Friday 2nd June, 2017, HTC sent two players from its Esports team to the ZOTAC Cup Smashbox Arena VR Tournament at Computex 2017. The players had a few things to say on the Vive blog about virtual reality, videgames in general and the future of Esports.
Speaking of how they got into VR videogames, Bygrace said: “I knew VR gaming could change that and really immerse me into the gaming world. I loved the idea of physically blocking sword attacks or dodging shots in games like Smashbox. I have played it daily for the last year with over a 1000 hours played and hundreds of VR titles purchased. To me, there is no going back to the “flat world” of 2D gaming. With VR, I am able to be a part of my favorite games and the health benefits are great compared to sitting in a chair for hours playing traditional PC games.”
Bygrace’s teammate Taoman added: “The immersion into the game’s environment. Being lost in that world.”
VR in eSports is presently only a small part of the esports scene as a whole. When asked about how the scene would develop in future, Bygrace had this to say: “VR Esports has a very bright future. Games like Smashbox are paving the way for VR esports to be recognized and appreciated by normal PC gamers. If every traditional PC gamer could give a game like Onward or Smashbox an honest try, I don’t think they would be disappointed and would realize how big of a game changer VR is for esports. VR esports are very physical and fitness plays a large role in how well a player can perform. This allows it to be better understood by normal sports enthusiasts. This will be especially true as we see more titles that incorporate traditional sports into the virtual reality setting.”
Taoman broadly agreed, adding: “I think as the VR systems become more affordable and portable, VR eSports are going to be huge. The excitement of gaming plus the realism of VR.”
Taoman also poke on the immersion of VR, and how the depth of in in multiplayer can sometimes still startle him: “There are times when a sniper shot just misses or a player jumps right in front of me and I still get startled and jump back.” he said.
VR has been criticised in the past for it’s lack of socialisation, but Bygrace strongly disagrees: “Virtual reality adds so much to multiplayer gaming. Players in VR feel like they are really a part of the experience with you. It is so much fun to stand on stage next to your allies after a hard fought win. You really feel connected to other players and I have made some amazing friends in VR over the last year.”
VRFocus will continue to report on the development of VR Esports.