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The Intel World Open: Jam-Packed With Talent

Written by 

Jens Koornstra

Posted 

11th Jun 2021 15:31

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The Intel World Open (IWO) is a celebration of Rocket League around the world. National teams get to compete on an international stage from July 11 to 14 this summer. But before the Regional Finals in July, Open and Closed Qualifiers for each subregion will determine who is going to represent their country throughout June.

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One man who knows all about the Intel World Open is Tarass "Jar of Jam" Metenčuks. The organisation of IWO brought him in to tell us all about the action unfolding. GGRecon spoke with him about what we can expect from him and the event.

Jar of Jam explains that he’s a host, a caster, and an analyst, all at once. “I think I still identify as the whole of that selection - while I definitely started working in Rocket League as a caster and recently I've been getting more and more hosting opportunities, I'm still not more one than the other.”

“For IWO, I am performing the duties of a co-host, alongside the ever-so-wonderful Thom "F." Badinger, as well as hopping into the role of a host for Closed Qualifiers and Regional events. Right now, we're preparing our second talk show, which would concern the second set of Open Qualifiers, as well as giving an overview for the whole qualification stage.”

There’s a lot to look forward to in the Intel World Open, with Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), the Americas, Asia, and Oceania all participating. “If I had to pick just one thing, it would be the spotlight reaching the regions and countries we almost never see. In some cases, they participate in an event of this calibre for the first time. I'm discovering teams from regions that are not represented in RLCS, and none of them would be on my radar if it wasn't for IWO.”

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Initially, the Intel World Open was supposed to take place in Tokyo, ahead of the Summer Olympics. In the end, the event had to be played online, resulting in Regional Finals instead of one global Final. Each region has its own star players and favourites to win.

“The second round of qualifiers is still happening as we speak, but the US (specifically Team Murica) is the definite favourite for the Americas Regional. Oceania has their reigning champion in Ground Zero Gaming, and Japan's Tokyo Verdy should dominate their region. It's going to be Europe that, in my opinion, has the most range, due to a lot of the teams being split up.”

Usually, we see teams with players from all over the region in RLCS and other competitions. The constraint of national teams forces the players to look for new teammates and form different squads. In the United States, that’s not as much of an issue, with many existing teams already being fully American. In Europe, like Jar of Jam said, it is blowing open the whole scene.

“The dark horse for me, that I would love to see perform well, is any of the lesser-known teams, regardless of the region. Although, as I mentioned, I would love to see small teams go BIG - anyone who doesn't have RLCS experience has my immediate interest.”

This is not the first time we’ve had national teams in Rocket League. In 2017, League of Rockets organised the World Cup, but nothing of that scale has been organised since. Could IWO be what Rocket League needs to fuel interest in the World Cup format again?

“Yes, absolutely. Ever since that event, the unfulfilled interest in the return of something similar was just growing and growing, and I would love for IWO to return for the FIFA World Cup or the next Summer Olympics.”

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An event the size of IWO requires a lot of hands on deck, and Jar of Jam is certainly not the only one working hard. “Oh, everyone from ESL so far has been brilliant. Kasia, our talent manager, Łukasz, our producer, even Agata, our wonderful makeup artist. Shoutouts to Ginel, Wojcek, and Colin "Cjsmurph" as well. There's also a big volunteer team working on bringing out valuable information about players and teams, which we try to incorporate into our shows. Big thanks to all the fellow colleagues who supported me on the way here, and as I'm spending my first weeks here in Poland. And, of course, Thom "F." has been an absolute pleasure not just to work with, but to hang out with as well.”

As the Open Qualifiers continue, and the Closed Qualifiers are on the horizon, Jar of Jam and F. keep covering the Intel World Open straight from Katowice, Poland. It promises to be an action-packed summer, and maybe your country can get on top of it.

 

Images via The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games | ESL Rocket League

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WePlay Esports Chief Visionary Officer Discusses Rocket League Invitation Production

WePlay Holding

Written by 

Jack Marsh

Posted 

17th Sep 2021 20:04

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