USL looks to Rocket League to maintain engagement
In the middle of a coronavirus-enforced tournament break, the USL has decided to run a tournament in Rocket League. The USL or United Soccer League oversees the US club soccer and has now launched a month-long esports competition.
The idea is to keep soccer fans engaged during the pause that has been forced by the virus. Indeed, all sorts of sports and even esports tournaments have been cancelled by the current crisis, but some esports leagues have taken to setting up alternatives for fans. One of them was the Codemasters F1 tournament that has been set up for F1 fans… and now the USL is focusing on Rocket League to do the same.
The USL eCup: Rocket League Edition
The USL eCup: Rocket League Edition will be the first gaming venture set up by the USL. It’ll feature a total of 32 clubs from the second-tier Championship and third-tier USL League One. This will allow for eight groups of four teams each to compete in the group stages.
Starting from March 31st, the group stage is set to run until the April 10th. Only the top two teams of each group will advance to the knockout stages happening between the 13th and the 25th of April. Not unexpectedly, the entire thing will be streamed on Twitch, as well as on USL websites – specifically the USL Championship and USL League One sites.
Keeping things going
In addition to the competition itself, each time will also be fostering a charity, with a live donation page set up for each competition. Each club will have their charity integrated into the Twitch streams as well.
This is all aimed at encouraging engagement between fans and clubs. Other football clubs are also following in this track – the Spanish La Liga has also set up an esports competition, although in FIFA instead of Rocket League. Similarly, the British club Leyton Orient has also done the same.
How well this will go remains to be seen, but as per the success of the F1 esports competition, it may just work. Fans and participants alike were happy with how the tournament turned out. Hopefully the same thing will happen with this Rocket League tournament – the USL is certainly a big enough name to draw plenty of interest.
As far as Rocket League itself goes, the game just released its latest update with version 1.75, only to immediately face issues with server outages on the 26th of March. Less than two days after the most recent update, Xbox servers went down under a series of technical glitches and issues. Online gameplay has been troubled at best, yet other platforms did not report the same problems.
With just a little under a week left before the start of the tournament, Rocket League will hopefully be able to resolve its problems in time. Problems were particularly persistent in Western Europe and Eastern and Central America.