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What Rocket League Pros Want for the Future of the Esport

Rocket League

The Rocket League Championship Series Season 7 is now officially in the books, and Season 8 sits eagerly on the horizon. Many have said that 2019 is a make or break year for Rocket League, and it’s only half way through.

The future of Rocket League esports is no more important to anyone than it is the professionals who actually play the game. At the Season 7 World Championship many players responded to concerns about the future of the game in press conferences.

In each press conference some version of these three questions came up from members of the media: 1. What do you think of Epic Games buying Psyonix? 2. What do you think about the groups and single elimination format of the World Championship? 3. What changes would you like to see in Rocket League esports?

The Game Haus’ Connor Sanders compiled the most relevant quotes from those series of press conferences to get a glimpse inside the mind of the pros and what they hope for from the developers of their esport.

What Does Epic Games’ Purchase of Psyonix Mean for the Future of the Esport?

“It’s basically like Psyonix on steroids. With the resources Epic has it should be pretty good, it’s still the same studio just now with the backing of Epic. I think it’s going to be good,” – Jayson “Fireburner” Nunez.

“I think the whole branding of the RLCS could change a lot with Epic. The esports side specifically will undergo a lot of changes. The broadcasting side of it could improve massively. I think in the next season or two RLCS could start contending with the top tier esports,” – Euan “Tadpole” Ingram.

“When it happened, I saw a lot of negative stuff on Twitter. I think most people were memeing. I mean if anything, but the move has to be a good thing. Psyonix started out as an indie developer and they can only do so much in so little time. I don’t see anything negative in that acquisition. Hopefully just more prize pools (laughs),” – Garrett “GarrettG” Gordon.

Rocket League
Courtesy of Rocket League Championship Series

“The biggest thing is that Psyonix has always been limited by their infrastructure because they’re just an indie company that’s been confined to themselves, but Epic is this huge company that’s got Fortnite and other games. The experience and infrastructure they have can actually fuel it a lot better,” – Tom “Julz” Julienne.

“I like the fact that Steam users are still supported even though it could no longer be offered on Steam. Being on the Epic Store could be the first look for some people in Rocket League. People who just use the Epic Launcher could see Rocket League and they’ll want to get into the game,” – Cameron “Kronovi” Bills.

“I feel like it would have been bad if they would have taken it from Steam completely, but since you can keep it if you already own it on Steam it’s not going to be a hassle to go to Epic and launch it there,” – Firebrner.

“I think it’s going to drive up the competition up a lot more. The larger the player base you have, the more people you have fighting for the top spots. It’s a good move all around,” – Nicolas “Wonder” Blackerby.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how Epic is going to sell the game to new regions if they’re going to bring the esports with it as well. We’ll have to wait and see,” – Emil “Fruity” Moslund.

“I just feel like the prize pools are going to increase next season. Hopefully by, like, millions of dollars (laughs). It an overwhelming positive,” Justin “JSTN” Morales.

“The sky’s the limit. This was kind of a make or break year for Psyonix and for Rocket League and a lot of moves were made this year. There were a lot of events and hopefully next year is a repeat of this year but even more with Epic,” – Kronovi.

“I think Steam is the best platform, but honestly, I’m 100% okay with [moving to the Epic Launcher] if it means getting Epic as a backer. Everyone has Fortnite downloaded, whether they’d like to admit it or not. It’s worth it for the backing. I think there will be a big influx of new players, which is obviously good for Rocket League,” – GarrettG

What do you think about the groups and single elimination format of the World Championship?

“I think we need to have around 16 teams, with four groups of four or two groups of eight with a round robin or something over a week instead of just a three day event. Then you have the finals Saturday and Sunday,” – Fruity.

“It should be equal. It shouldn’t be two teams from OCE and two from South America but four from NA and EU. There should be a loser’s bracket like before. It’s really bad,” – Alexandre “Kaydop” Courant.

“I like the groups and single elimination. Like, I wish the groups were a little bit bigger and I wish [the quarterfinal] was also a best of seven, but I guess time restrictions don’t allow that. I liked how WSOE ran it. We feel comfortable in this format,” – GarrettG.

Rocket League
Courtesy of Rocket League Championship Series

“The three team groups is not good because one match can change the fate of the tournament too much. I think the best thing would be to make the Regional Championships LANs and then make the World Championship four or five days so there can still be a lower bracket,” – Victor “Fairy Peak” Locquet.

“I really do like groups, but three team groups is a little too short. I’d like to see at least four team groups. I’d like to see more NA and EU teams make the championship to fill out the groups. I also really don’t like the single elimination part after groups. I think groups is the perfect format, but after that it should be double elimination. The underdog story was the best part of Cloud9’s [Season 6 World Championship] win. I think that should be a thing in the new format,” – Jacob “JKnaps” Knapman.

“I like the format for this World Championship. There are some things with scheduling that have to happen with four groups of three. Maybe one day we could have 16 teams with four groups of four and have a proper tournament, but I like the move away from the double elimination bracket,” – Kronovi.

“It’s a World Championship. Every region should be here. Asia and Africa should be here. It’s going in the right direction. It’s been a while since we added a new one, so maybe next season we’ll have Asia. I hope so,” – Victor “Ferra” Francal.

What changes would you like to see in Rocket League esports?

“I could see more orgs wanting to come in and be interested. That could kind of force an expansion of League Play so that there’s more spots for orgs to buy high level teams. Now you only have eight possible teams, and you might see more competitive offers from new orgs or an expansion of the League Play if more orgs want in,” – Kronovi.

“One thing I would like to see changed is just how League Play is ran. I think it’s time to not be online for a really important League Play system. I think we need to move away from online League Play in my opinion,” – GarrettG.

“I’d like to see more LANs. I think more events will help grow the esport instead of online leagues because it’s getting a little bit stale,” – Reed “Chicago” Wilen.

“Another way to do [League Play] would be like how DOTA does it where it’s like a circuit. There’s a bunch of LANs throughout the year and at every LAN you get points depending on your placement. Then at the end we’d be able to qualify for Worlds. I think that would be a cool way to do it. Online League Play, seven seasons in, it gets kind of boring after a while. It would be cool to plan on LAN for League Play,” – Fireburner.

Rocket League
Courtesy of Rocket League Championship Series

“I don’t know how [LAN League Play] would work. I like playing at home because of the comfort but I think playing on stage, teams would have to move to the state where it’s being played. You probably couldn’t travel home after every game because the season is long. I think once there are more older players on teams that could actually move to where the studio is, it could change,” – JKnaps.

“Obviously I’m biased because I’m a competitive player, but I really think the future of the game is through competitive. I’m not saying abandon the casual scene, but it has so much mainstream potential that you could see it on ABC or whatever,” – GarrettG.

“I think it would be good for Rocket League to be free to play because it’s important when building an esport that everyone can play and compete,” – Kaydop.

“I think the fact that big football clubs are getting into esports because of Rocket League is really good. It would be good to see Real Madrid or Manchester United. It gives good visibility to the game,” – Ferra.

“Maybe could end up playing in Dubai or something. That would be crazy,” – JSTN.

“Hopefully there’s an increase in prize pool. I think that would lead other orgs to their interest as an esport as a whole,” – Wonder.

“I only see it going up from here. Rocket League is a really unique game, and there’s not really a competitor to it, so I don’t see it going anywhere,” – Fireburner.

“I think RLCS should be 10 teams, maybe even twelve. Maybe the teams should play each other more than once,” – Kyle “Scrub Killa” Robertson.

“I really think it comes down to advertising esports more. The implementation of the esports shop has been a big deal, so continuing to reiterate on things already exist and improve them and market them is going to really boost the ecosystem as a whole,” – Kronovi.

“I wouldn’t mind live League Play personally. If they told me next season is going to be in a live setting, I don’t think I would mind. I know there are a lot of pros who are still in school and stuff, so it would probably be really tough for them. They’d have to do online schooling and stuff like that,” – Dillon “Rizzo” Rizzo.

“Before it felt like between the players and Psyonix there was a bit of a gap, but now it seems like they’re listening more to us, so it’s headed in a good direction for sure,” – Scrub Killa.


Featured image courtesy of Rocket League Championship Series.

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