This Week In VR Sport: Recruitment, Table Tennis And The Future Of eSports

Virtual reality for soccer recruitment, table tennis comes to PlayStation VR and Oculus discusses the future of eSports.

Every weekend VRFocus brings you a number of sports and eSports related virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) stories as part of This Week In VR Sport. This week, the Mount Royal University Cougars women’s soccer team is using VR to help with recruitment and training, Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR is coming to PlayStation VR, and Oculus talk about the blood, sweat, and tears of eSports at Oculus Connect 5. 

Mount Royal University Cougars

Mount Royal University Using VR Try-Outs For Their Women’s Soccer Team

Those looking to earn a spot on the Mount Royal University Cougars women’s soccer team may soon find that their try-out goes beyond the pitch and into VR.

As reported by globalnews, the University is looking to explore how they are use VR technology to help them recruit players and train athletes already on the team. This came around following Cougars head coach Tino Fusco notices the importance of review match footage. After reaching out to Mount Royal University associate professor Anthony Chaston, a way to incorporate VR into his coaching was developed.

By taking 360-degree video of Cougars players during practice matches the plan is to use the footage to immerse players and recruits into a real soccer scenario and see how they perform. The system could also be used by the coaches to provide them with a unique perspective to review plays and improve their teams performance.

“If I can get a recruit in my office and sit her down and put the headset on her and actually be on the field and be able to see 360 degrees, now I’m able to challenge the athlete and say, ‘Do you understand the game?’” Fusco said.

The solution could see the recruitment process for the team become more in-depth while all allow Fusco a means to challenge the teams knowledge and performances in an immersive way. As the technology continues to get rolled out to the team, VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest.

Racket Fury - PSVR

Racket Fury: Table Table VR Coming To PlayStation VR Next Month

Earlier this week it was revealed that developer 10Ants are bringing their VR table tennis title to PlayStation VR next month. Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR was originally released for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive back in 2017 and then the Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR earlier this year. Now, the title will be coming to the PlayStation VR headset giving even more players a chance to enjoy some sci-fi inspired table tennis.

“We can assure that the game is exceptionally challenging, engaging and fun! Thanks to the advanced physics, developed in cooperation with professional TT players, every match you’re about to play is going to be a really immersive experience” said Sebastian Boczek, CEO of 10Ants Hill in a statement.

Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR gives players the chance to experience a realistic and immersive table tennis experience that will see them traveling to a range of sci-fi locations. With advanced physics and challenging AI opponents to face, the title is able to recreate the real-world feeling while also putting a few twists on things. There is even a workshop where players can develop their unique robot-character to create the ultimate table tennis player.

Oculus Connect 5 eSports

Oculus Talk eSports At Oculus Connect 5

At the recent Oculus Connect 5 event, Christopher K. McKelvy, Head of eSports at Oculus to the stage to deliver a short keynote on the companies current and future VR eSports plans. Titled “Blood, Sweat, and Tears: A Tale of VR Esports” the talk explores what makes VR so appealing within this rapidly growing and expanding market sector. Oculus have a vision to grow the VR eSports ecosystem and feel that it will play a key part in the future of gaming as a whole. 

As mentioned in the talk, the market is on track to have an audience size of over 500 million with $1.5 billion (USD) expected in revenue. Titles such as Onward, Sprint Vector and The Unspoken are some of the titles that are mentioned during the talk as being some of the most played and most successful on the Oculus store.

Oculus are of course heavy invested in the VR eSports scene being involved in the VR League, which held it’s season 2 finals at the Oculus Connect 5 Event. One part of the keynote that is a nice touch as well is that McKelvy spends a moment talking about the players and some of their stories, even sharing his own. The full talk, which last around 17 minutes, can be watched below and goes over Oculus’ strategy to revolutionize eSports and keep creating more excitement.

That is all for This Week In VR Sport. For more on immersive sport news keep reading VRFocus and remember to check back next week for another This Week In VR Sport.
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