September 2017

Virtual Star Sailors League: for a first time, it was a success!!

It was a world premiere held this weekend in Geneva at the Geneva Gaming Convention. Organized by the Virtual Star Sailors League, the first ever Virtual Sailing Championship - officially recognized by the Geneva Federation of e-sport – it was held and awarded the title of "Grand Champ" of Virtual Sailing.

Every year, the Geneva Gaming Convention brings together enthusiasts and curious people from the world of video games. Virtual Star Sailors League launched a crazy bet to create the first Championship of the Grand Geneva of Virtual Sailing relying on its online game of sail. The principle is simple: allowing visitors to connect free of charge to the game on computers made available to the public and introducing them to the virtual regatta with a daily ranking that allows to select the best players for a daily Finale (ten players) and a Super Finale (to thirty players) on Sunday.

From 7 to 77 years old

There were more than 200 curious coming behind the computers to pull their first virtual edges. Helped by volunteers from the Sailing Section of the LUC (Lausanne University Club) everyone was able to understand the specifics of sailing and discover the regatta games. The virus took and it was a real epidemic to the point that the nineteen computers available were regularly taken by assault. In other words, the regattas (sixteen skippers maximum) were very disputed. With an average duration of eight minutes, the innings could be launched quickly and the interest remained constant. On the stand screen, the races were followed with passion by the audience, who stopped amused by these virtual duels. The follow-up of the current regattas was without recalling the America's Cup because the rendering of the retransmission rests on the same principles as the great world regattas. The boats were monitored in real time on the course, allowing the public to experience the intensity of departures, first crossings and buoy crossings. The only difference was that no virtual boats had any damage during these highly contested regattas. This gave rise to new vocations and quite often the spectators stormed a free computer to try themselves.

No stones unturned

From a sporting point of view, this first Grand Regatta Championship of Virtual Regatta was very disputed. With daily finals on the principle of direct elimination - quarter-final to 10 players, semi-final to 7 and final to 4 players - the chosen pattern also comes from the world of real sailing. It was therefore necessary for the players present the day to achieve the best possible score, averaged over ten rounds, to qualify in the final stages. And a qualifying in the finals played on a daily basis offered a ticket to the Grand Finale on Sunday with a podium, medals and prize money. What motivated more than one more especially since LaMerNoire, the first of the world ranking of Virtual Regatta, made us the honor of its presence. Living in Greater Geneva he was able to participate in the Grand Final. To believe that everything was easy for him is very false. Indeed the Virtual Regattas offer an identical sailboat for all and here directing its boat is quite simplified: an action on the bar, an action on the tension in the sails and that's it. No differential weight and strength between virtual sailors. There is just the mind that plays. And in the mind, La Mer Noire made some fears against competitors who sharpened as the disputed sleeves.

So they were twenty-seven to qualify on the three days for the Grand Finale on Sunday. In the 16th round, the sixteen best players were able to meet in the quarter-finals. Almost all newcomers, whether at the level of the Virtual Regatta or the Sailing, the competitors showed a good sportiness. And just like in real life, the pressure of the result has generated some turnarounds, such as The Geek Vogger who crumbles in the semi-finals while winning the quarterfinals, or La Mer Noire , the specialist of the game, who was very badly in the final stages making several errors at the passages of buoy. He just saves his qualification for the Four-Player Finale and then recovered himself to climb to the top step of the podium after a very contested duel with Lt Glloq, WicKed and Trust. The order of the podium being played at the last second of the regatta!

The Greater Geneva Virtual Sailing Championship also showed the e-sport's conviviality, while a good-natured atmosphere emanated from the players who, although under pressure, had great smiles once the finish line had been crossed.


LaMerNoire, 1st

"There was some stakes on this Virtual Sailing Championship, and even though I play almost every day in this game, I am here in front of Gamers who are used to spending hours behind a computer. I made mistakes because I wanted to win a few meters over my competitors, and on the Final I did my race without thinking about the others, and it worked!

LtGlloq, 2nd

"I came back from a long way, I discovered the game only on Saturday, so I learned, tested things, found solutions and that's why I was able to play the best or the worst. I can not even say how many races I've had in two days, but I'll be there next year and by then I'll be back online.

Yves Yersin – VicePresident of the Swiss Virtual Star Sailors League and organizer of this Championship:

"I am very proud of our team! We have worked very hard in recent weeks to offer visitors a high-color stand and a great show during the finals. It's really great to think that we are the first in the world to award an official title of Virtual Sailing. "

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