Theoretically, 1pm on the third day of the Major qualifiers is an awkward time to write a column. As I write this intro, the first map of Vici vs Vitality just finished with an overtime win for the French team.
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I’m always on the lookout for video games and esports that are easy to dip into.
There can be a huge divide for people who aren’t familiar with the gaming world and anything that can help to bridge this gap and get more people involved is always a good thing.
Sometimes it’s a game that’s relatively easy to play or understand, or an esport that can be immediately watched and enjoyed by even the most clueless of spectator.
If you’re really lucky, it’s both.
Rocket League is by no means a newcomer to the market and has enjoyed commercial success since its release on PS4 and Microsoft platforms in 2015. It’s a simple if somewhat ridiculous game in premise – just a good old game of soccer between a few toy racing cars – which makes it a perfect platform for introduction.
It’s also not too hard to play, at least at a very basic skill level, and it’s now out on all platforms. Most people can grasp that they need to hit the ball into the opponent’s goal using their little car and will probably manage to get a goal here and there, even if accidentally.
For the Overwatch fans among us, this is the original Lucio Ball, and it’s a little less frustrating. Plus the lack of violence means it’s great for a quick match of couch play with people of all ages.
The same applies to watching, it’s not the kind of esport which needs to be hidden from kids or parents and everyone can tell when a goal is scored. It’s simple and fast-paced without being too fast to follow, and it also requires a lot of skill to make these easily appreciated killer plays.
Currently, you can catch local oceanic play over on Throwdown TV’s Twitch, which are midway through the current league play round robin best of five tournaments, heading into the finals in just a few weeks.
The last set of matches saw the eight competing continue to battle it out and the first match went to Justice Esports after facing off against Avant Gaming.
Justice also managed to one-up Avant in the qualifier with their superior speed but this is only their first win in the league play, as they lost to Order the previous week.
Tainted Minds also secured victory in a 3-0 match against Ground Zero Gaming. Tainted are looking to be one of the stronger teams in this group and maybe the current favourites to take out the finals. Their superior teamwork managed to secure them victory this time after some scrappy early plays.
Unfortunately for Ground Zero, the next game saw them also taken down by Chimpwits, 3-2. If you want to see what neck-and-neck Rocket League can look like, this is the game to go back and watch – the teams exchanged wins, with their fifth an especially close match, which was pushed to a 5-4 game, securing the win from the Chimps.
The next set of games was a little less orthodox, with Chimpwits back taking on Legacy Esports. It looked to be another tit-for-tat match, with both teams exchanging wins, but Game 4 saw Chimpwits player Decka dropping out due to a power outage, handing Legacy the ultimate win.
It’s hard to say which way this game would have gone if not for this unfortunate drop out, so I wouldn’t count Chimpwits out just yet.
The last match for this week saw Chiefs secure a 3-0 victory against Order, to add to the former’s current lossless run during this league. This puts Chiefs firmly up with Tainted Minds as the top teams when the finals commence in mid-October.
Four teams will make it to the finals, in which they’ll not only playoff to take a share of prize money, but also secure two of the places for the Rocket League Champion Series.
Two lucky teams will represent Oceania against the North American and European victors at the RLCS. This competition will see the ten best teams in the world come together to compete for a share of the $US1,000,000 prize pool, in front of a huge live audience.
With the recent Melbourne Esports Opens and Australia’s general success across many games – including recently making it to Blizzcon for the Overwatch World Cup – this media is only going to get bigger. Rocket League is another fantastic entry point, is just plain fun to watch, and now is a great time to get on board before the finals and the Championship Series.