Future or Fail? How virtual reality fits into esports


Beat Saber, Blaston or Hyper Dash – virtual reality games also offer good foundations for esport competitions. How does this fit together?

Virtual reality offerings exist today mainly in the form of so-called VR glasses. Representatives such as Oculus, Vive, Sony and Co have taken the market by storm since the mid-2010s. Today, VR is firmly anchored in the gaming scene. But what about competitive VR games?

Virtual reality and esports – does it work?

The esports scene is growing continuously and big titles like League of Legends or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have already displaced some classic sports. As another division, a community of professional gamers has already emerged among virtual reality gamers as well.

Similar skills are required here as in classic video games. However, the focus is much more on the physical component. The opponents have to push themselves to their physical limits and also have the necessary understanding of the game.

Currently, VR esports is still more of a niche phenomenon. For many experts, however, the future of classic esports is firmly tied to virtual technology. Some unique game ideas and concepts have already arrived on the market.

These VR games have esport potential

VR brings with it a whole new way of competing digitally. In the past few years, a great many developer studios have pounced on the novel technology and developed games that are ideal for competing in a virtual world

Of course, PvP, i.e. competition against other players, is also the main focus in VR esports. Shooters are played here, both in 1-against-1 and in team format. Popular games include Blaston, Hyper Dash, Larcenauts and Gun Raiders.

But there are also competitions in PvE, i.e. fighting against the computer. The well-known rhythm game Beat Saber is one of the most popular. Here you have to prove your speed and coordination in order to set the best high score at the end.

VAL, the ESL of virtual reality esports

VR esports are celebrated today especially at small local LAN tournaments. Here, however, not only the best of the best can compete. At the same time, beginners are also given the opportunity to enter the new field.

With the Virtual Athletics League, VAL for short, a first attempt was made in 2016 to unite the VR community. To date, VAL has organised many tournaments and leagues and is significantly involved in the further development of the scene.

The VR Summer & Winter Games have become a successful model, which is now held annually. Participants can win more than 20,000 US dollars. At the VR Fitness Summit, the focus is on sports games such as Creed: Rise to Glory or Eleven: Table Tennis.

Virtual reality has great potential to take off in esports. But only time will tell whether it will be enough to make it big.