League of Rockets helped grow the 1v1 scene with a unique style of tournaments and high production value.

17:00, 27 May 2020

Many Rocket League fans have come to enjoy the great productions League of Rockets created, but few know the story behind this mysterious tournament organiser. One single person is responsible for giving us the Twelve Titans, The World Cup 2017, and the LoR Games. He wanted to make something special, and he delivered like no one else.

The distinct style of League of Rockets has set him apart from all others right from the start. A voice-over, slow-motion shots, whale sounds. It all began with a Youtube channel in 2016. Nick Sjolinder, also known for creating the viral video “How Animals Eat Their Food” on his channel Mister Epic Mann, likes to play Rocket League and was looking for ways to make content out of his hobby. He launched two cinematic videos on his new channel League of Rockets. But his big breakthrough came a couple of months later with the announcement of the biggest 1v1 tournament Rocket League had ever seen: The Twelve Titans.

The Twelve Titans

The Twelve Titans was an odd tournament. The twelve best 1v1 players in the world were invited to the event, where they had to fight their way through a single-elimination bracket. Every series was just a single game. The players had 5 minutes to prove themselves. The winner of the tournament, Scrub Killa, was awarded all the prize money ($1,000) and the losers were sent home with nothing.

Unlike other events, the Twelve Titans were not broadcast live but were meticulously edited before being published on Twitch and Youtube in January of 2017. A voice-over and sound effects gave the whole event a glamourous look, although many people will say you can hear a whale bellow in the depths below with every goal scored.

The World Cup

League of Rockets worked together with sponsor Bad Panda to organise a World Cup in July of 2017. Every country could bring forth a team to find out which country has the strongest national team. Team USA won the World Cup and half of the $5,000 prize pool. To this day, a tournament of this scale with national teams is unique. The next time the pro players will be able to represent their nation will be during the Intel World Open next year.

ScrubKillaDreamHackjpg
Scrub Killa won both Twelve Titans 1v1 Events | Image via DreamHack

1v1 tournaments

The Twelve Titans were such a success that a year after the first one, The Twelve Titans Year 2 was organised as a LAN event. The format stayed the same, but this time around Psyonix brought in $10,000, of which $9,000 went to the winner. Again, the young 1v1 prodigy Scrub Killa took home the prize.

Nick’s next venture was the LOR Games. Every episode of the LOR Games is one 1v1 series with $1,000 on the line for the winner of the best of seven. The winner moves on to the next episode, with another $1,000 to play for. Fairy Peak!, the runner-up in the Twelve Titans year 2, played in the first episode and kept his winning streak for 6 episodes.

Apart from show matches on Johnnyboi_i’s Twitch stream, there have been few opportunities for the fans to watch high-level 1v1 matches, and for the players to compete in this discipline. League of Rockets played a crucial role in the development of the 1v1 scene for years. Through the Twelve Titans, Scrub Killa got a chance to show his skills to the world before he was even allowed to play in the RLCS.

All nice things…

Unfortunately, League of Rockets has nothing planned for the future. On the 25th of August 2019 Nick announced that he was stepping back from organising tournaments.

On Twitter, Nick doesn’t mention the reason for his departure, but on a Reddit thread about why Rocket League isn’t a bigger esport, he wrote the following comment:

“As a community tournament organiser, I would say Psyonix was very helpful at first but I found myself being ignored and/or restricted by them as time went on. I am grateful for their help early on, particularly with their help on Twelve Titans two, but after that, things changed dramatically and my communication with them became very murky and even disrespectful. It is one of the main reasons I could no longer continue events. I have considered writing on this topic for some time but have more or less feared their further distancing from myself. Figured it’s not worth being afraid of any longer.”

This comment has since been deleted.

Nick mentioned in his announcement on Twitter that he will still be present in the Rocket League community through his involvement with Gif Your Game, the company that also sponsored the LOR Games. He is still active on the League of Rockets Youtube channel and making Rocket League content.

Whilst League of Rockets has been disbanded, the 1v1 scene remains competitive thanks to Nick's initiative, and has its own bracket within FusionRL. You can keep up to date with Fusion and everything Rocket League esports related here at GGRecon.

Image via League of Rockets | Twitter @LORStudios

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