Here’s the question: “What exactly is Rocket League?” The answer is both amazing and amazingly simple, its “Soccer with Cars”. Further explained, Rocket League is a Multiplayer Online Vehicular Soccer Video Game. It is similar to Soccer as players control a rocket-powered car and use it to hit a ball into the other team’s goal to receive points.
The main catalyst behind the success of Rocket League, however, is its simplicity. In general, matches are five minutes each, with matches played from one versus one, up to a four-versus-four format. The winner is the player or team that is able to score more points than the other side within the match time. Despite the game’s simplicity, as players dig deeper, many complexities separate the casual players from the competitive. For example, perfecting the timing and angle to jump and hit a ball in mid-air, utilizing speed boosts to move quicker around the map, hitting the ball, or destroying a car, and performing slick maneuvers to out-position your opponents are some of the game’s more complex maneuvers.
As an esport, Rocket League is a recent addition to the industry, and has already garnered worldwide success with Psyonix’s house-made Rocket League Championship Series, centered around the critically acclaimed game. With sixteen teams competing globally, Season 4 of the RLCS is set to bring in hundreds of thousands of viewers, with the upcoming Season 4 Finals expected to bring in even more. Following a format similar to other esports leagues, Rocket League is split into Europe’s RLCS, NA’s RLCS, and Oceania, with 8 teams from North America and another 8 from Europe competing in online best-of-five matches weekly for several weeks, with the goal to clinch 1 of 10 playoff spots (4 from NA, 4 from EU, and 2 from Oceania) in the RLCS finals. With the season 4 finals coming up this weekend, only eight teams will be invited to The ELEAGUE Cup: Rocket League, so there’s more at stake beyond the RLCS prize pool.
For the first time, EU’s FlipSid3 Tactics are not participating in the RLCS finals, adding more pressure on teams such as PSG eSports and Method to perform well. Also, some of the top North American Rocket League players, like Kyle “Torment” Storer and Cameron “Kronovi” Bills are in the spotlight, as the game moves beyond its humble beginnings. These players entered the league and dominated Rocket League’s previous old guard teams like NRG Esports and Rogue. With invitations depending on the Season 4 Finals results, all eyes are on powerhouse teams such as Cloud9, G2 Esports, NRG Esports, Gale Force eSports, and Mock-it eSports to make it into the tournament.
Based on the post-finals RLCS standings, fans are more than likely to predict their tournament winner, but until then, the one who will take the cup is a mystery. Whether in the arena, or watching on Twitch or YouTube, the ELEAGUE Cup: Rocket League is a tournament you don’t want to miss.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated RLCS team numbers from North America and Europe. 8 teams from North America and another 8 from Europe will be competing in online best-of-five matches weekly for several weeks. This version has been corrected.