The Valheim "Vikings of Legend" tournament has been announced as the first esports competition for the game and will be making its debut this weekend, placing two teams of four Vikings against one another in a tense 3-round battle.
Valheim is a survival crafting game that's gained a fair amount of popularity in the weeks since its launch, most recently hitting the 5 million player mark earlier this month. You might not think that a game like this is a good fit for esports, but the popularity of Keemstar's Minecraft Monday competitions shows that there's definitely an audience here.
Now, an innovative Sea of Thieves player has created the Valheim Vikings of Legend tournament, a new esports competition that will benefit the Able Gamers charity and test the waters for Valheim esports.
What is the Valheim Vikings of Legend Tournament?
The Valheim Vikings of Legend tournament is a fairly simple competition with few rules, although that doesn't mean it will be short — the very first tournament could last as long as two and a half hours.
"Vikings of Legend is a [team-based] PvP competition set in Valheim," explained tournament organizer and Twitch streamer Dread Pirate Doug. "Two teams of 4 will load into a fresh server with empty inventories. After a [1-hour] building phase[,] teams will take turns defending their bases through [30-minute] rounds."
"With competitions like this you start with an idea of the experience you want to create for viewers and competitors and you take a shot at creating it." – Valheim Vikings of Legend tournament organizer DreadPirateDoug
"Essentially the building phase is a race to see how fast teams can tech up. They will have to balance quality vs quantity with the early game tech at their disposal."
As an open-world survival crafting game, Valheim offers players a fair amount of freedom to explore and build. What makes the game so intriguing would also make this tournament both interesting to watch and difficult to develop a rules framework for.
As one example, I asked DreadPirateDoug what would happen if a team decided to secure a stone watchtower in the Black Forest for the additional strength that a stone structure to provide. That would be totally acceptable according to him, although he expects that players with empty inventories may have a difficult time getting set up in the game's second biome.
DreadPirateDoug certainly knows what he's talking about — he has run similarly-styled events in Sea of Thieves. Doug will be joined by SayHeyRocco providing color commentary as a complement to Doug's analysis.
"Doug has had me co-host a couple [Race of Legends] events and it’s so much fun," SayHeyRocco explained. "Doug and his team are so organized, they make it really fun and exciting both as a participant and a host, which is amazing[.]"
Either team can win a round by destroying all four beds of the opposing team. Once that goal has been achieved, the teams will have 15 minutes to rebuild their bases and reset before the next round begins.
"Valheim just provides such a gorgeous space to create in, and it’s only in early access!" – Vikings of Legend Color Commentator SayHeyRocco
The Valheim Vikings of Legend tournament will be in a best of three format and the participants for this first event have already been announced. The winning team securing bragging rights as the baddest Vikings in the realm, although DreadPirateDoug thinks it'd be cool if there were some kind of interesting cosmetic prize in the future.
"It would be amazing to get some kind of [in-game] cosmetic to give away [someday], but we'll take this one step at a time," DreadPirateDoug said. "Vikings love to brag, so it works out[!]"
Watch the Valheim Vikings of Legend Tournament This Saturday!
This first foray into Valheim esports sounds pretty cool and you won't have to wait too long to watch it, either — the Valheim Vikings of Legend tournament will debut on Twitch on March 6, 2021, at 4:00 PM EST.
You can watch Vikings of Legend on twitch.tv/vikingsoflegend this Saturday. Make sure not to miss it! You can also follow DreadPirateDoug and SayHeyRocco on their respective Twitch channels. As with most of DreadPirateDoug's streams, this tournament will be supporting The AbleGamers Charity, so consider donating to a good cause via the Vikings of Legend campaign while you're at it!
Do you think Valheim can build a successful esports following? How would you design a competition in Valheim? Let us know in the comments below!