RLCS7 is finally announced, but the details are yet to come. So while we wait for more information, let’s talk about what RLCS needs to get right in order for Rocket League to grow to new heights. We are, however, looking at realistic options only. While having more teams in league play or even a pro circuit in favor of league play are reasonable arguments to improve RLCS as a whole, it’s not going to happen in season 7.
Let’s get the easy answer out the way first. I’ve said this before, as have many, many fans. Organization items to represent your favorite team in-game has been an ongoing debate. Psyonix has left fans confused for a long time now as to why these have still not happened. Fortunately, they did announce back in November that they were to be introduced before the conclusion of the Season 7 LAN. It’s possible we can expect this to be late May or early June. Preferably though, the items should be introduced before even league play starts. That means now is the time to actually talk about how vital it is not just that it is introduced, but how it is introduced.
Psyonix gave themselves some leeway by announcing it to be added before the end of the season. This would allow them to wait and see which organizations will be playing in season 8 as well as focus on the LAN teams first. Regardless, it’s extremely important that they get it right and use all the potential that the idea offers. It would be an excellent opportunity to show potential new fans in-game that something big is about to happen as well as show your colors to the world while the event is actually going on. And we’re not just talking decals and wheels here, but boost, trails, toppers, anything you can put on your car. Go above and beyond the easy solutions. Blue cloud boost for Cloud9, green lasers for Flipsid3 Tactics, their logos left behind as you soar through he air. The sky is the limit! Actually, the arena’s ceiling is, but you get the idea. Organizations are seemingly getting itchy about Rocket League esports, so Psyonix has to prove they can deliver.
A sold out LAN, smaller venue, and selling tickets further in advance
RLCS started off great last season by announcing Las Vegas as its LAN location in the first week. However, tickets did not go on sale until much later. Additionally, the arena was so big that there were large sections of empty seats. There were plenty of spectators, but it simply does not look good when an esport is marketed as “the best esport in the world” and the venue is not sold out. It almost looks desperate.
To remedy this, Psyonix should first and foremost focus on selling tickets the moment the location for Season 7 is announced. This should happen in the first week, like last season. On top of this, the esport is simply not quite big enough for a large venue like the Orleans Arena. Perhaps it would have helped to start selling tickets earlier, but the venue would likely not have sold out regardless. A smaller, sold-out venue looks much better and produces much more hype during the event. Perhaps some people will miss out by not having enough seats, but that is preferable to people losing out because the ticket sale started far too late and were therefore not able to go, only to see all those empty seats on the stream.
RLCS7 LAN in Europe
I don’t say this out of a particular bias against North America. I say this after comparing Seasons 5 and 6 last year. While Season 5 in London was the most incredible event in Rocket League history on the played games and results alone, the crowd was a massive help. There was simply more hype around the matches than ever before. Season 6 was decent in Las Vegas, don’t get me wrong, but it was no match for the crowd across the pond.
Additionally, if we’re to keep up with swapping between the two regions, it’s Europe’s turn again. Europe was already let down once when there were two North American LANs in a row, so in order to keep the European fan-base happy, Psyonix should focus on getting another LAN in the region. We have no reason to believe Psyonix won’t, though, but a reminder never hurts.
Including community faces
No matter what you think of Rocket League content creators, there is no denying how much influence they have over the success of the game. Yet somehow, these content creators are rarely utilized at LANs or even the online streams. There are many famous faces in the Rocket League community that have either openly stated they want to be part of RLCS or have been openly requested by their fans to be present. Think here of new feature announcements on stage, interviews between players and these personalities, fan meet-ups, analyst desk guests and even hosting the entire tournament on stage.
It’s great Psyonix is hiring established talent from the industry to host their events, or even using their own RLCS casters, but in order to draw in the viewers, why not include the established content creators with massive fan bases? The content creators they know are passionate about the game? There are so many opportunities here to draw viewers into the stream as well as the events itself, but Psyonix is not seeing the potential.
Professional players on the analyst desk
It’s done before at both RLCS and third-party events, but it deserves a reminder. Having professional players on the analyst desk, whether eliminated at the tournament or specifically invited, has given us fans amazing insights. The analysts do a good job explaining situations and results, but only the players can give us a glimpse into the mindset. They see things others do not. Cameron “Kronovi” Bills of Rogue was invited to be on the ELEAGUE desk after failing to qualify back in December. This proved an amazing move on ELEAGUE’s part as Kronovi added more to the desk than, respectfully, any analyst ever has. In previous seasons RLCS has done this too, but not enough. In an ideal world, they would have several players on the desk all weekend.
There are many things RLCS can do to improve, some easier than others. But there are small things Psyonix could implement straight off the bat. All they need is to take the risk and open their mindset a little more. Are we missing anything? Got any better ideas or disagree with something? Share your thoughts in the comments below! And remember, keep up to date with RLCS and Rocket League news at Daily Esports!