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NEW: Virtual Rugby World Cup Predictor at Superbru

Hey everyone! We hope you're keeping safe and well. Though the world remains a very strange place at the moment, we as sports fans are starting to see a glimpse of normalcy on the (not too distant) horizon. Clearly, things are never certain in the midst of a pandemic like this, but we at Super HQ are very excited about the likely resumption of the Bundesliga, NRL and some Kiwi Super Rugby in the coming weeks!

During this period of no sport, it's been fantastic to have had thousands of you taking part in our Virtual Premier League predictor game to support Superbru and hopefully have some fun! The next week will see the run-in of the VPL season and it's set to be quite a title race.

However, there is some additional exciting news for you, as the title of this article suggests. When we announced the creation of the VPL, many of you were hopeful that there would be other virtual tournaments to fill this large hole in the sporting calendar. After a few weeks of planning a way in which we can simulate results to a level that's even slightly comparable with FIFA 20 and the VPL, we are now excited to be able to present a virtual version of Superbru's biggest tournament!

We are today introducing the (drum roll please) Virtual Rugby World Cup 2020!



VRWC 2020

Though most of the same names and faces (kind of) will be involved, the VRWC will naturally be a little different to the real RWC we saw in Japan last year. The VRWC is a 16-team tournament that sees 4 pools of 4 teams battle it out for a place in the quarter-finals. The tournament will be quite concise and far less intense than the VPL, as you'd expect with fewer teams and matches involved.

Matches will be played on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays so they are the days of the week that you'll be making picks for. The fixture times currently shown in the tournament will be edited so that live games are staggered but they are likely to take place late morning SA / UK time meaning those of you in Australia and New Zealand should still be awake!

Starting next Friday (15th May), there will be 4 matches taking place on each of those days of the week meaning the pool stage will end with the 4 matches taking place on the 27th May. The week after that will see the finals take place.

We'll also be bringing you video coverage of a far larger percentage of matches in this virtual tournament. In each round of 4 matches, 1 or 2 (usually 2) of them will be available to watch as live with highlights then available for many of the games that aren't shown in full. In the case of a small number of fixtures that do not involve any of the top 8 ranked teams in the tournament, video footage will not be possible.

Hosts and draw

South African rugby fans who are still grumbling about their nation not being awarded RWC 2023 have reason to celebrate, as it was announced this week that the Virtual Republic of South Africa was successful in its bid to host VRWC 2020! VRSA put forward a convincing campaign with 5 great venues that will host VRWC matches - Emirates Airline Park (Johannesburg), Loftus Versfeld (Pretoria), Free State Stadium (Bloemfontein), DHL Newlands (Cape Town) and Jonsson King's Park (Durban). Sorry Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium locals, your ground isn't in Rugby Challenge 3!

The pool stage draw has been conducted with teams ordered by their current real World Rugby rankings and then randomly assigned to pools. So to be clear, that placed South Africa, New Zealand, England and Ireland as the 'Pot 1' teams (one in each pool) and France, Wales, Australia and Scotland as 'Pot 2' teams. The remaining teams were then randomly drawn to complete each pool.

Here is the VRWC 20 draw (spot the pool of death!):



How this will work

We will be simulating the entire VRWC via Rugby Challenge 3 (RC3) on a Playstation 4. Each game will take place with the AI controlling either side meaning there’s no human intervention affecting scorelines and the season will play out as realistically as RC3 and its algorithm decides it should.

Though the game is of course far more dated than FIFA 20 which we are used to for the VPL, we believe RC3 is the one rugby game that can deliver us a strong enough virtual tournament for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, the ability to download up-to-date teams and squads means that this tournament will be played with squads that are very similar to the 2019 RWC squads - these will be available to view on picks pages. Secondly, RC3 is a rugby game that actually allows CPU v CPU simulation. As the majority of you will know, the rugby video game market isn't the strongest but we've enjoyed watching some RC3 simulated matches and think this game works well enough to provide us with some entertainment for 3 weeks.

Like all sports video games, each team and player is rated on numerous attributes so that the strongest performers in real life are also the strongest performers on the game. As we've seen in the VPL, this doesn't mean upsets can't happen, but the odds of the favourite winning are similar to real life. The ratings for each team in the VRWC are in line with the current World Rugby rankings - hosts South Africa are favourites along with New Zealand, while Namibia, Samoa and the United States are among the weakest teams involved.

Match settings

In order to provide all of you with more detail before having to make your opening picks, we will be broadcasting some warm-up matches for you to watch early next week. The matches that we show in full as live will be around 20 minutes in length.

I'm sure you'll understand that this will be quite new to all of us and with virtual sport (like real sport) you can never tell for sure but our expectation is that winning margins are unlikely to be as large as they are in some real RWC matches. The strength of each team will be reflected - it is fair to expect England v Australia to be far tighter than Australia v Namibia for example - but the match length will of course be a factor when selecting your margins on Superbru.

As well as posting some warm up matches for you to watch, there will also be an article to read next week linking to those warm up games and listing some other results that we will 'quick-sim' to give you an idea of some 'historic results'. As you'll see in the warm up games, a win for the All Blacks over a team like Samoa is of course highly likely, but a 'hammering' in the VRWC may well be a 30-40 point margin rather than 60/70+. We'll all be learning as we go!

Play in pools

As always, you’ll also be able to create your own pools and play against mates.

Pool captains, we're hoping this gives you the chance to get your mates back involved in some entertainment during this pandemic and we can perhaps even find some new brus since most people are looking for something to do at the moment!

The tournament will run like any other in that pool standings will be finalised and kept in the Superbru archives at the end of the VRWC and pools can be ran by Superbru Clubs.

Questions?

If you have anything to ask ahead of the further info that will be made available next week along with some warm-up games, feel free to comment below!

We appreciate this might not be for everyone but it should be good fun, not too many fixtures to pick and a chance to get back in to Superbru before the real tournaments hopefully start again very soon!

You can join the 2020 Superbru Virtual World Cup predictor via any of the links in the above or via this button right here:

Join the Virtual Rugby World Cup Predictor


How to join

To join the 2020 Superbru Virtual World Cup predictor, close this article, then click the app menu button (top left on your screen) and choose Join a Tournament. Good luck!


You can find an updated article with more information on the VRWC by clicking here.
55,165 caps
As always guys, great job on getting this up and running and giving all sports fans new and exciting content to watch and take part in. Can't wait to see these live games in the lead up!
Well done Jack - legend!
8 May 12:01
22,754 caps
Will you be able to give us the team rankings also.
8 May 12:06
22,754 caps
Actually team ratings
8 May 12:06
10,420 caps
Pssst… … oi! Get your virtual tickets here! Virtual scarves and flags with your team embroidered in invisible thread also available.

The Kick-off Party is at my place on the 14th of May. Please invite all your imaginary friends.
8 May 13:29
57,490 caps
Bring a virtual bottle! 8 May 13:39
36,152 caps
You won't recognize me under my face mask 9 May 02:22
57,490 caps
Cant wait for this! Socially distanced arguments! Virtual Controversy !!
8 May 13:42
5,479 caps
Where can we watch the games?
8 May 15:16
ADMIN
18,750 caps
Hi Craig, all of the footage will be available on either our Facebook page or YouTube channel. The plan is to show the warm-up games on Facebook and then we'll see how we go from there. Like the VPL, each match will be 'premiered' at a certain time meaning we can all watch them together live at the scheduled KO time while discussing the match in the live comments section. 9 May 08:59
22,768 caps
Sounds like a great idea and we will all have the same advantage or disadvantage with an unknown entity. Can only become fun as it goes on. Thanks very much.
8 May 17:27
6,394 caps
As always French players will be underrated, despite good performances in World Cups. And as YOU upload the players' stats, you finally choose who's winning at this stage. Not quite interesting, as Bru's managers choose their favorite team.
8 May 20:49
10,420 caps
Hey Thrawn! I don't understand. Is it the Superbru managers who decide on player stats? I doubt that's the case. 9 May 08:53
ADMIN
18,750 caps
Hey Thrawn, the 2019 squads that we'll be using for this tournament have been downloaded within the game and we haven't edited any player stats. Just like the VPL we are running on FIFA 20, the aim is to remove human intervention, so it will also be the CPU deciding upon subs in-game and lineup changes between matches if there are injuries/suspensions. 9 May 09:04
3,771 caps
What a good idea.Thanks for another virtual tournament.
8 May 22:54
36,152 caps
Bravo.great initiative but even the mighty all blacks will struggle to score 60 points on 20 minutes especially they use their famous rolling maul
9 May 02:21
3,171 caps
Will Virtual referees be used, along with Virtual TMO’s, as these guys can have a big influence on game results? In the real world, that is! Go the Virtual All Blacks! ????
9 May 04:28
50,786 caps
I will play, but don't like the virtual games. There's no room for upsets.
9 May 16:41
17,442 caps
Hey Jack. Will altitude play a part in favouring the Boks? Does the programme list it or adjusted players' rankings on this? I somehow doubt it. In real life if visiting teams have two games a week apart but both on the High Veld they do better than moving up from the coast. In real life they use pressurized gyms to simulate it like the East Germans had done since the 70's. I'm assuming 'Nil Effect' other than Home or Neutral ground effect.
9 May 21:53
10,420 caps
Also Jack, you say that ratings for each team in the VRWC are in line with the current World Rugby rankings; does that also mean the player rankings/strengths are current? 9 May 23:11
ADMIN
18,750 caps
Hey Paul, I'd say your assumptions are correct. Altitude shouldn't play a part - when selecting the venues for the tournament they're simply listed with a stadium name and picture, there's been no mention of altitude at all so can't see how it would have an impact. 10 May 09:46
ADMIN
18,750 caps
As for your question Angus, yes, the player ratings are also current. The team ratings are based upon the player ratings like FIFA. Based on the players attributes, each team is then given a rating in six 'team' categories - Attack, Defence, Rucking, Mauling, Scrummaging and Lineouts. So the overall rating combines these to give an overall picture but then we should see certain teams perform strongly in some areas and worse in others (e.g. Fiji are likely to be good in attack but not so good in other areas). The main idea is that this as reflective of real life as possible as I've said, but I'll mention these points for everyone to see and provide more detail in the next article I post in a couple of days along with some links to the warm-up games. 10 May 09:52
10,420 caps
Thanks Jack! 10 May 10:50
17,442 caps
Cheers Jack. I can't wait!
10 May 14:33
274 caps
Where can we watch the games?
11 May 10:04
27,010 caps
I have created a Pool: Bandit's Superbru Support Pool. Part of the Barney's Bandits Club. I hope I am allowed to do this but I have created the pool with the following "rules": To join Bandit's Superbru Support Pool, deposit R50 into the account specified with your Superbru name as reference and apply to join the pool. 50% of the proceeds will be donated to Superbru. 30%, 15% and 5% of the proceeds will go to the winner, second place and third place in the pool respectively at the end of the tournament. My contribution will be bank and admin costs. Please support.
11 May 14:11
1,229 cap
vz,zzz ,,,,,xz
12 May 06:59
3,548 caps
Great!!!
13 May 08:25
9,053 caps
Are there any screenings of these matches and if so, on which channels an times.
14 May 16:54
ADMIN
18,750 caps
Hi Kenny, yes. Match footage will be available on our YouTube channel. Once ready, the videos will be visible above their respective fixture on the Superbru picks pages/results pages so they'll be nice and easy for everyone to find. 14 May 17:01
15,752 caps
Please do virtual cricket world cups too.
15 May 17:27