Rocket League was first released in 2015 and boy, oh boy, have things changed since then.
Picture yourself as a player four years ago, a time when the very idea of an aerial goal seemed like the Holy Grail. Now, it is possible for players to perform mechanics that we could never have imagined back in the early days of the game.
While there have been dramatic changes in gameplay over the course of four years, there are, of course, many variables at play that ultimately determine how good we get at Rocket League.
In this article, Fasih explores one of these factors: age.
Factors at play
With almost any eSports title, there are a plethora of factors that will affect how quickly a person progresses.
Every gamer will have a unique development path. Rocket League is no exception. A game with very complex mechanics in addition to the team-play element present in doubles and standard modes, it demands long-term commitment to see noticeable progress.
How competent a player is in Rocket League depends on:
- How quickly you pick up new skills
- How effectively you can implement and adopt new skills into gameplay
- How high your personal skill ceiling is
- How well you adapt to your teammates
Younger Players tend to perform better overall
Recently, I conducted a survey of players from the Reddit Community, asking their age and their corresponding ranks in Solo Duels, Doubles, Standard and Solo Standard. I received over 5000 replies and obtained data that showed some very interesting patterns.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the survey was conducted within a sample gleaned mainly from Reddit, who are regularly active on the Rocket league scene. It does not take into account the vast number of casual players who play the game for the sole purpose of having fun.
The results were fascinating. Take the 13-year-old distribution, for example. We see a very small and wide distribution because, out of the sample of 5000, there weren’t many players filling each rank in this age range.
At the 16-year-old mark, there are a large number of players in Platinum and Diamond.
Once the 20-year-old mark has reached, this is when we have the most significant proportion of players in the Champion to Grand Champion Rank. This age, according to the results, would be considered the most optimum age where the player would make the fastest progress in rank.
Once this age has surpassed, notice a decrease in the rank. At age 28, there are almost no Champions present and the most common rank is Platinum to Diamond. At Age 44, most players are found in the Gold region.
This might seem insignificant. However, there is an explanation for these patterns. Young people, especially players up to 20, pick up new material very quickly as compared to older players. The Solo Duels format is heavily based on mechanics, so it’s no surprise that you find younger players excelling in this game mode as opposed to older players.
Mental vs Mechanical vs Age
As we grow older as a population, our decision-making skills and situational awareness improve. We start to become more independent thinkers, capable of making our own decisions, and as we experience more in life, we slowly get better at using these traits.
By the age of 20 or 21, you have both the mechanical and mental capability in Rocket League to go up in rank most quickly.
Your age may define your subconscious play style
This pattern is seemingly visible in the professional scene and amongst many YouTube personalities.
Currently, Gibbs is an RLCS analyst but he used to play for IBP with SadJunior and Kronovi. Kronovi describes his play style as very methodical and thoughtful. For his age, he excels in the mental skill aspect.
Turning to the likes of ScrubKilla and Squishy, who are even younger than me but who can pull off the most ridiculous stunts within the game: for their age, they will excel in mechanical skill. But what’s even more interesting is that they are yet to reach their peak in mental performance.
I hope you have found this article interesting. You are more than welcome to look at the results for yourself.
Hopefully, I will be carrying out more surveys to gauge an even deeper insight across multiple factors.
Make sure to check my Reddit page as I will be posting any polls I carry out onto the page first!