V2GL is bringing eSports into high schools.
The League is based in Austin Texas starting Friday Game Nights at area high schools. We have been working on culture-building with Friday Game Nights and methods for high schools to create fundraisers and alternate methods for students to represent themselves and their institutions. Since 2016 V2GL has turned towards VR Esports since it not only provides an outlet for teamwork and sportsmanship but also physical activity. With many of us keeping out travel and socialization to a very minimum we’ve turned to digital versions of ourselves to interact with one another. Video is the bare minimum for many of us and its not a great way to interact as we add more people to the conversation. Multiplayer video games are much better about allowing people to interact more efficiently without misinterpreting signals from multiple facets at once. Multiplayer social competitive VR experiences are as close as we can get currently to being next to each other when being physically next to each other is not an option. Because of this V2Gl and our partner high school organization VarsityVR find the best type of interaction in VR.
We do believe that one day we will all be able to come back together and that would allow safe practice spaces for regional teams to come together person but, we right now we have a unique opportunity to show one of the biggest strengths of VR to allow near-natural interaction.
We don’t currently ascribe to any particular VR platform but we do look for VR Esports that offer an experience that we can’t usually experience in real life. With that in mind, V2GL will not be picking military tactical shooters or anything that is gratuitously violent. We do look for games that push full-body movement, collaboration, strategy, and spectator enjoyment. VR Esports is one of the best ways to expose those that haven’t been in an immersive VR experience and so it serves as a great way to push the medium to the mainstream.
So we have left our old info about the old V2GL below. This might help teams and organizations find a way to bring VR Esports back to their campuses and help influence pushing decentralized VR Esports for everyone.
PRACTICE & SCRIMMAGES
Take time to sharpen the axe
Practices can be held in person or online. Any online service for match making or multiplayer should be fine to practice with. We do not currently en dorse any particular server or service.
Every team is encouraged to practice as much as possible. However, all teams and solo players have to remember that your school work or family needs must not suffer while conducting practices.
Game Night is a great way to setup practices and have a time for your school or any other audience to see what you do. Our bi-weekly Game Nights help us have a consistent time for our teams to come together and setup scrimmages with other V2GL teams. Game Nights are good fundraisers for your club as well. Check out the entry for Friday Game Night and see how you can start doing them at your school.
What do students get from joining V2GL?
eSports is a fast growing world that expands across every nation. eSports are becoming part of high schools in Germany, UK, South Korea, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the list keeps growing.
The reason for this quick expansion is the meritocracy inherent in eSports. You don’t have to be a part of a franchise team like in the NBA or NFL. You can start your own team or just join a singles tournament and start working your way up through the ranks. Add to this, the influx of money from sponsors like: Alienware, Logitech, HTC, Intel, CocaCola, Monster, Razer
Crate, Twitch as well as an ever growing number of other sponsors and you end up with a great number of people pushing to grow this world.
Students get new opportunities for scholarships at Universities these days as well! Several schools in the US now offer scholarships for League of Legends and Counter Strike Players. The numbers are growing as well as the type of games that are being added to the roster such as Smash Bros, Overwatch and Echo Arena .
How is V2GL different?
Gaming in person and a wide variety for everyone!
V2GL works to bring people together from all across the nation, and hopefully one day, the entire world. We do hold many of our minor events online and in person but our championship tournaments are held at Crucible Arcades which draw everyone together in one location to compete in person. We believe that meeting people you’ve competed against online instills a sense of community that will follow those players back to their own homes and communities.
The camaraderie that
is felt in person can be lost after the disconnect of an online match. At times this can lead to a sense of isolation even when surrounded by your own team. This can cause a loss of perspective with the other player or team inciting a sense of animosity. Because of this, we believe “in person” ranked events are important to the League Culture.
Another way V2GL sets itself apart is by opening up gamer tracks that include a wide variety of games. We want to create opportunities for all players to excel. VR gaming provides so many options we can include everyone..
V2gl is actively pushing to establish gaming and Vsports as a part of high schools across the nation.
The atmosphere of most arcades is energetic with electronic music pushing across a room of colored light with projected video of games as well as other media spread over head and anywhere else a moving image could occupy. V2GL events are electric experiences. From the roar of crowds, the driving music and exhilaration of competition there is an energy that cannot be forgotten.
When the number of teams and events for an area have been filled out, we expect to run Arcade events every three months. This is a live in person event where ranked matches for the league are held. Every gamer track will have ranked matches at this event.
Anyone that is a member of V2GL is allowed to attend the Crucible Arcade. All competitors must currently: be in high school level coursework, must provide proof that they are actively passing their courses and have the mentor endorsement to compete in any ranked matches.
Schools and teams are encouraged to wear uniforms to identify players. Uniforms should meet or exceed their educational institutions dress code.
Schools are encouraged to host Crucible Arcades though at times the size may require a larger venue. If you’d like to host a Crucible Arcade for your area please contact V2GL.
What do schools get from their students joining V2GL?
-Running game nights for fundraisers to make the clubs virtually self sufficient.
-Sponsorship and mentor connections.
-Opportunities to host Arcade events as fund raisers for the club and school.
-A new learning engagement strategy.
-After school activities that improve collaboration and determination.
-An additional opportunity for physical education
How was V2GL started?
Spawned to bring unity
Tyeron Hammontree is a computer science, audio visual and digital literacy mentor. He has been teaching since 2008.
In that time he started running game nights for his school where students would come together for six to seven hours and play games: board games, card games, live action games and video games.
A want to compete was quickly evident. Tyeron began to advertise tournaments at the game nights and the twice a month events exploded. A need to start keeping track of stats and show off the winners of the various tournaments was felt and so a simple shared online spread sheet started keeping track of all the data.
Watching how these tournaments progressed began to show that sportsmanship and creative collaboration amongst the students could be naturally cultivated through these competitions. Students began to take over duties of the game nights as they wanted certain aspects to change and match the quickly growing eSports competitions. Tyeron began to see the students take agency in creating the processes and culture for game nights. As students began to talk about the game nights, their friends from other schools began to show up with them. The numbers grew till some nights people had to be turned away for risk of upsetting the fire marshal. There was a definite need for this experience and environment for students not just at Tyeron’s high school but at others.
Tyeron believed this type of environment would foster a culture that would bring disparate groups together to work and play in a space that previously might have kept them from ever speaking to one another. The numbers seemed to expand all the time and with that in mind Tyeron began to work on a concept to spread this same idea to other high school age students.
In January of 2016 the Varsity Video Gamer League was created to spread culture that encourages educational engagement and for some, a reason to try.
Now as V2GL pivots to VR Esports we are seeing even better benefits from working in VR. VR has offered the empowerment and physical challenge that is not evident with traditional Esports. So, while we do enjoy Overwatch and Smash Tyeron sees even more potential with VR to help not just the gaming group but the entire school. With that in mind we made the switch to try and push VR to all schools.