By Justice Lee
As with any major esports title, some of the core game modes featured in Rocket League are the competitive playlists. Contrasting with the casual playlists, the competitive playlists match you up against players with a similar rank to yours. Wins and losses also have greater consequences and end in either a boost or drop in a player’s rank respectively. Generally speaking, people will put more effort into games on the competitive playlist than they do in casual play.
One unique feature of Rocket League competitive are the various different game modes you can compete in. Unlike League of Legends or Valorant that have one competitive game mode, Rocket League has seven:
Rumble: 3v3 with random car power-ups
Dropshot: 3v3, but instead of scoring goals, players must break hexagonal floor tiles for the ball to fall into
Hoops: 3v3, but the normal goals are replaced with basketball hoops
Snow Day: 3v3, but the ball has been replaced by a hockey puck
Each different game mode assigns you a different rank, however, the modes that are played the most competitively are Duel, Doubles and Standard. Professional Rocket League matches are played just like the Standard competitive game mode. Here at Vanta Leagues our default game mode for matches is Standard, but if teams are unable to field enough players for a 3v3 we have allowed them to play Doubles or Duel.
Similar to League of Legends and Valorant, Rocket League has competitive ranking tiers. All new players to a competitive playlist will start off in the unranked tier. After playing 10 games in that playlist, the player will then be placed into one of 22 different ranking tiers. Below you will find a list of each tier:
Grand Champion I-III
At the conclusion of each ranked game, your MMR (matchmaking rank) will either go up or down based on a win or loss. However, unlike games like Overwatch that show your numerical MMR adjustment after each game, Rocket League does not reveal this number until players hit Grand Champion.
There are various third-party sites that can estimate your MMR before Grand Champion, but the general gist is that you will gain more MMR when beating opponents with a higher MMR than you and vice versa for losses. Your MMR is not impacted by individual performance, solely by wins and losses.
Climbing the ranked ladder not only feels rewarding on a personal level, it is also one of the best ways to begin to get yourself noticed in the world of esports. RLCS (Rocket League Champion Series) players represent the highest level of competition in the esport and they all started off as random players on the ranked ladder. Through the continual development of their skills they were able to reach the highest ranks in the competitive system and now find themselves playing the game professionally.
That being said, the question is, just how exclusive are the highest ranked players, the Supersonic Legends?
According to Tracker Network, a third-party website that tracks data across a wide range of video game titles, there are only 255 Supersonic Legends in the Standard competitive playlist out of almost 3,000,000 total players. Below you will find the percentage of players in each rank tier:
Grand Champion: 1.47%
Supersonic Legend: 0.01%
One interesting thing to note about Rocket League ranks is that, especially compared to League of Legends, Valorant and Overwatch, a much larger percentage of their player base can be found in the Diamond and above rank. However, the two highest ranks, Grand Champion and Supersonic Legend, are just as exclusive as in any other major esport title.
As the popularity of collegiate esports programs continues to grow, players that find themselves at the higher tiers of Champion or above might be eligible for scholarships based on their skill. Even if scholarship opportunities are not available, many colleges create esport clubs that can be a great place for students to find community and build relationships with their peers.
New players to Rocket League might find the competitive playlists a daunting feature, but if you have aspirations to make esports a part of your future, climbing that mountain is an integral part of the journey.