Collegiate Esports done right: The case for University Rocket League
By nurturing the youth, we ensure the future of what we treasure.
That’s plausibly what the folks at Rocket League believe when they introduced the Collegiate Rocket League. For starters, collegiate esports isn’t just your average amateur league, instead, it’s a well-funded, consistent, and sustainable playing field for university undergraduates and graduate students to pursue their esports careers.
Nevertheless, we have seen plenty of bad collegiate esports over the last decade, so hat’s off for Rocket League’s impressive take on collegiate esports.
Rocket League Collegiate Esports programs in Europe and North America
Collegiate Rocket League
Since its introduction in Fall 2017, the CRL has spent approximately $790,000 in prize pool. And don’t get us started on the infrastructure and US Universities’ Esports programs that partner colleges spent on maintaining.
Every season has two qualifiers, the eastern and western regions of North America. Then, the top twelve teams from both regions gather to play in a finale with a $50,000 prize pool up for grabs. The prize winnings aside, it’s evident that many colleges and universities support the program as we often see consistent participants throughout the years.
European University Rocketeers’ Championship
Psyonix did not miss out on the European scene as well, with its first grand prize pool beginning the season 2021-22. After the concerning state of collegiate esports in 2021, it’s a no-brainer that EU deserves their very own collegiate esports program. Furthermore, the EURC has more diverse and larger participation, so it resorted to having group stages of 8-10 teams per league.
This is probably the biggest W for Rocket League. University Esports programs across Europe are lagging far behind the US and even China. Rocket League is the first esport next to maybe League of Legends to truly tackle esports in academia well.
Emerging talents from Collegiate Esports
Among the top competitors, University of Akron stands out as a multi-time NA champion, raking over $150,000 since their debut in Spring 2019. The key players representing University of Akron are Buzz “buzz” Krager, Isaac “Reticence” Stecker, and Tristan “.tristn” Roberts. If these prodigies continue to showcase their overwhelming talent, we might just see them in upcoming pro leagues for sure.
Speaking of prodigies, the Collegiate Rocket League has produced several pro players to-date. Most notably, Braxton “Allushin” Lagarec, 22-years-old student at Northwood University, currently coaches the French powerhouse, Team Envy. Allushin has a longer Esports career as he was once a Faze Clan player himself and played actively for Envy much earlier too.
Besides him, Alexander “Buddy” Che is another noteworthy mention. He currently plays competitive for Litecoin Gaming and is still affiliated with Northwood University too. Maik “Tigreee” Hoffmann, who currently plays for Natus Vincere, and Berlin Phoenix. Tigreee is a good role model as a participant in the recent RLCS 2021-22 Winter Major.
Besides professional players, others have ventured into alternative Esports careers, such as Liam “Cha0s” De Cuypere. The Belgian caster’s most notable debut is when he commentated for the RLCS Season X Spring Europe Regional.
As Psyonix continues to fund the Collegiate Rocket League, we can certainly expect more rising stars to emerge into the Rocket League pro scene.
Support University Esports
Frankly, don’t expect university esports to be as thrilling as watching the best Rocket League players brawl it out. After all, a big chunk of adrenaline-filled Rocket League fun is in pulling off impossible goal shots.
However, it’s crucial to nurture the young generation’s potential. Performance in gaming is often synonymous with players’ age, which affects their reflex and intuition in-game. There’s only so much experience a veteran player can leverage as their advantage over prodigies that have quicker reaction time.
Watch the Collegiate Rocket League
Much like Rocket League’s brainchild, the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS), the CRL and EURC have series every season. The European University Rocketeers’ Championship 2022 is currently underway, with the group stage expected to conclude on March 17.
Whereas the CRL Spring 2022 Championship is happening at the end of March 2022. Psyonix consistently features both series on its official Twitter page, Rocket League Esports. Interested fans can follow the page for updates on every series. Additionally, the University Rocketeers Twitter page is community-managed by Rocket League enthusiasts.
For stream coverage, we are glad to inform that Psonix also covers the upcoming CRL Spring 2022 Championship and EURC2022 on Twitch channels, CollegeCarball, and European University Rocketeers on Twitch respectively.
Can you join Collegiate Esports?
Does participating in University Esports sound enticing? Well, if you are an undergraduate in any of the partner universities offering esports programs, then you’re in luck. We got you covered on University Esports.