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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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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