Rocket League’s premier 2v2 competition, NBC and FACEIT’s Universal Open Rocket League, will return this summer for a second season, the companies announced today. Like last year, season two of the Universal Open will feature a $100,000 prize pool and include online qualifiers, live regional finals at NBC’s affiliated sports networks, and a live grand finals event at the end.
Some changes have been made for the second season, however. Europe will have both open and closed online qualifiers this time around, and North America will have open and closed online qualifiers in the run up to the regional finals held around the nation. Ultimately, four teams from NA and four from EU will face off in the grand finals.
In North America, the top teams that come out of regional qualifiers will play in events held at the local studios of four NBC Sports affiliates: NBC Sports Washington, SNY in New York, NBC Sports Chicago, and NBC Sports Bay Area. Ultimately, the whole tournament will culminate in a three-day grand finals event at the NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Connecticut. Last year’s finals were held in Santa Ana, California.
“The inaugural Universal Open Rocket League proved that 2v2 Rocket League matches could be a compelling competition that plays perfectly on livestreams and broadcast. Most importantly, it gives the community, from the aspiring grassroots players to established powerhouses, an opportunity to take part and showcase their skills and dedication to a huge audience,” said Michele Attisani, co-founder and chief business officer of FACEIT.
“This year promises to be bigger and better, with greater production level [and] more livestreaming and broadcast content,” he continued. “We look forward to players proving once again that the Universal Open Rocket League represents the future of esports.”
NBC and FACEIT plan to produce more than 100 total hours of content between streaming and television outlets, with NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, and “additional platforms” airing live coverage of the regional and grand finals. Meanwhile, the NBCSN channel itself will air the “Road to the Universal Open,” which includes the regional and grand finals. That sounds a bit like the format used by The ELEAGUE Cup: Rocket League late last year, but we don’t have further details on the UORL’s television format this time around.
Brisk Iced Tea has signed up as a presenting sponsor for this season of the Universal Open Rocket League, and is shown alongside retailer 7-Eleven on the season’s logo. Rocket League casters Caleb “WavePunk” Simmons and Mike “Quinn Lobdell” Behrouzi will feature in a commercial for a limited edition flavor of the drink that will be available at 7-Eleven this summer.
Last year’s Universal Open was initially met with frustration by some players, both due to the atypical 2v2 pro format and the need to split up established 3v3 teams. Ultimately, however, most of the game’s top teams participated in some form, with Gale Force Esports (Jos “ViolentPanda” van Meurs and Alexandre “Kaydop” Courant) winning the tournament plus squads like Method, G2 Esports, Cloud9, and FlipSid3 Tactics all in the mix at the grand finals.
Registration for this season’s open qualifiers has now begun, and a full list of rules should be available now as well. Here’s a look at the schedule of events:
May 28-29 – Northeast Open Qualifier 1
June 5-6 – East Open Qualifier 1
June 11-12 – Northeast Open Qualifier 2
June 13-14 – Central Open Qualifier 1
June 16 – Central Open Qualifier 2
June 17 – West Open Qualifier 1
June 18-19 – East Open Qualifier 2
June 20-21 – West Open Qualifier 2
June 25-26 – European Open Qualifier 1
June 26-28 – East Closed Qualifier
June 27-28 – European Open Qualifier 2
July 2-3 – European Open Qualifier 3
July 3-5 – Northeast Closed Qualifier
July 4-5 – European Open Qualifier 4
July 24-26 – Central Closed Qualifier
July 31-August 2 – West Closed Qualifier
August 7-9 – European Closed Qualifier
July 28 – East Regional Final, NBC Sports Washington
July 29 – Northeast Regional Final, SNY
August 5 – Central Regional Final, NBC Sports Chicago
August 11 – West Regional Final, NBC Sports Bay Area
August 24-26 – Grand Finals, NBC Sports Group International Broadcast Center