so you want to get into rocket league esports? nice one! rocket league is one of the easiest-to-follow esports for newcomers, with constant exciting moments and incredible plays. the rlcs season 6 world championship will be held nov. 9-11 in las vegas. tickets are on sale now and will be streamed on twitch.
“but i don’t know where to start!” you say. fret not — this article will help you out with all the basics, such as which mechanics to look out for, which teams there are, and who to follow. remember though, this article is for those who are completely unfamiliar with rocket league and its esports.
let’s talk mechanics first. the game might look simple on the outside, but there are some mechanics that may not be obvious at first glance. the game’s physics allows for some pretty freaky stuff.
you may recognize this term from super smash bros. because that’s where it was taken from. the wavedash allows players to gain speed without having to fully flip forward or use boost.
this mechanic is most commonly seen when players come off the wall and land back on the ground. rather than a simple jump from the wall and a landing, players make sure to tilt back their car a little and flip forward the moment their hind wheels hit the floor. this causes their front wheels to slam into the ground, therefore canceling the flip, but still gain the speed boost it grants.
it is sometimes used during dribbling or to catch up quickly to the ball with an unexpected speed boost, and it can make for incredible plays. this is also possible with sideflips and backflips, the former of the two being fairly common.
i obviously won’t have to tell you how amazing these can look and how effective they can be. players take the ball up to the ceiling, drive onto the ceiling, and let themselves fall back down to flip into the ball at a chosen moment. this makes it difficult for the defending player to predict where the ball is going to be. at the highest level, players are finally starting to learn how to defend against these, but you will still often see people going for it because, in reality, they’re really not that difficult to do. if you have a teammate holding your back, it’s okay to go for them since they can defend if you fail or finish your shot if you’re not accurate enough.
the reason this move is possible is that players fall from the ceiling, therefore keeping their flip indefinitely because they never jumped. (jumping gives you a 1.5-second window to use your flip or you will lose it.) players can then choose when to flip into the ball, suddenly changing the direction and putting the defender on the wrong foot… wheel? axle? regardless, it’s an effective way to outplay a goalie.
this mechanic is slowly starting to get mastered by some of the pro players. a car can regain the ability to flip by landing on any surface with all four wheels. you often see this happen with walls and the ceiling, where players get just a slight touch and suddenly jump or flip again.
but where this mechanic really shines is when a player takes the ball up, flies after it, and touches it with all four wheels again, effectively landing on it mid-air. this has the same effect as a ceiling shot, where the ball can suddenly change trajectory when a player regains their flip. the difference is that this skill is much, much harder to pull off and therefore brings out a lot more hype. in very rare cases, players regain their flip by landing on another player.
with teams consisting of just three players (and one substitute), they tend to shuffle between the seasons a lot. former rivals team up and vice versa, which makes for an exciting and unpredictable season every time. however, this also means that some might find it difficult to find that one team to root for. i’ll explain the current world championship team lineups as they are in season 6, starting with…
composed of fireburner, garrettg, and jstn, nrg are the runners-up from last season’s rlcs, losing out on the world championship title by a single goal when dignitas scored in overtime of game 7.
this season they had a weaker league play, but ended up fourth and qualified for the playoffs. then they went back to their old selves and won the north american regionals. they’re first seed going into worlds and look like a contender for the title.
nrg has quickly grown into a crowd favorite, with newcomer jstn already one of the most mechanically gifted players in the world. fireburner and garrettg are two very respected players; often humble and kind, they have fully deserved the praise they are getting, both on a personal and professional level. they are the backbone of nrg and are rock solid in their gameplay.
squishymuffinz and his buddies gimmick and torment blasted onto the scene with attacking plays and mechanical master classes. squishy is one of the more popular streamers, and he built up his stream with his immense mechanical skills. he and long-time friend gimmick picked up torment for their team and immediately started getting results.
cloud9 looks stronger than ever, and their mechanical skills are the reason to follow their every move. they pull insane plays out of nowhere and absolutely overwhelm their opponents with their pace.
with added stoic expressions, c9 has built up a reputation as stone cold killers. they ended league play in first place, but ended up in third place in the regionals. they are still considered the best hots hero team in na by most fans this season, though.
arguably the team with the largest fanbase is g2, consisting of kronovi, rizzo, and jknaps. kronovi is a long-time streamer and was, in the early days, considered by many to be the best player in the world. he’s built up a large fan base of his own that has followed him wherever he goes. he is also the only world champion of season 1 that still plays at the highest level. rizzo is also a popular player, always cheerful and positive. he is very interactive with the fan base and has popular content channels. add to that the immensely skilled jknaps and you have a recipe for a popular team.
while over recent season g2 have performed well during online league play, they tended to be underwhelming in a lan environment. if they have a good day, however, they show they are absolutely not to be taken lightly. they ended league play in second place (with the same win record as cloud9) and lost to nrg in the regional final.
eg are just below the very top of na, but with two veterans and one newcomer, they’ve shown they mean business. klassux is a long-time presence on the scene, as is corruptedg. together, they’ve picked up debutant chicago and almost cruised their way to worlds. they ended third in league play, looking dangerous and one of the stronger teams of na, but couldn’t do much in the playoffs. while they won their first series and therefore qualified for worlds, they quickly collapsed under the pressure of the other three big teams. but if you’re looking for a north american underdog to root for, eg is your team.
while there are four more teams in north america, they failed to make worlds. in the interest of time, i’ll skip those because their season is over. two will be fighting against relegation, and teams may change before season 7 begins.
the final boss of rocket league. consisting of violentpanda (nl), kaydop (fra), and turbopolsa (swe), this team used to be called gale force esports before being picked up by dignitas. they are the back-to-back world champions (with turbopolsa having three consecutive titles) and still look as unbeatable as ever. if you want a team to support that is almost guaranteed to be successful, dignitas is an easy pick. they are by far the favorite to win the world championship, and many even expect them to do it without losing a series.
they swept league play 7-0, won the european regional by winning their two series 4-2 and 4-0, and can’t seem to be stopped. some teams came relatively close, but dignitas always pulled it together. europe tried. it’s up to north america (or oceania) to give it a shot in las vegas.
the name we dem girlz is a joke from the early days of rocket league. the only player still left from that original team is remkoe (nl), who now plays with eyeignite (eng) and metsanauris (fin). last season they were known as envy, but the organization pulled out. they replaced one of their members (deevo) with metsanauris, who unexpectedly came over from crowd favorite complexity. many followed the team closely due to this change, and it clicked immediately.
wdg was expected to make worlds directly by placing top two in league play, but they lost once too many and ended up third. they had to go through the playoffs instead. while they cruised their way to the final of the regional (and therefore qualified), they got completely dismantled by dignitas. they’re heading to worlds as the second seed. still, wdg is one of the best teams in the world and not unlikely to take the title. if you want to support a good team but not go the easy route with dignitas, wdg is a fair choice.
f3 looks to be back. ever since their world championship in season 2, they dropped off and looked like a shell of their former selves. since then, just one player is left from that team with kuxir97 (ita), but he is possibly the most loved player in rocket league. while he’s silent and doesn’t have a big presence on social media and content creation, his individual skills are for many the sole reason to support flipsid3 tactics. he plays with miztik (sco) and yukeo (at).
the current lineup has been together since last season but needed some time to warm up. this season it finally clicked and they performed very well. yukeo was a newcomer last season and has impressed many fans between now and then. miztik is a veteran and quite possibly the most underrated player in the entire scene. kuxir97, as i mentioned, is a phenomenon. it’s going to be exciting to see him at a world championship again, and as luck would have it, he plays kronovi in their first series, a rematch of the season 1 grand final.
this lineup formed before the start of season 4 and was quickly picked up by psg. they consist of ferra (fra), chausette45 (fra), and new member fruity (den). in their first season together, they immediately made it to lan. they ended up in fifth-sixth place, a fairly good result for a new team. the following season they underperformed and ended league play in sixth. they fell in the playoffs and failed to qualify for worlds. tensions rose and something had to change. that change came with bluey being dropped in favor of fruity, a newcomer who had never played in rlcs or rlrs (the lower division). he was a complete unknown to many of the fans.
and what an entrance he made. while psg was inconsistent throughout league play and ended in fifth, they absolutely dominated renault vitality in the playoffs for a lan spot. psg looks dangerous going into worlds as the fourth seed, but they can’t be considered a favorite.
i’m going to be straight with you. i don’t know the oce teams too well outside of their previous world championship performances. what i will tell you, though, is that the two teams that made it are not nobodies. many of these players are consistently at lan and look incredibly close in skill to one another.
this year chiefs esports (torsos, drippay, and kamii) were dethroned and go to lan as the second seed. tainted minds (shadey, express and crowd favorite cjcj) took first place and will head to the world championship as the first seed.
last season, oce left an impression on the scene as a region that might be able to compete with the rest. particularly chiefs had an impressive run, and with tainted minds being so close this season, it’s not unlikely for both teams to start getting some very good results at worlds. if you’re looking for the ultimate underdogs to support, you have to go with either of these teams.
i’ve got your back. not only can you rewatch all the series on the official rocket league esports youtube channel, but i also wrote several recaps of league play and the regionals: