then the other would do the same. Ultimately VRespawn able to gain a couple of extra kills and this slight advantage allowed them to pull ahead and claim the win and the VR League Season 3 Space Junkies Grand Finals Championship title!

Echo Arena

Ready At Dawn’s Echo Arena is the only game that has been featured in every season of VR League. The 3 v 3 sport game is similar to ultimate Frisbee or soccer in a zero-gravity virtual arena. It’s more similar to a traditional sport than any other game featured in the VRL lineup and it combines the best of virtual technology with athleticism and physicality.

The semi-finals began with Kangorillaz, the number one seed from North America, versus Team Gravity, Europe’s number one seeded team. In an incredibly low-scoring match for this level of play, Kangorillaz took the first match 4-2 and in an interesting twist, those points were all scored within the first 90 seconds of the 5-minute match.

In the second game in the best-of-3 series, Kangorillaz came out strong, but Team Gravity tied it up 4-4. Following a 3-pointer by Kangorillaz, Team Gravity felt the pressure. They were able to score a 2-pointer, but in the end this put the score at 7-6 and Kangorillaz still had the advantage. Unfortunately Team Gravity was unable to secure another goal and Kangorillaz advanced to finals.

In an unfortunate twist of fate, the games between VRespawn and Ouroboros were fraught with technical issues. VRespawn, the youngest team ever to qualify for a VR League LAN event, experienced repeated drops. Ouroboros had issues of their own, but these started just before finals when Am3ient injured his back only a couple of days before boarding the plane to Leicester. In the tight-knit VR esports communities, other players rallied around with sympathy for Am3ient, since he wouldn’t be able to attend, and support for Nillewick, who would be subbing in his place.

Although it was announced on live stream that Ouroboros won the best-of-3, there were so many technical issues that tournament officials decided to allow the two teams to replay the final minutes of the second game. This was done later in the evening with both team’s approval. When Ouroboros won this match, they earned a spot in the finals bracket on day 2.

During the finals match between Kangorillaz and Ouroboros, the European team came out strong, scoring two goals before Kangorillaz could even get on the board. It didn’t take long, however, for the North American team to take the lead, but Nillewick tied the game 7-7 with only 16 seconds left.

Neither team was able to score before the buzzer so the game went into overtime. Kangorillaz teamwork was obvious when they came back out in overtime and with some incredibly fast boosting, they were able to clear the disc and score on an unguarded goal.

During the second game, Ouroboros held their own against Kangorillaz and they came back from a deficit to tie the game 11-11 with 52 seconds left. It looked like the teams would once again go into overtime, but Kangorillaz were able to pass the disc back and forth, working their way to the goal and with perfect timing, Sealablebag slipped the disc past the goalie and scored a 2-pointer for the win with only 3 seconds remaining.

Stay tuned to our social media channels for information about upcoming VR League events.

Also keep an eye on Twitter and Instagram for updates, highlights, and more.

Congratulations to all VR League Season 3 finalists and especially this season’s champions!

Sonya Haskins writes for VR League, VR Fitness Insider, and VRespawn, where she is also senior editor. Sonya lives with her husband and five children in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Northeast Tennessee.

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