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Valheim players have created their own Thunderdome

Some people love Valheim because they can make cozy cabins and tame boars. Others just want to beat other Vikings to the death in a murder arena. But the game itself rarely rewards this kind of player-vs-player action. That’s why the community has created the Vikings of Legend events, a high-profile series of PvP matches streamed live on Twitch.

The community-run event started in March, and has so far had a few small events with hundreds of viewers. A new, revised format is on the way that will create even more more fast-paced and brutal engagements.

Each match will begin by spawning participants into a giant arena as first-level characters. It’s a hand-made, Roman-style coliseum created with Valheim’s robust debug mode. Two teams of two-to-four Vikings maneuver around the arena trying to survive while also killing their opponent. It’s a game mode that is in some ways a lot simpler and cruder than the base game — it’s essentially just team deathmatch.

But despite that, it’s a fun twist on the usual Valheim formula, and shows that the game is becoming a platform for various modes and mods as players run out of developer-created content.

But rarely is it a fair fight. That’s because tournament organizer — a player who goes by the handle Dread Pirate Doug — spawns both loot and enemies during each match to keep the action dynamic and unpredictable. The audience can also lend a hand, using Twitch chat to spawn offerings for their champion. Every time a Viking dies the other team scores a point. At the end of 15 minutes the points are tallied and one team wins.

While tons of players are still enjoying the base Valheim experience, modded experiences are a big part of what’s keeping the sandbox game alive. Sometimes, that’s something like adding Diablo-style loot tables, magic items, and enchanting. Other times, that’s making a big circle and pitting a bunch of burly Vikings to the death for fun. There’s something for everyone! The next event is planned for May 1 at 4:00 p.m. ET.

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