Just under two years ago, Arcane Game Studios released Hero: a VR fantasy MMORPG that changed the gaming world. Suddenly, games weren’t about staring at a monitor or television screen while clicking buttons on a controller. It was about existing in a place separate from reality, with an avatar that responded to all of your physical actions.
Soon everyone was playing Hero. It was free to make an account, and renting a VR rig for an hour or so wasn’t too large an investment. But even just an hour got most people addicted, and soon enough third-party manufacturers were marketing rigs and accessories that cost up to thousands of dollars, while players from all over the world traded all manners of items on the virtual market.
But though the money came flowing in, AGS wasn’t satisfied. Hero was still, in the end, just a game. It was a hobby for most people. But it could be more. There was a whole new market they hadn’t yet tried to target: the esports world.
VR esports had never taken off before, but that was because previous VR games simply didn’t have the strategic and skill complexity to compete with the likes of mouse-and-keyboard MOBAs or console shooters. But with the technology of Hero, the necessary combination of physical athleticism, strategic thinking, and game-playing practice needed to be good at the game made it perfect for competition.
And so Hero: Arenas, a new game mode designed specifically for competitive gameplay, was developed. A simplified prototype was released to the public, but AGS had greater plans. Slightly above one hundred players were invited to participate in the first-ever Hero Arenas Tournament.
Millions of dollars were at stake for those competing to be crowned the best Hero player. Some esports teams took an interest, preparing and sending representatives to claim the crown for themselves. Other teams, as well as companies looking to step into the esports industry, kept an eye out for those who would lead the new wave of VR esports professionals. Fans of the game from all around the world tuned in, ready to see what entertainment the competition would bring.
And for the players themselves, this was the chance of a lifetime. To lead the way into a new era of competitive gaming. To earn fame and fortune with their skills. To be a hero.
The world was waiting for them, and the subtitle of the inaugural Hero Arenas Tournament couldn’t be more appropriate, for this was going to be the Birth of Champions.
Assuming, of course, that the tournament succeeds.
Birth of Champions combines the action of competitive sci-fi gaming with the political drama of players trying to break into the esports industry.
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