The League of Rockets – The 2017 RL World Cup

You can play for something greater than yourself. That’s the call to arms of The League of Rockets’ World Cup trailer.

This summer will see the first Rocket League World Cup with sixteen countries taking part. We spoke to the person behind The League of Rockets, which is working with Bad Panda and Youtuber JohnnyBoi_i, to produce and run the tournament.

Check for the latest updates for the tournament here; it’ll be available to watch live on LoR’s Twitch channel and then afterward on Bad Panda.

Esports Insider: Can you introduce us to your backstory and the formation of The League of Rockets?

LoR: I’m not going to share too much about myself except that I have been creating videos for quite some time. It’s the foundation for how I approach most of what I do publicly and League of Rockets is no exception.

Regarding League of Rockets, it began with one video on my YouTube channel called “Journey To Greatness – Intro”. I made that video after realising that Rocket League was a sport no different than any other major sport  with regards to the discipline of the mind.

“It’ll be a competition which will mirror the format of the FIFA World Cup”

Players who are at the top in this game are truly talented and I wanted to show that while also showing what it takes to get to that point. This game goes deep and if you want to be good at it, you have to put in the work.

ESI: Tell us more about the format for the World Cup competition. Can you give us any dates?

LoR: It’ll be a competition which will mirror the format of the FIFA World Cup. So we’ll have a group stage, with groups of four and sixteen nations in total, followed by single elimination finals.

We will be announcing the dates shortly. The tournament is being funded by myself and Bad Panda, and the only monetisation of the tournament will be through the Youtube ads from the videos that emerge out of it.

ESI: How were the sixteen nations chosen and, moreover, the players representing each?

LoR: Back when I was working on Twelve Titans, I asked Johnny Boi for help because I was an outsider and felt he was a great voice in the community who was diligent in his knowledge of the scene as well as being a talented caster.

This ended up being a great decision because, along with knowledge of the community, I found that Johnny also cared for the community in a way that a business cannot. This made working with him very easy and I am grateful for his help so far.

That being said, we picked the countries based off their depth of qualified players and decided to include some “non-traditional” continents who had proven themselves. Once the countries were set, Johnny and I then decided on a captain of each country and let them choose their two teammates. We felt that artificially picking a whole team would be taking away a chance for the countries to truly represent themselves.

ESI: You’ve been putting out some excellent and standout promotional videos and graphics – how key is it to use content to stand out with such a plethora of tournaments now in existence?

LoR: Thank you. I only have two things in mind when I’m creating. To make something that I personally want to see and to make it well.

If you make something that’s good, the rest will fall into place. If you make something that’s bad, then you will need to load up on sponsors, trends, gimmicks, and so on in order to find some temporary success. Over the years, video creation (and digital art in general) has become an increasingly accessible craft which means everyone is doing it.

“Over the years, video creation (and digital art in general) has become an increasingly accessible craft which means everyone is doing it”

While, there is nothing wrong with this, the examples we look to for inspiration are being replaced with mass-produced soulless creations which serve no one but their creators. This is true even in Hollywood now. Videos used to have powerful and enchanting qualities about them (and still do), but it’s harder to find them nowadays. I do my best to keep those inspirations in my head along with my own original thoughts and filter out all the rest. It’s the only way I’ll ever enjoy creating.

Regarding the “plethora of tournaments” that come out these days, I think the most important thing to ask yourself is “why” when creating a tournament or anything for that matter. If the answer is money, the community will know. They may not know how to explain it but it’s the same way you know when you meet someone who is genuine towards you versus someone who is putting on a front. It might take some time to figure out, but people will lose interest in those looking to serve only themselves.

If you can build yourself up as someone who is honest, passionate, and creates with integrity…then that’s the best way to start. You may not have top notch graphic, video or hardware at first but keep working hard and bring in talented people who can provide in the areas you are lacking because quality will matter. This will help things go the right way.

ESI: What are your thoughts on British Esports Association’s recent event to promote esports at schools and provide coaching in Rocket League? Bad Panda are involved in coaching…would you like to see this replicated elsewhere?

LoR: It’s interesting. I think on one hand it could provide a way for certain people to find community in their school and learn how to put their mind to something. Especially those who don’t have an interest in outdoor sports.

On the other hand, video games have an inherent tendency to distract people (especially younger people) from life’s priorities and playtime can get out of hand. If you could sort out those who intend on treating esports with the respect and level-headedness that an athlete treats their sport, then I would consider it a good idea. Otherwise, I’m not sure I could give a clear answer.

As for the coaching of course if we want to see improvement in RL as a whole, we should be seeing coaches activated all over the place.  This should already be a common practice in the pro scene, however, it is not even close to that.

“A coach allows a player to focus on playing and not to worry too much about constantly re-evaluating the team as a whole”

There is a reason major sports have coaches who earn a lot of money. Players can only be successful for so long without getting too introspective causing them to lose sight of the big picture.  A coach allows a player to focus on playing and not to worry too much about constantly re-evaluating the team as a whole. Without this added value, players resort to doing things like constantly changing their rosters, inexplicably collapsing mid season, falling off or becoming “washed up” after a few seasons, and so on. Coaches are there to prevent these things from happening and will dedicate their time to the long term improvement of a team.

The only two concerns here are knowing how to find a good coach and knowing how to find a team that is mature enough to respect the inherent authority of a coach.

For individuals looking to be coached, I think it is a great thing and you should take advantage of it if you are able. If you don’t have the time or don’t want to pay for repeat sessions, I think getting a replay analysed by an experienced player that is able to articulate their thoughts is just as good or even better.