Rocket League now has a league of its own.
Game-streaming sight Twitch and developer Psyonix announced today that the game will have its own championship series, giving the soccer/racer hybrid its own competitive league. Registration opens this month for the three-month season with a total prize pool of $75,000. This enters Rocket League into the world of esports, which could be worth $463 million this year and $1.1 billion by 2019, according to market research firm Newzoo. Twitch, which has 100 million community members and 1.7 million broadcasters, has been a big contributor to that growth, since it allows gamers to easily stream and view live competitions.
Rocket League became a surprise hit over the summer, and it grew to 12 million players. It largely found an audience thanks to being a free game to those in the PlayStation Plus program, making it easily the biggest hit from Sony’s subscription service. Those in the championship series will compete in the PlayStation 4 and PC versions of the game, although Psyonix and Twitch note that they could add the recently launched Xbox One version in the future.
In esports, $75,000 is not a huge prize pool. But Rocket League is a unique game. Most popular esports are multiplayer online battle arena games (like League of Legends and Dota 2) or shooters (like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Halo). By comparison, Rocket League is much less conventional game.
Dota 2 had the highest prize pool ever at its International 2015 with $18,429,613.05. Of course, developer Valve used money from fans buying items for its game to achieve such a high number. Most major world championships for popular esports games like League of Legends and Halo float closer to the $2 million range.
Still, you have to start somewhere, and Twitch’s support can help make sure plenty of people watch Rocket League’s championship series.