Rocket Leagues Impact
Rocket League is a huge part of high school esports, but does it have enough potential?
Rocket League first made its debut in the Summer of 2015 as a free Playstation Plus game and quickly gained traction due to its simple and fun design. This set the pace for its quick uprise in the esports scene and led to the game’s first World Championship in Hollywood California in August of 2016. Since then, the popular car soccer game has had four more world championships with its fifth happening this past June.
What set this event apart from the rest was the unbelievable turn of events that unfolded. It was game 7 of the Grand Final with NRG being down 2-3 with only 3 seconds left. It was a best of 7 series and if they could not score, team Dignitas would claim victory after winning the last grand final under the organization Gale Force Esports. With $500,000 as the prize pool, the pressure was on.
Take a look at arguably the best rocket league moment of all time.
https://clips.twitch.tv/AbstruseAgileClamJebaited - Twitch Clip Of Goal
This spectacular moment made players wonder what would happen to the Rocket League scene. Would it blow up and grow as many fans were hoping, or would it remain stagnant and gain no traction at all? According to players, it hasn’t changed. Many organizations according to CloudFuel, a rocket league Esports and player ops manager, are too afraid to join the scene “Due to a lack of revenue share items” or in-game items. CloudFuel continues to add that, “None have been willing to spend that much” on teams that are up for sale. These reasons are the two that we know are impacting the game, however there could be more going on behind the scenes.
One major question after this news is what up-and-coming players will think about the scene. Is it large enough to support a career and are hours and hours of practice not worth it anymore? We asked high schoolers participating in the High School Esports League’s Summer Open to see what they thought.
As a whole, the Grand Finals turned out to spark players’ interest in the game once again. When asked about how much this would affect players’ practice time, many said it wouldn’t change at all. Zzilmy, from Grenadiers RL, stated that “The amount I plan to practice as an individual player is at an all time high. Seeing the excitement of the crowds and the intensity of the games only showed how thrilling the game can truly be, even in the most intense moments.” This seemed to be a recurring theme throughout the High School Esports League. Many players watched arguably the biggest event in Rocket League’s history and were inspired to play the game even more in order to perfect their craft. Exquiision, from NHS, exclaimed that “I practice because I love the game and just want to get better.” This love for the game is evident in many players who all tuned in to watch the finals and is equally revealed in their hours played.
Next, we asked these high schoolers if countless hours a day poured into Rocket League would be worth it after this LAN. Joe from the RHS Maroons stated that, “If anything it might make players try harder to get into the pro scene before RL completely blows up as people thought it would this RLCS.” This confidence in the game continues to show in many HSEL participants and reveals the optimistic attitude towards the growth of the esport. Zackshot, a player for Pyrotechnics RL stated that, “most players will still have faith in the game and stick to playing esports for it.” Additionally, player for HRHS E-Letes, Golden, stated that “Everyone can get picked up by a professional organization, it just depends how much time and effort you are willing to spend to get noticed.” This statement is exactly what HSEL plans to help students with. Aside from keeping academics in the forefront, the organization plans to create a bridge for students to continue to play at the collegiate level and possibly go pro. Everything is there, it just requires the dedication to make it happen.
All in all, the most recent Rocket League Grand Final has shown how dedicated and passionate players in HSEL are about the game. They are the most motivated and excited to practice for the ongoing Summer Open at this time than ever before. The lack of organizations joining the scene hasn’t affected them at all and they are optimistic for the game’s next couple of years. The soccer-car mashup will remain in HSEL for the upcoming school season and will host a $7.5K scholarship prize pool for its spot in the next HSEL Nationals.
By: Drew Helms