Rocket League developer Psyonix has released details for its North American Collegiate Rocket League 2021 Spring Season. Before we get into the details let’s talk about what Rocket League is all about.
What is Rocket League?
Rocket League is a sport-based video game that can simply be explained as soccer with cars instead of players. The point of the game is to help your team drive the ball down the field and score in your opponent’s goal.
It is a very technical game that involves advanced dexterity and fast-paced gameplay. As a beginner, it’s easy to learn the simple mechanics of the game since it’s soccer but the best players have spent many hours fine-tuning their mechanics and tricks.
Rocket League and College
At the college level, Rocket League is one of the most popular and growing games. Esports Manager of product at Psyonix, Cory Lanier says that there are about 450 schools involved in Collegiate Rocket League (CRL).
Lanier also said that the 2020 CRL Championship had 70,000 viewers on Twitch. The Electronic Gaming Federation (EGF) President Tyler Schrodt said that about 200 schools have an Esports program. Even though the EGF and CRL both revolve around gaming there is a big difference between the two.
The EGF is like a varsity league. A varsity league is a formal league with a set schedule. Schools in the EGF have an esports program that helps students with their gaming and competitions within the league.
The only way to join the EGF is to have the University you attend must support the league meaning the school backs and recognizes their esports team. Schools in the EGF can pick what game they want to compete in such as Rocket League or League of Legends.
The EGF has their own twitch where they show every competition in the EGF. The CRL operates differently compared to the EGF. The CRL is described as more of a grassroots league. Students don’t need an esports program in their school to compete in the CRL.
Players have to find their team themselves in their school and must sign up for the league under the school’s name. This makes it a lot easier for players to sign and compete in esports. Players are also responsible for the setup and coaching of their team.
Players communicate directly with the league managers instead of a coach or program manager communicating with the league to create a schedule. The CRL has qualifying tournaments and once teams make it past those rounds their matches are streamed on Twitch.
Esports has evolved and is growing incredibly fast in college. A big reason schools are now getting into esports is because it can be used as a recruitment tool for possible students.
Schools have gained support from their athletic departments and have been able to create state-of-the-art gaming facilities for practice and competition and are open to high school students when they come to visit the University.
CRL 2021 Spring Season
The league format this season a lot like the 2020 season. The league will be split up into Western and Eastern Conferences with ten teams from the US and Canada competing.
The 2021 CRL season begins on March 14th and will include a two-day open qualifier that will determine who will join the four pre-seeded teams. After open qualifiers, the league does a double-round-robin that will start March 31st that will go on for 5 weeks, and then regional playoffs will begin in May.
The top four teams from each conference will then move on to conference playoffs and the top two teams of those playoffs will then move on to the single-elimination Spring Championship.
There will be a shared prize pool of $75,000 that is rewarded in the form of scholarships ranging between $2,000 and $5,500. Rocket League’s Twitch channel will be showing the tournament.