As of 1pm EST on February 21st, 2018, Psyonix dropped their first beta attempt at “Rocket League Tournaments”, a new client-based system where players and organizations alike can run, join, and win tournaments, all within the Rocket League game itself. The beta release is open only for PC players through the Steam “Betas” function, and has ran from February 21st until Monday, February 26 at 11am PST (2pm EST/8pm CET). After a short amount of time in-game, I have compiled a short list of pros, cons, and first impressions to help anyone debating on joining the beta to make their decision.
Firstly, however, I view it as important to give a few disclaimers on my experience in-game. I am a Champion Two levelled player, and I participated in five 1v1 tournaments, one 2v2 tournament, and one 3v3 tournament over the first two days of the beta. The 1v1 tournaments varied in maximum and minimum ranks, where as the 2v2 tournament maxed out at Champ One (while I was still there) and the 3v3 maxed out at Grand Champion. I definitely ran into a few bugs, but continue reading to get into that.
- Players gain the ability to feel like a pro and compete on a team. They can feel the adrenaline of seeing their own team name on scoreboards and in brackets, and the registration system is quick and easy.
- The user interface is clean and polished. Along with some minor touch ups like a transparent scoreboard background and new connectivity logos, the newer interface feels like a higher quality Rocket League.
- The tournament host setup is extensive and largely customizable. Ranging from changing the series lengths for certain rounds to adding mutators to tournaments, the hosting function allows for the wildest of tournaments to be run alongside with professional and organized ones.
- Several great quality of life changes. The update brings in the ability to queue and play Freeplay while waiting for tournaments or the next round to start, as well as small things like showing a more consistent image for connection drops and a wider variety of colours for car selection.
- Third party apps can’t run at the same time. Your game will crash as soon as you join your first tournament if they are running. Sadly this means no Alpha Console or other game modifiers.
- Some connectivity/frame rate issues. Overall they did not produce many problems, but the game flow feels more like an unfinished Rocket League than the obviously polished standard game
- Most player-run tournaments are dominated by tournament hosts. Most hosts I saw only ran tournaments with caps at their current rank, so that they wouldn’t have any major competition above them.
- Hard to always find a tournament. Due to the smaller number of players on the beta, it is hard to find a tournament consistently, and sometimes you are waiting for a lengthy amount of time.
- No team name filter resulting in less-than-professional names. In just two days of beta experience, I saw more questionable team names than good ones, resulting in a bit of a tarnished professional experience.
- Getting to and from the beta requires patience. In order to join the beta, you must download and install over 2 gigabytes of data, with the same process for over 3 gigabytes having to be done to return to the base game.
Through all of the ups and downs, Rocket League Tournaments was a truly enjoyable time. The tournament setup is a great way to feel like you’re involved in something more than just a game, and already players and organizations are offering prizes for winning tournaments (depending on how trustworthy the source looks). Although it is hard to deduce many solid positives for the beta, the experience itself is just a fun and a great new way to play. The negatives are small and easily fixable following the beta, and Rocket League Tournaments will prove to be a great addition to the base game following its release this quarter.
Impressions from the Pro Scene:
Similar to the points above, the pros seemed to like the tournament setup minus a few quirks here and there. Many of the pros such as SquishyMuffinz and Kronovi have streamed in the beta extensively, while others have shared their praises and struggles over the past three days of the beta:
Ok, so the new tournament thing is cool and all…. but can we talk about the extended color palette?!?!?! ???
— CloudFuel (@CloudFuel) 21. Februar 2018
How do you install the tournaments beta in a different folder so you don’t have to re-download the game every time you switch? If that’s possible.
— Doomsee (@Doomseee) 21. Februar 2018
— Dan Bluett (@BlueyRL) 21. Februar 2018
hey guys just logged onto twitter to let you all know i’m participating in a mutator 1v1 and am currently in the finals!! wish luck plz >;DD
— Brandon (@Lachinio) 22. Februar 2018
With only a few days left in the beta, any PC players should at least take the time to try the beta and give their feedback on the Rocket League subreddit. If you want to give it a try, click here to learn how.