The Future Archmage: The Unspoken Tournament
In an impressive union of VR and eSports, Insomniac Games' most recent release, The Unspoken, was the focus of a small tournament in New York. The competition began in early May -- and on June 3, the 8 remaining competitors came together to determine who would become the Archmage.
The final rounds were finished within a few hours that day, and player Ryan Shaw took home the gold. For his achievement, Shaw received an Oculus Rift (Oculus Touch included), an ASUS computer decked out to run Oculus games, and a cash prize of $1,250.
The Unspoken is a VR title released December 6, 2016. Players take control of a mage and are pitted against other mages in a battle for magical supremacy. With three classes to choose from (and a fourth on the way), players can utilize a variety of magical powers -- like telekinesis, elemental effects, and even summoning magical creatures. The game utilizes the Oculus Touch, allowing players to cast spells through hand movements.
The game includes a player vs player battle style, which lends itself well to a competitive scene. The gameplay can seem hectic, with exploding spell effects and players constantly teleporting -- but the high intensity battles are impressive. The biggest downside is that the matches are much shorter than more popular eSports, usually only taking five to ten minutes.
After watching the tournament, there seems to be a lot of potential for future VR eSports. We might be seeing stadiums fill up with spectators to watch intense wizard battles, in much the same way that League of Legends fans gather to watch their favorite teams.