One of the most anticipated StarCraft 2 tournaments is just around the corner, with the world's best players getting ready to fight for their share of $500,000 in prize money.
A legendary esports event, the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice is a CS:GO tournament held in Poland. In this guide, we'll go over all the participating teams, details about the schedule, as well as everything you need to know about IEM CS:GO betting!
The Dota Pro Circuit is in full flow. The next big tournament in this seasonal circuit is the PGL Arlington Major. Texas is the location, Esports Stadium Arlington is the venue of choice, and seventeen brilliant Dota 2 teams will be eyeing their chances here.
The LEC (League of Legends European Championship) is entering a new decade starting with the inaugural Winter split. From team rosters to an all-new tournament format, the league will be seeing much more competition.
Today’s gaming world is filled with numerous genres and games, and it can be argued that the ecosystem has never been richer. While traditional PC or console games that are used in esports are primarily First-Person Shooters and MOBA games, in this guide, we’ll be looking at VR esports titles that are slowly but surely breaking into the esports market.
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bet365 is one of the most popular esports betting sites out there for a variety of reasons. For one, they offer some of the most competitive odds on the market, especially when it comes to large events like The International or the League of Legends World Championship.
Punters also have access to a wide range of betting markets strewn across numerous esports tournaments so there’s no doubt you’ll enjoy your time placing bets on this bookie.
GG.BET is well-known for their focus on esports, with hundreds of betting markets to choose from and more than 15 games to bet on. One feature that makes GG.BET stand out from other bookies is the possibility to bet on random Dota 2 games.
In essence, when you choose this option, the website will take you to a live Dota 2 match, chosen at random. So, if you’re a Dota 2 fan and you enjoy placing live bets, this feature will come in very handy.
Betway is another highly popular bookie with some fairly unique approaches to betting. First off, they have some of the most interesting special bets regarding esports, and because of that, they’re best known for their betting market diversity.
Their website is easy to use and you’ll be able to utilise the power of Betway’s bet builder to create rich betting slips. There’s also a variety of payment methods to ensure that most punters will be able to place their favourite bets.
Virtual Reality (or VR for short) is a type of gaming environment where the player playing the game uses a VR headset. The headset enables the player to feel like they’re actually in the game since everything is rendered right in front of the eyes.
VR headsets are also equipped with controllers that players hold to emulate the player’s actual hand motions in the game. A simple example of how this works is Pavlov — a First-Person Shooter game — where it looks and feels like you’re shooting the guns as you would in real life.
This type of ‘simulation’ is becoming increasingly popular in the gaming world, with titles that originally weren’t meant for VR getting VR support (such as No Mans Sky, Assetto Corsa, and others).
VR headsets are also becoming cheaper and more powerful, with Sony’s PS VR 2 headset being one of the best in the market. All of these signs are pointing to a future where VR gaming will become increasingly popular, potentially establishing a foothold in esports as well.
Speaking of esports, let’s take a look at how Virtual Reality esports looks right now and which VR esports games are being played.
Before we get into the details about VR esports, it’s important to distinguish it from virtual sports. Virtual sports are computer simulations that are found on esports betting sites where punters place bets on certain outcomes.
VR esports actually involves professional players competing in VR games. It must be said, however, that VR esports is still in its infancy, with just a couple of dedicated VR titles being played. The good news is that the number of tournaments is expanding, so it's likely that there’ll be even more in the future.
For now, VR esports is populated by games that cannot be played outside of VR, which may be why there isn’t a larger following at the moment.
Lastly, one interesting category of games that might adopt VR quicker than others is racing, as racing games are enhanced even further by the use of VR. While, technically, iRacing drivers sometimes compete in championships in VR, it’s still not the norm so to speak.
Archangel: Hellfire is a VR shooter that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world and puts players in control of massive mechs with powerful weapons. The mechs also have special abilities and there are dozens of weapons that the player can use to defeat enemy players.
This game is featured in the VR Masters League, with competitive matches being held every few weeks.
Blaston is a free-to-play game that sees players compete against each other by shooting various weapons. The players can duck and dodge bullets and projectiles, which puts an emphasis on quick reactions and strategic projectile placement.
In essence, it’s a type of bullet-hell game where the bullets are ‘spawned’ by the players themselves (compared to traditional bullet-hell games where you avoid projectiles that the environment or AI enemies shoot). This game is played in the VR Masters League and in ThetaVR events.
Contractors is a popular VR game set in a traditional shooter setting with modern weaponry. Its team-based, cooperation-oriented mechanics make strategy an integral part of winning, hence why it’s one of the more popular VR games in esports.
Moreover, players also have the ability to ‘play around’ with weapon parts and enhancements, and can also make adjustments on the fly.
Echo Arena (otherwise called Echo VR) puts players in zero-G environments which ‘forces’ them to use various traversing methods to move around the map. Players can fight and shoot each other to win the match.
There’s a slight focus on strategy here, but most of the gameplay revolves around having quick fingers due to the fast-paced action. Echo Arena tournaments are held in ThetaVR and the VR Master League. Unfortunately for all Echo Arena players, the game will be shutting down on the 1st of August.
WWII-themed action shooters are fairly common in the gaming industry; the same can be said about strategy games. But you rarely encounter WWII-themed strategy games in VR. While this may sound like a weird combination, it’s actually executed very well.
In essence, players watch the battles from above the battlefield and use their hands to create tactics, move units, attack enemy units, and more. This VR game is also fast-paced and requires decision-making on the fly, hence why it’s a popular choice among VR esports enthusiasts.
Onward is a military simulation game where planning and strategising are crucial elements to achieving success and defeating the other team. It features highly realistic gameplay, with two teams consisting of five players battling it out on dozens of maps.
The game constantly receives new updates that expand and improve various gameplay elements, making it a popular choice among players that are fans of the First-Person Shooter genre.
With hundreds of thousands of players buying it to date, Pavlov is arguably the most well-known and popular VR title on this list. It also features incredibly realistic reloading features that add a dose of difficulty to the game. Due to its fast-paced action, being accurate and quick-thinking is a necessity.
Players can join hundreds of community-hosted dedicated servers, operate military vehicles such as tanks, and use the practice range to hone their skills. There’s plenty of fun to be had in Pavlov; hence its dominating presence in the Virtual Reality esports scene.
Snapshot VR is an arena shooter that’s built specifically for esports, making it the first of its kind in the VR gaming industry. As the developers put it, ‘Snapshot feels like playing paintball in the future’.
The defining factor of this game is its one-shot, one-kill mechanic that essentially requires teams to play it relatively safe. Due to the focus on coordination and communication, Snapshot VR has become a common sight in the VR esports space.
Ultimechs is another free-to-play game that utilises giant mechs. However, this one isn’t a shooter. The closest to this one when it comes to gameplay is Rocket League!
The primary goal of Ultimechs is to shoot missiles toward the ball in an effort to push it into the opposing team’s net. Once the player shoots the missile, they can then direct where the missile goes by moving the crosshair.
With such an interesting and unique approach to a VR game, it’s no wonder that Ultimechs is slowly becoming more and more ingrained in the Virtual Reality esports environment.
Virtual Reality game tournaments and leagues are few and far between, but the good news is that most of them allow anyone to join and compete. Fully-fledged professional leagues and tournaments have not yet been introduced in larger capacities, but this may change in the future.
For example, VR Masters League is a community-driven league that welcomes players of all kinds in an effort to promote VR esports and bring it closer to gaming fans.
Another great example is ThetaVR which functions much the same way but with a few games being unique to it. In fact, most leagues feature one or two VR games that you won’t find in other leagues, which solidifies diversity in the scene.
Additionally, most of the existing leagues offer gamers the ability to donate funds, and some events require payment in exchange for participation. These payments are then accumulated to form a rudimentary prize pool.
It must be said that VR esports is still in the early stages where most of the events are community-driven and organised, but the potential for more is definitely there.
While VR is currently present in the esports environment, it isn’t quite at the same level as mobile and traditional esports titles. For starters, not a lot of teams and organisations are interested in competing in Virtual Reality esports events for a couple of reasons.
One is that there simply aren’t many games they can easily join and participate in, and there aren’t a lot of VR-focused players either.
Another reason is that while modern VR headsets are incredible, there are still some drawbacks to them. Certain people experience motion sickness after playing, especially when a game isn’t as optimised as it should be. On top of that, VR games sometimes feature bright, flashing lights which can cause feelings of discomfort and disorientation.
When you take into account that most matches (even in sports games) last more than 30 minutes, it’s easy to see that the physical discomfort that VR may cause is enough to deter most players.
However, as we mentioned previously, VR is becoming better and more affordable. The discomfort and motion sickness that used to impact most people when VR headsets first came out aren’t as strong as before. Players with modern headsets won’t experience those issues to the same extent, which is a good sign of things to come.
If Virtual Reality and esports keep advancing at the current pace, there’s no doubt VR esports will become more popular in the next few years. And the potential is there – who wouldn’t want to play and compete in their favourite game(s) while actually being inside it?
After all, VR is a lot of fun, and when the kinks are ironed out, it will probably start reaching its potential.
For now, the dozen or so VR games that are played in esports offer a glimpse into what the future may look like while simultaneously giving people the ability to see just how entertaining it can be.
Virtual Reality has become an exciting and entertaining prospect in the world of gaming. Many companies have released their own version of the VR headset, with Meta offering the Oculus Quest series, Sony creating the PS VR series, and many others.
While there’s still a long way to go before Virtual Reality esports becomes a worldwide phenomenon, there’s no doubt that it’s already achieved impressive things and is slowly gathering more and more fans.
Yes, VR esports games exist and there are more than a dozen of them. Based on how esports is evolving, there will likely be more in the future.
VR esports does have a cult following at the moment but it’s less popular than mobile esports and traditional esports such as League of Legends and CS:GO.
Some of the more popular VR esports games are Pavlov, Contractors, Echo Arena, and Onward.
Most Virtual Reality esports tournaments can only be watched on the official tournament website or an official Twitch channel (if it exists).
If you’re just starting out, match-winner bets are an ideal choice since they’re simple and generally don’t require too much analysis. However, if you’re looking for riskier, more profitable bets, then outrights and special bets are perfect.
Through our in-depth guides and reviews, we are focused on providing the best insights into esports betting.