Collegiate Rocket League

Collegiate Rocket League: Season one

On Wednesday, Psyonix announced the first season of Collegiate Rocket League. Following the Collegiate Rocket League Summer Series, Psyonix is teaming up with Tespa again to bring the fall 2017 season. For those who don’t know, Tespa gaming organization is focused on collegiate play.

The Collegiate Rocket League Summer Series was Psyonix’s first break into collegiate esports. With five weekly tournaments, students who were registered for classes in the upcoming fall 2017 semester competed for their share of $2,500 in Steam and PlayStation Network funds.

While Steam and PlayStation Network funds are certainly an adequate incentive, Psyonix and Tespa returned with a season one prize pool sure to incentivize students further: $50,000 in scholarships and official Collegiate Rocket League merchandise.

Eligibility

Season one of Collegiate Rocket League is open to full-time students enrolled in the United States and Canada. The season is open to universities and community colleges alike.

Collegiate Rocket League

Image courtesy of rocketleague.com

Along with being a full-time student, there are a few other requirements players must meet in order to remain eligible. These include:

  • maintaining a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.500
  • students must be legal residents or hold a valid visa for the country in which they attend school
  • players must be the legal adults or receive parental consent
  • teams must consist of three to five players, all attending the same school
  • players must be able to verify school enrollment

While all players of a team must attend the same school, there is no limit to how many teams can represent a single school.

Collegiate Rocket League is open to PC and PlayStation 4 players.

Format

Collegiate Rocket League

Image courtesy of rocketleague.com

The season will consist of four separate conferences: northern, southern, eastern and western. Each conference consists of four teams.

Teams can sign up for one of two qualifiers in their respective conference. Qualifiers are double elimination, with the top four teams advancing to the Conference Group Stage.

The season also has an Open Ladder. Teams that don’t qualify for their Conference Group Stage still have a chance to make it into Conference Playoffs as a wild card by competing in the Open Ladder. Playoffs will determine which teams from each conference will compete head-to-head at the Collegiate Rocket League National Championship.

Registration for qualifiers opened Wednesday and will continue through Sept. 15, 2017. Qualifiers begin the following day.

Prize Pool

The $50,000 scholarship prize pool will be divided among the top eight teams at the Collegiate Rocket League National Championship. Breakdown of the prize pool, per player, is as follows:

  • Fifth through eighth: $1,200
  • Fourth: $1,700
  • Third: $2,200
  • Second: $3,000
  • Champions: $5,000

Why it matters

Collegiate esports, as with esports in general, continue to grow in popularity. Tespa alone hosts several other popular collegiate esports leagues such as Heroes of the Dorm (Heroes of the Storm) and the Tespa Collegiate Series (Overwatch).

Format

In terms of format, it’s great to see Psyonix and Tespa turning Collegiate Rocket League into a full on season as opposed to a one-off tournament.

This format sets the stage for deeper competitive play. Losing a match doesn’t mean the end for a team, as reaching playoffs depends on a teams performance throughout the entire season. Not only that, but the season, playoff and national championship format set Rocket League up for future success in a collegiate environment.

Eligibility and prize pool

As Psyonix and Tespa look to put Rocket League on the collegiate map, there are several important factors to commend

Collegiate Rocket League

Image courtesy of rocketleague.com

them for in regards to eligibility and prize pool.

One important factor is the prize pool. Offering scholarship money, instead of cash, encourages students to continue their studies while still allowing them to experience what it’s like to compete in esports. A cash prize may have the potential to pull students away from their studies in order to focus on the game.

Secondly, the minimum cumulative GPA also encourages players to remain focused on their schoolwork. A 2.500 cumulative GPA is equivalent to the 80th percentile, or a B grade average. So, if players hope to continue competing, they need to keep their grades up.

This system treats collegiate esports similarly to traditional sports in a college setting. Education is expected to be the player or athlete’s number one priority, with the opportunity to compete considered a privilege. At the same time, the system still offers players incentives for competing.

It’s also important to note that matches will take place on weekends. However, this is common even for major professional esports tournaments.

So, if you’re hoping to bring home the Collegiate Rocket League championship title to your school, keep practicing and keep your grades up.


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RLXL

RLXL supports Doctors Without Borders

It’s time to support an international health directive with a bit of high flying, rocket-powered car soccer. RocketLeagueXL, or RLXL, is putting on The Open to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders. Psyonix is an official sponsor of the event.

RLXL

RLXL

Image courtesy of twitch.tv/rlxl

RLXL is a Rocket League supergroup of sorts. With nearly 30 different community organizations involved in The Open, RLXL hosts Rocket League tournaments with a charitable benefit in mind. The group has put on other benefit events in the past as well.

Extra Life is an organization benefiting the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Extra Life participants sign up for a 24-hour gaming marathon, on a day of their choosing, and ask for donations to the cause. RLXL raised over $10,000 during their Extra Life tournament. In another benefit tournament, RLXL raised over $3,500 in an effort to help a Rocket League caster and community member, Stephen “Shalthis” Perry, return home to his family. This has just been the beginning.

With The Open, RLXL seeks to continue their charitable impact, perhaps with their biggest event to date. Twenty-seven community organizations from five different regions banded together to make the RLXL Open possible.

The Open

The Open will consist of five separate regional tournaments. Each regional tournament pits teams and players against each other in their own unique, mostly nonstandard formats.

The tournament modes set the stage for the charity event. Since nonstandard game styles take away some of the competitive edge, it reminds players and audience members to keep it lighthearted. It is not meant to be a serious showdown such as the Rocket League Championship Series or other tournaments with large prize pools. The main purpose is to raise money for Doctors Without Borders and give the community some unpredictable and unusual Rocket League in the process.

Regional Formats

Here are the tournament styles for each region:

  • European players will come head to head in a one versus one recharge showdown. Instead of picking up boost pads, players’ boost will slowly auto-recharge.
  • South American players will compete in a standard two versus two match.
  • North American players are set to play three versus three no goal reset. In no goal reset, instead of being reset for a kickoff after a goal is scored, the ball is set back to the middle of the pitch and gameplay continues. The clock doesn’t stop and players kickoff from wherever they already are on the field.
  • Asian players are going up against each other in a two versus two Dropshot tournament. Dropshot is the latest
    RLXL

    Dropshot. Image courtesy of rocketleague.com

    official mode added by Psyonix, in which tiles on the floor become the goal. Played with an electrified ball, the intensity increases through three stages the longer the ball is kept in the air. When the ball touches the ground, tiles light up to show they are primed. Primed tiles are knocked out of the floor, to create gates, once they are hit a second time. Players aim to get the ball into these gates to score.

  • Oceanic players have perhaps the most intense, and certainly the most interesting, matches ahead of them. The OCE tournament combines two of Psyonix’s official game modes, Dropshot and Rumble, into a three versus three clash. Take Dropshot, mentioned above, and add in Rumble power-ups. For those who don’t know, Rumble grants every player one of 11 power-ups 10 seconds after kickoff. The game mode resets the timer to 10 seconds after a player uses his or her power-up, counting down until the next one.

When, Where and Who

RLXL

Image courtesy of rocketleague.com

The RLXL Open will take place on Aug. 4 and 5 at varying, convenient times for each region. A majority of the matches will take place Aug. 4. However, there is some overflow into Aug. 5 because of time zones.

Here is the schedule, listed in EDT:

  • Europe: 12-4 p.m.
  • South America: 4-8 p.m.
  • North America: 8 p.m. – 12 a.m.
  • Asia: 12-2 a.m.
  • Oceania: 2-6 a.m.

Although the tournament spills over into Aug. 5, matches won’t overlap with NBC’s Rocket League Universal Open. Rocket League fans can watch and donate to The Open on RLXL’s Twitch channel.

The tournament is open to PC and PlayStation 4 players. Registration for each region ends 15 minutes prior to the region’s respective start time.

Remember to tune in Aug. 4 and 5 to the RLXL Open. Help support a great cause with some great Rocket League.


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Xian Wins First SFV Capcom Cup Event at Final Round 20

A character switch in season two for Xian (Kun Ho Xian) partially boosted his play at Final Round 20, leading to his first victory in Street Fighter V. The opening tournament of the Capcom Cup 2017 had a familiar feel to it with Xian taking the win over Fuudo (Keira Ai). The two former USF4 Evo champions showed they are contenders in Street Fighter V.

First off, Xian has seemingly found his new main in Ibuki. After trying to make F.A.N.G. viable in season one, a character switch was warranted. Xian picked a character that had similar attributes to Gen in Street Fighter IV; Ibuki’s burst damage makes her among the best characters, and Xian meshes perfectly.

Regardless, it’s good to see Xian back competing at his potential. His character choice in season one clearly held him back to some extent. The switch to Ibuki makes him a contending threat at every event. He’s a player to keep an eye-on through the rest of Capcom Cup.

Unexpected Results 

In the first tournament back from the offseason of SFV, the results were zany. Established players in season one fell outside of the top 17. Top eight only featured four Asian Born players, as NuckleDu (Du Dang) finished third, KBrad (Kenneth Bradley) finished fourth, and 801 Strider (Gustavo Romero) rounded it out in fifth.

Despite failing to beat Fuudo and advance to Grand Finals, NuckleDu had another strong outing. It’s just another top-five finish and his counter-pick strategy seems to have strengthened going into season two. Looking ahead, the top three definitely look like three of the favorites to win Capcom Cup.

Final Round featured tons of talent, and as a result, Ricki Ortiz fell out of the bracket in 33rd alongside Kazunoko (Ryoto Inoue). It was a tough tournament as most top players wanted to make an appearance for the kickoff event. It also set a precedent heading into this season that anyone and any character can win at any tournament.

Character diversity

In all of top eight, seven unique characters were used. Cammy, as some have suggested, seems to be the strongest character in the game. She had a strong presence. Players are still finding what works, but this was a good first look.

twitter.com/winnersstayson

Kenneth “KBrad” Bradley

KBrad not only came in and stole the show, but he put on a dazzling display of skill during his run. Finishing in the top four at an event of this caliber is a testament to his overall game. But despite that, he’ll be remembered for his match against Wolfkrone (Joshua Philpot). One of the longest standing personal rivalries in the fighting game community hit a boiling point when KBrad secured the victory.

Additionally, Kbrad was the talk of the entire weekend. The set at Final Round is just another chapter in what should be a highly entertaining 2017. Either way, this was a great event to start the new year.

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NBA eLeague

The NBA and Take-Two Are Changing esports

The NBA and Take-Two (Makers of NBA 2K) are teaming up to change esports in a major way starting in 2018. The NBA and Take-Two have partnered to create a professional, competitive NBA eLeague.

Traditional sports games have fallen behind in the world of esports. Games like League of Legends, Pokemon, Halo, Counter-Strike and Dota2 have had been dominating competitive gaming and are already paying gamers million of dollars.

The NBA is trying to take a piece of that pie. There is so much money to be made from gaming that traditional sports need to innovate before they get left behind.

The NBA and Take-Two are trying to set the trend for these traditional sports. This bold leap could change the gaming industry like never seen before.

So what exactly will this NBA eLeague be and how will it run?

How Will it work?

NBA eLeague

(Photo Credit: https://geekiversedotcom.com)

The eLeague, as Adam Silver has called it, will be a professional gaming league run by the NBA and its franchises. Each NBA team will be in control of their own 2K virtual basketball team.

For example, the Chicago Bulls will have the eBulls and the team will manage its roster just as they do for the on-court basketball team. There will be general managers and a salary cap.

All 30 NBA teams will be involved and this season will mirror the real season. Gamers will be paid a salary to practice, train and compete for their respective teams and the only difference is they will be training with a controller instead of their body.

These teams will be through a real draft, similar to the traditional NBA draft. Each team will have five professional gamers on its roster. They won’t be playing with LeBron James, Steph Curry or Kevin Durant but instead they will play with their custom created avatars that they work on to improve.

One area of concern most people come up with is how can they do this if everyone is going to just be a 99 overall player who can do everything? NBA2K has already fixed this issue in their latest version of the game.

archetypes and badges

NBA eLeague

(Photo Credit:https://www.youtube.com)

NBA 2K17 really wanted to make sure that each player had their own specialty. In previous years a player could make a point guard who could be 6-foot-7 and earn all badges to become the most unstoppable player of all-time.

There are three solutions they came up with to halt this.

The first is with archetypes. For all examples in how this works, we will stick to looking at point guards.

When you create your player you can pick a position. Once you select the position you wish to play, you must pick an archetype. The archetypes for point guard are the following: playmaker, sharpshooter, lockdown defender, shot creator and slasher.

Depending on the type of point guard you decide to become, you will have only five badges you can upgrade. That is the second part of the solution: the number of badges one can upgrade. In NBA 2K there are dozens of badges a player can get that makes them better.

One of those badges is the pickpocket badge. To unlock the pickpocket badge, a player must get a certain amount of steals within a season. The pickpocket badge makes a player more effective at stealing the ball.

As you can see in the picture with the sharpshooter, pickpocket is not one of these upgradeable badges for that archetype. What that means is that the pickpocket badge must stay at the bronze level.

NBA eLeague

(Photo Credit: YouTube)

If the sharpshooter archetype gamer unlocked the limitless range badge then they could upgrade it from bronze to silver then to gold. Once a player has a gold badge they can upgrade it to the hall of fame level. Hall of fame badges allow a player to be great at that skill.

By allowing gamers to only have five upgradeable badges, they have stopped people from becoming players that are great at everything and 99 overall.

The third way NBA 2K17 has made it difficult to become 99 overall is by including park reputation.

Park reputation is a tier system in which can only be aquired by playing at MyPark. There are five levels to each tier. The tiers are as follows: rookie, pro, all-star, superstar and legend.

A player can only get to 95 overall before the game will not let them upgrade anymore. To earn more upgrades, one must reach levels one, three and five of the superstar tier at MyPark. The amount of games and time it takes to reach those tiers is extremely straining and does not come easily.

These three additions have really helped NBA 2K level the playing field and made a game that requires multiple different skill sets, rather than just a bunch of players who can do all. This is something NBA teams will have to look at when constructing teams for their NBA eLeague.

2K HAS ALREADY TESTED THIS

There is a mode in NBA 2K called Pro-Am that allows all these different gamers to take their custom players play in five on five games similar to an NBA contest. These teams become really competitive and are an example of how an NBA eLeague team would look. NBA 2K have already held two major tournaments over the past two years to test how this would work in a legitimate format.

NBA eLeague

(Photo Credit:http://www.usatoday.com/sports/)

The first one was called the Road to the Finals which took place in 2016. This year NBA 2K held the All Star Tournament which would gave 250 thousand dollars to the winning team Still Trill.

Over two million people streamed the final game, according to NBA 2K, proving that there is a market for competitive traditional sports games. The tournament showed is that these skilled players are capable of drawing a lot of viewers.

There are over 110,000 teams on Xbox alone in the Pro-Am game mode. The teams and players are already around waiting to be picked up by NBA franchises.

Why This Will Change eSports

NBA eLeague

(Photo Credit: Matthew Hagan)

The potential of this idea is unlimited. Currently, getting the NBA to be involved is monumental for the growth of NBA 2K as an esport. The NBA is the first professional league in the United States to create their own esports league.

The success with the two tournaments that NBA 2K have already run proves that there is huge interest in this game. Eventually the NBA eLeague could expand to more teams than just 30. There could be hundreds of teams in each region of the world. Eventually there could be regional championships that lead to a world championship.

An eLeague allows people who could never play in the NBA a chance to become NBA stars. This includes people who have disabilities and are unable physically play the sport. It doesn’t matter your size, weight, or gender, anybody who is good enough on the sticks can end up being drafted to an NBA eLeague team. That is something that no other professional sport can offer.

This is just the beginning for the NBA and Take-Two. Once the money begins to flow they will realize they need to expand the field. Before you know it there will be an NBA2K Hall of Fame and a list of new NBA eChampions.

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