Virtuix, developer of the well-known Omni VR treadmill and the recently released VR Arena, has officially announced its full dedication to growing eSports and VR. As reported in November by RePlay, the company is committing $50,000 to a prize pool for 2019 tournaments. The company got a boost recently as HTC and Hewlett-Packard announced they would be official prize providers for the 2019 Omniverse eSports tournament series. The tournament series offers weekly and monthly prize contests at locations in over 45 countries. Now, with HTC’s support, the monthly winner of this global contest will receive a full HTC Vive VR system; runners-up will win an Omen Mindframe headset provided by HP.
“We are thrilled that HTC and HP will partner with our eSports series,” said Jan Goetgeluk, founder and CEO of Virtuix. “Their collaboration is a great endorsement of our platform. VR eSports are the latest rage, especially for location-based entertainment. The Omni provides the only way to physically run around in competitive video games, adding an extra layer of excitement for both players and spectators.”
The Omniverse tournaments are four-day contests each month that feature two-player teams battling in one of several Omniverse games. The top-10 teams win a combination of cash and physical prizes. In addition, Virtuix’s four-player VR Arena eSports attraction will feature special weekly contests for four-player teams. At the end of 2019, the best teams of 2019 in each game will be invited to a world championship to compete for the title of Omni World Champions.
“We are excited to participate in the Omniverse contest series,” says Joanna Popper, Global Head of Virtual Reality for Location Based Entertainment at HP. “Virtuix has built a competitive gaming experience that requires both videogaming skills and physical fitness. Such active eSports offer a unique way for entertainment venues to reach a new audience of gamers, build a community of frequent players, and showcase the groundbreaking technology that HP is known for.”
Virtuix has held several esports events so far, including a tournament at CES in Las Vegas and, in conjunction with Huawei, a tournament in Shenzhen, China, that reportedly reached 11 million viewers. At the latest contest in November, the top-20 teams played on average six times trying to beat the top score. The first prize of $2,000 ultimately went to Jared Engle and Lachlan Davis, who played at the Virtual 42 VR arcade in Washington, New Jersey.
“Before the tournament, Jared and I practiced once a week for several weeks,” said Davis. “We designed battle plans and went over plays for hours. Our score remains the highest anyone in the nation has achieved to date. Ultimately, our goal is to become professional gamers, so we take our training and competitions seriously.” (By the way, esports are continuing to build with some universities adding such teams to their athletic department endeavors. As an example, prestigious USC just added a League of Legends team.)
The first global competition, to be held January 24-27. February 21-24 is next, followed by March 21-24. Interested players can find more information and sign up here: www.omniverse.global. (By the way, esports are continuing to build with some universities adding such teams to their athletic department endeavors. As an example, prestigious USC just added a League of Legends team. It’s high time for our industry to take notice.)