Rocket League is being set to become one of the biggest esports. This is because the game’s developers Psyonix are said to be researching options to franchise Rocket League competitive matches.
At the moment it looks like Psyonix are considering franchising Rocket League esports to a third-party company. The vehicular-football game is already fairly popular at esports betting sites, but the franchising moves could see it taking on the likes of Overwatch in terms of mainstream appeal.
WHAT WOULD A FRANCHISED ROCKET LEAGUE LOOK LIKE?
At the moment there are a small number of official Rocket League tournaments that are run by Psyonix. Key among these is the Rocket League Championship Series which has just completed its eighth season. Previous prize pools for this tournament have been in the region of $30,000.
But if Psyonix follows up a franchise option, it would give Rocket League esports a significant boost. It is thought that a Rocket League franchised tournament would broadly follow the same structure as other esports leagues such as the Overwatch League and the forthcoming Call of Duty World League.
These both feature limited numbers of franchised team spots that can be bought from the tournament organizer. The competitions follow a format that mirrors American sports like the NFL. This means that there is no promotion or relegation, and audiences would, therefore, gain a greater level of familiarity with the teams.
Each franchise in tournaments like the Overwatch League is linked to a city. Again this has proven to be useful in strengthening connections to a fanbase. Plus the clearly defined tournament format helps to bring in sponsorship deals to further stimulate the growth of the esport.
WHY ROCKET LEAGUE COULD BE A WORLD BEATER
Jeremy Dunham the vice president of Psyonix said that Rocket League has huge potential in esports as a result of its similarity to football. In an interview with Esports Observer, Dunham went on to say that the game is a ‘very nice twist on something familiar’, and could therefore be well suited to tournament play. It could also help to bring in fans of traditional sports who never usually watch esports.
Rocket League was developed and published by Psyonix in 2016. It has commonly been described as ‘soccer, but with rocket powered cars’. The game has since branched out with extra options to mirror sports like basketball and ice hockey.
Upon its release Rocket League was widely praised for its multiplay options, and it soon became a minor esports hit. Already we have seen major esports tournament organizers like ESL and Major League Gaming getting involved in Rocket League competitive gaming.
It’s also worth mentioning that the 2017 ELEAGUE Cup for Rocket League was even aired on the American TV channel TBS. With the game becoming a sleeper hit on streaming platforms like Twitch, it seems that the time could be right for Psyonix to take things to the next level. If the company can pull off a franchised Rocket League tournament, there’s no limit to where this game could head next.