Esports Rocket League

Rocket League: Takeaways from Attending WSOE 4

WSOE

I had the opportunity of attending the World Showdown of Esports 4: Rocket League last weekend. I met and interviewed established players, tournament organizers and rising stars. Being live at the event completely changes your perspective on the game, and peeking behind the scenes opened my eyes up to a whole new world.

So after things have settled down post tournament, I wanted to post the main takeaways I have from reporting live from WSOE, both about the tournament and all the players I got to talk with.

There Will Be Another Rocket League WSOE in 2019

As reported on January 26th,  there will be another edition of WSOE where champions Flipsid3 Tactics will defend their crowns, er, medallions. WSOE Commissioner Christian Bishop told the Game Haus:

“The champion will have an opportunity to defend their title. We’re very big on that. With every major title we support there will be at least two events per year. So you’ll see a second one where we’ll invite the right people back who perform well here and deserve a second chance.”

Bishop also said that the team is always looking for upcoming teams to invite.  Inclusion is the focus of

WSOE
Afterthought’s Nathan “Shock” Frommelt makes his LAN debut.

what WSOE does, so there will be plenty of opportunities for relatively unknown teams to qualify for a chance to duke it out with the big boys.

That being said, some teams will return back. Bishop couldn’t confirm how returning teams will be selected, but he did confirm that rewarding teams that did well is a high priority. He also mentioned that there will be more esports that will participate in the format.

“You can expect about six to eight games that we’ll support a year. We did DOTA, Fortnite and Hearthstone. We’ve got a cool FGC title (fighting game community) that we’ll be announcing soon.”

Different Communication Styles

I sat in the studio for most of the series and one of the things that struck me was how diversely the different teams communicate. No one team has the exact same style, but everyone makes a point to promote teamwork.

There were teams like NRG Esports that were almost shouting at all times. Garrett ‘GarrettG’ Gordon was constantly calling out rotations, which players were up in the air to take a shot and announcing what he intended to do with the ball. Jayson ‘Fireburner’ Nunez and Justin ‘JSTN’ Morales gave each other advice during every break in the action. It was a sight to see.

Then there are teams like Cloud9 and PSG Esports who elect for the more stoic approach. It was eerily quiet in the studio after C9 would score. No one celebrated, no one screamed out commands, they just quietly went about their business.

WSOE
Mariano ‘Squishy’ Arruda plays it cool at WSOE.

Then there’s Jack ‘Speed’ Packwood-Clarke. He would shout (not exaggerating here, he would literally scream) after every goal, nice save or near nutty play. He would often shout “Get in the [expletive] net!” after a nice shot. His high energy was in stark contrast to his relatively quiet teammates Francesco ‘Kuxir97’ Cinquemani and David ‘Miztik’ Lawrie.

“We’ve been looking for that enthusiasm for a very long time,” Miztik said. “[His emotion] rubs off on us. We’re not really those kind of people, we’re a bit more mellow, but for me having someone hype things up brings out the best in me.”

Kuxir had a similar experience, “I usually panic so much during LANs, but it never happened this time. I didn’t panic, I didn’t miss, it was very pleasant in the comms.”

Each time has its own style, but communication is far more important than the average fan thinks. Players are very conscious of this and it doesn’t really translate on screen like it does live.

All images courtesy of WSOE.

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