Rocket League is truly unique when it comes to Esports. Most of the mainstream Esports are either MOBA or FPS. Football is yet to make it big, even with FIFA available it has not made it into Tier 1 Esports. Racing is another genre that looks good on paper being a candidate to make it big in Esports. But neither Football or Racing have made a significant impact.
Needed was obviously a mix of Soccer and Racing played out in futuristic Arenas with players navigating battle-cars. Rocket League Esports can be classified as a Battle Arena game with football and racing elements.
Rocket League Esports
Rocket League made an easy transition into Esports as it is very easy to understand. The gameplay is straightforward and anyone familiar with normal football understands what it is about. This have a great impact on viewership number.
Esports can be difficult to understand.
If we take Overwatch for example there are a lot of things going on. Even someone familiar with FPS will have a hard time understanding what is happening in a match.
Taking this argument further, Dota 2 is literally impossible to follow if you never played a MOBA before. Even with MOBA experience a viewer might find it hard to follow everything that is happening in a match. Valve went to great lengths recently when they added a Newbie stream along with the regular stream for The International in order to explain for new viewers and casual gamers.
This would never be needed for Rocket League as anyone can follow what is happening, when there was a good play and what the scores are. It does not hurt that the game design and effects are beautiful to go along with easy to understand game mechanics.
The different Esports Tiers and metrics. Titles mentioned are just examples on Esports belonging to specific tiers with the exception of Tier 1 where all qualified titles are mentioned. This data is subject to change or fluctuate as some numbers are driven by hype. For example PUBG saw unprecedented growth last year but is not yet considered a Tier 1 Esports thanks to small prize pools, this may come to change during 2018.
|Tier 1||Monthly Active Users||Annual Prize Pool||Monthly Hours Watched||Titles|
|> 8 Million||> $5 Million||> 20 Million|
|Tier 2||Monthly Active Users||Annual Prize Pool||Monthly Hours Watched||Titles|
|> 1.5 Million||> $1 Million||> 2 Million|
|Heroes of The Storm|
|World of Tanks|
|Tier 3||Monthly Active Users||Annual Prize Pool||Monthly Hours Watched||Titles|
|> 500 K||> $100 K||> 200 K|
|Super Smash Bros|
|Street Fighter V|
Rocket League 2018
During 2017 Rocket League skyrocketed and exceeded the expectations of everyone. In January 2017 Rocket League was positioned as a Tier 3 and experts projected that Rocket League would break into Tier 2 by the end of the year. It shattered the benchmarks even before summer. When the prize pool of Rocket League Championship Series Season 4 was announced it was official that Rocket League had made it to Tier 2.
The hike between Tier 2 and Tier 1 is significantly larger.
Rocket League already exceed the Monthly Active Users by far, the game exceeded 38 million players in December 2017.
During 2017 the annual prize pool was just north of $1 Million for Rocket League Esports tournaments. This number will increase during 2018 but it will be far from the $5 Million needed for Tier 1 recognition.
Monthly Hours Watched is also behind with 1,6 Million viewing hours for competitive Rocket League and 3,1 Million streaming hours during 2017 (according to Newzoo), well below the 20 Million needed for Tier 1.
However Rocket League as an Esports is looking great and is well positioned for continued accelerated growth despite being far from Tier 1. Psyonix invested $2,5 Million during 2017 in order to develop and position Rocket League as an Esports. These investments are likely to continue as Rocket League grows in popularity on all verticals. They recently added new in-game functionality: Esports Live Button (fans can watch Esports matches in game client), they added new tournaments, larger prize pools and expanded to new regions and viewer item awards. They also signed deals with major players like NBC, ESL, Gfinity, DreamHack and many more.
They even attracted conventional sponsors such as 7Eleven, Old Spice, Blockbuster Movies and Mobil1.
All this is super exciting and we are looking forward to follow Rocket League during 2018.
We hope to contribute in a small way through our RLCrate community giving exposure to Rocket League in different channels while enjoying the show.
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