In this article, FLuuMP makes the case for Rocket League to be included within the Olympic Games
It sounds odd, doesn’t it? Rocket League an Olympic sport. But that is exactly what is being proposed by Intel, who recently announced that they will sponsor a World Open event at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
But apart from the obvious romanticism of making esports a part of the Olympic Games, this change to the Rocket League calendar could shake things up a little.
The truth is, a lot of the RLCS teams have lucked out with the current requalification system. But just because you can beat certain North American teams multiple seasons in a row, doesn’t mean some RLRS or even a bubble team couldn’t have something you’re not ready for. This is what we saw with the Peeps at Dreamhack Montreal.
By making a competition in which players were organised nationally, then, we might see some new faces in some of the bigger rosters on the Rocket League circuit.
So what will the world look like when Rocket League became an Olympic esport?
It should be pointed out that there actually was a sort of Rocket League Olympics back in 2017 when the League of Rockets hosted the first-ever Rocket League World Cup.
I don’t remember exactly how the teams were selected back then, I just know that it wasn’t some sort of open qualifier.
Regardless, in that tournament, we got a feel for what the international meta was for Rocket League at that time. It was actually quite similar to the Football World Cup.
For example, Finland may be a small country – one of their players, jhzer, wasn’t even a competitive player – but they made it all the way to the finals, beating powerhouse teams like France and the Netherlands.
We got to see players coming together and develop a new sort of chemistry that is otherwise unknown in the game. There were also opportunities for players from places like Brazil who otherwise would never get to play against the major teams or players within RLCS.
It was honestly one of my favourite events in Rocket League history.
Putting Rocket league on the Map
The League of Rockets World Cup was ahead of its time. Since then, we’ve witnessed the unparalleled success of the Fortnite World Cup and the subsequent boom of Fortnite around the world.
A comparable boom would set up Rocket League for the future and could make the game a household name.
I’ve seen this countless times at RLCS: kids will bring their parents or even their whole family and, by day three, these siblings and parents are just as excited about watching the competition.
An event on the scale of a World Cup would have an even bigger pull and could see fans of the game increase to unprecedented levels.
Good, Clean Family Fun
This is more than just about Rocket League being watchable. Rocket League has an edge by being one of the first major esports to NOT have any elements of violence.
Of course, we all know there’s an ongoing debate continuing about violence in video games and whether or not it affects gamers or has an effect on culture.
But regardless of this, it’s tough to pitch many of the popular esports to, say, a high school board.
This is where Rocket League comes into its own: it’s not tough to pitch. I could see most schools getting on board with Rocket League as an esport because it just feels like a regular sport.
Aiming for International Growth
What is the main motivation for Psyonix and Epic Games to be part of the Olympic Games?
According to Jeremy Dunham, one of the long-standing Psyonix employees, having national teams could lead to new potential competitive formats outside of RLCS.
But beyond this, it’s about getting Rocket league out to a broader audience: a more international one.
So like CSGO, it feels like Psyonix are wanting Rocket League to have more leagues and more opportunities for the best players in the world to compete.
Yes, RLCS is the main deal. But even with South America and Oceania added, there are still entire regions who really have nothing in the way of Rocket League competitions. This is the first opportunity to let those players compete against the best in the world.
Tokyo is perfect too because it could allow Rocket League to reach the Asian market in a new way.
So, who do you have winning the Rocket League Olympics?
What do you think the teams will look like? Who will be the main teams competing from each region? Will France be kaydop, fairy peak and chausette?
However you answered these questions, it can hardly be doubted that a Rocket League World Cup would be good for the sport.