While even the most avid video gamer is bound to dislike some titles, there are some games that remain more universally popular than others. Take Rocket League, for example, which is published by Psyonix and emerged as the most-downloaded title from the PlayStation Store in 2016.
The game now has an incredible 50 millions players across the globe, and this number is likely to increase incrementally in the future.
As a result of this, it’s little wonder that this incredibly popular title has emerged as a key player in the burgeoning eSports market, with last year’s Rocket League Championship finale being broadcast live to more than 160,000 viewers on Twitch. In this post, we’ll review the game as a competitive eSport and ask why it’s so enduringly popular in the market.
All About the Game
In simple terms, Rocket League is a vehicular football game that was first published by Psyonix in July 2015.
At this time, the game was made available on Microsoft Windows and the PlayStation 4, with ports for the macOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch and the Xbox One being launched a little later on.
The game started out life as a downloadable title, but during the summer of 2016 the development team at 505 Games began to distribute a physical retail version on the Xbox One and the PS4. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment took over this aspect of publication in late 2017. This has definitely helped the game to reach a more mainstream audience.
The game itself features between one and four players, each assigned to two competing teams.
The goal is to use rocket-powered vehicles to hit a ball into the opponent’s goal, with the side boasting the highest points tally over the course of the match ultimately being declared the winner!
With brand new updates introducing core rule modifications and game modes based on basketball and ice hockey, there’s little doubt that Rocket League is upping the ante as it looks to dominate the eSports space.
What’s the format of a competitive Rocket League tournament?
On January 29th, it was announced that sign-ups for Season 7 of the popular Rocket League Championship (RLCS) had begun.
This is ahead of North American qualifying on March 2nd, which will kick-off an intense round of global matches that will go a long way towards establishing the betting favourites.
Once again, this year will see players compete for their share of a $1,000,000 prize fund, while the 2019 iteration of the RLCS will allow individuals to compete on a cross-platform basis that encompasses dominant channels such as Nintendo Switch, Steam, Xbox One and the PlayStation 4.
This shift highlights the growth that has gripped Rocket League eSports in recent times, as does the addition of a new qualifying region in the form of South America (SAM).
Some things haven’t changed, however, with this year’s’ tournament format retaining qualification for the hugely popular Rocket League Rival Series. This will feature open qualifiers for competing teams, with the top 128 sides advancing to the Play-in phase where they’ll have the opportunity to battle for just four coveted Rival Series spots.
The regional qualifiers will continue throughout the spring, with single and multiplayer modes focused on the football iteration of the game. The latter will see teams of three compete for the ultimate prize, and this remains a huge draw for the world’s most established eSports players.
The flexible and cross-platform nature of RLCS 7 will certainly make competitive gaming more accessible than ever before, while the simplicity of Rocket League gameplay should not detract from the skill required to prevail at the very highest level.
The same can be said for the successful eSport FIFA, and you only need to look at the audacious and complex plays showcased online by SunlessKhan to understand the level of ability boasted by professional Rocket League players.
Rocket League betting and wagering requirements
Despite the rapid growth recorded by Rocket League as an eSport, it has yet to achieve the global popularity of games such as Call of Duty and the aforementioned FIFA.
As a result of this, many of the larger betting operators will not offer any odds on RLCS 7, including even basic wagering options such as the tournament winner.
However, smaller operators with a defined eSports focus will offer an array of markets on the 2019 tournament and its individual match-ups, so you’ll need to compare these to identify the best odds and any lucrative sign-up promotions.
Interestingly, the format of the RLCS offers a distinct advantage to bettors, with the regional round robin qualifiers lasting for up to five weeks and providing a sustained build up to the main finals.
As a result, punters can identify the initial favourites and analyse their performance as they progress through the qualification stage, using sites such as Twitch as a resource through which to view matches.
The information garnered can then be used to inform your selections in the final stages, as you look to back the ultimate winner and the 2019 RLCS champion.
Just remember that Rocket League gameplay is fast-paced and exciting, and totally unlike more structured and strategic titles like League of Legends. While his makes it more alluring to casual bettors, Rocket League matches can change quickly and a spell of individual brilliance can help teams to grab victory from the jaws of almost certain defeat.