Speaking to Team Singularity's manager, Vel, and Top Blokes' coach, RamS, we analyse what affect the new RLCS X format has on teams
The Rocket League Championships Series (RLCS) Season X is just ten days away, and as the roster lock-ins draw closer, the competition is becoming more tangible by the second. With an action-packed schedule in the new format, the leading sides in the world will have to push the boundaries of their work ethics to stay on top, as the competition looks fiercer than ever.
But how will teams manage the new schedule?
This lies with the managers and players alike. The new format means that professionalism will have to soar, with practice and scrims crucial to success, and the hardest workers will undoubtedly pay dividends. Only if you can find the work hard play hard balance too. In completely unchartered territory for Rocket League Esports players and coaches, we speak to Team Singularity and Top Blokes coaches, Jonas ‘Vel’ Schaffrick and Reece ‘RamS’ Mullins, on how they plan to manage their teams, and whether the new RLCS X format is destined to fire Rocket League into new heights.
Undoubtedly one of the most difficult aspects of the new season is managing time. Competitions such as the Minors and Majors withing RLCS X are going to prove rigorous for teams, especially those that want to sustain themselves at the top level. For a team like Top Blokes who are looking to assert themselves within the top ten sides in Europe RamS believes focus will be the key to success, stating “There will be more frequent tournaments and events, against a variety of teams, so there will be constant chances to prove yourself against other top sides, and get some competitive practise outside of scrims. It means everything is done with a little more urgency. When there is a long off-season with nothing to do, or even during the regular season where it’s just one series per week, it’s easy to be a little lazy or complacent, but this will force teams to be focused for good portions of the season”.
On the contrary, Singularity manager, Vel, explained how they plan on balancing their schedule, explaining that scrims will become limited, with the chance to be competing at the highest level constantly. Elaborating on this, Vel explained “I think it's awesome that there are daily opportunities to compete on a high level. If the schedule is too stacked there will be fewer scrims per day and more RLCS X games, so teams end up at a similar amount of games per day as before. Therefore, I don't see a big problem in keeping players focused”.
For a manager and coach, it appears that everything will be about balance, in order to keep players fresh and focused. “It’s always been about a good balance between time off, and time on Rocket League. I’ve seen plenty of people put in too many hours and burnout of the game, so keeping to scrims most days of the week, and replay analysis sessions to a relatively fixed schedule allows for players (and myself) to work around the rest of their time to relax and do what they want,” explained RamS. With the new format, each Minor is set to be over a week-long, on top of the weekly ‘The Grid’ competition, all of which show a vigorous schedule of competing should you make it far in each series. Stage one, two and the playoffs played within quick succession will result in players being on the top of their game constantly, meaning breaks, where necessary are, will be absolutely crucial through the eyes of the coaches.
“I’ve seen plenty of people put in too many hours and burnout of the game”
Furthermore, leaving time to enjoy the game, as well as competing, is vital. Rocket League is ultimately and entertainment game, alongside the heavy epsorts scene, and many pros also stream to blow off steam and create engaging content which binds them to their fans. With an unrelenting schedule, finding time to relax and have fun is just as important. “[Again,] it’s a balance” explained RamS, adding “if you don’t want to find time for content creation, that’s cool - but I don’t think you’ll have the likes of Scrub, Squishy, Fruity not streaming anymore.
“I guess pros may stream a little less, or make less YouTube content, as it will be a little more intense, but if you have a schedule where you have scrim between 5-7 every night then you know if you wake up at 10am and stream from 11-3pm you’ll have time to eat and relax before scrims too.”
- Read More - The Concerns For RLCS X
Focus comes into play again during the opening stages of the Minors. It can be argued that any player can hype themselves up, somewhat, in a do or die game 5 match in the finals of an S-Tier competition, but getting hyped up to play a team stuck in the midst of the bubble scene is completely different. David and Goliath springs to mind. In any scenario, underdogs have always been present, and complacency is often the downfall of the greater sides, and both managers notice the importance of this and the potential of the bubble scene. Vel states “Our mindset is to play our best we can in every single match. Doesn't matter who we are playing. There are many upcoming and talented bubble players and underestimation can be deadly. Every win is important to collect enough points for worlds".
RamS himself has coached at an RLRS level, with Triple Trouble, before making the transition to Veloce Esports which is now the Top Blokes roster, and his experience there shows, as he explained the mentality the RLCS sides will need to overcome the bubble scene and previous RLRS sides: “You kind of have to have that mentality - “we should beat them”, and so go into a series with a ruthless attitude. I don’t think you would see Liverpool go to match vs Accrington Stanley and just assume they’ve won; you’ve got to be ruthless. The gap between the current RLCS teams and the prospected qualified teams isn’t going to be as severe anymore”. This year's RLCS is arguably the most competitive we've ever had, and it's clear that as a coach/manager, having a ruthless mindest will be infectious on the players and this will be a hugely important factor coming into RLCS X.
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From an organisational perspective, Vel also believes RLCS X is a step in the right direction by Psyonix. Touching on the letter that was sent from 13 organisations to Psyonix which voiced their displeasure, Vel explained why he thought the recent changes addressed the previous concerns of Rocket League esports orgs: “Psyonix did a good job on shortening the off season. This means that there will be RLEsports content every day/week/month which will result in more visibility for organisations, bigger prize pools for the players and more value overall for organisations and sponsors to invest in the RL scene”. Psyonix’s new format doesn’t quite offer the exclusivity that some organisations wanted, however, it’s clear that they had them in mind when formatting RLCS X.
From players, to coaches, to organisations, there a few losers in this format, and RLCS X is set to be a thriller.
Make sure to stay tuned here at GGRecon for the latest Rocket League news as the lock-in deadline for rosters edges closer.
Image via RamS’ Twitter (Left) and Vel’s Twitter (Right).