Virtuix, maker of the Omni virtual reality treadmill and VR ARENA esports league has announced that HTC and HP have become sponsors of its VR esports efforts. The pair will offer up a $50,000 (£40,000) prize pool for Virtuix’s tournament series.
Omniverse offers a cloud-based competitive platform offering weekly and monthly events. Players do so by participation at one of the partnered venues around the world, competing for the top spot on a global leaderboard to earn their part in the $50,000 (£40,000) annual prize pool, with cash prizes and each monthly team winners taking home a full HTC Vive VR system. HP will be chipping in to provide the runners-up with an Omen Mindframe headset.
Jan Goetgeluk, founder and CEO, Virtuix, had this to say: “We are thrilled that HTC and HP will partner with our esports series. Their collaboration is a great endorsement of our platform. VR esports is 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.”
Virtuix held its most recent event in Las Vegas this week during CES and another in Shenzhen, China in conjunction with Chinese firm Huawei. Omniverse events take place over a four-day period each month, pitting two teams of two in one of the many Omniverse titles. Another four-player event also takes place and both will conclude at the end of 2019, with both teams in their respective series invited to compete at the Omni World Championship.
Joanna Popper, Global Head of Virtual Reality, HP, added: “We are excited to participate in the Omniverse ESPORTSTM contest series. 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.”
So far, Virtuix has announced its first three events for 2019, taking place on January 24-27, February 21-24 and March 21-24.
Esports Insider says: Virtual Reality has had a slow burn since its initial launch, likely due to the higher cost associated with the hardware. That said, HTC (Who are in the VR business) need to continue to show faith in its product and esports could be a way to grow the audience, especially with Omniverse events being played on lan and not requiring teams’ to have a full set-up at home.