WePlay Esports Chief Visionary Officer Discusses Rocket League Invitation Production
However, before the RLCS Season kicks off, a colossal pre-season event, hosted by production moguls WePlay Esports, will give us a huge slice of the starting course as new rosters look to compete for $100,000.
Renowned for their cutting-edge production, both offline and online, WePlay Esports is launching its first-ever Rocket League Invitational across both EMEA and NA, with the esports' largest non-RLCS prize pool in nearly two years.
Ahead of the WePlay Esports Invitational, we spoke to Maksym Bilonogov, WePlay Esports' Chief Visionary Officer, about what we can expect in the production and why Rocket League was such a tantalising esport to get involved in.
Firstly, what about Rocket League attracted WePlay Esports to broaden their catalogue of esports tournaments?
Rocket League has been making waves among esports fans for quite some time, so we decided to try working with this title. I suppose that the combination of Rocket League’s peculiarities with our tournament organisation knowledge can create an interesting experience for the community. We have been looking into this game for a long time, and I’m glad to finally get a chance to host an event in it.
As an esports media holding company, we are interested in business development. Our team loves what it does, and the community, based on the feedback we receive after our events, loves what it sees. We know how to make a first-class performance from esports tournaments in Dota 2, CS:GO and fighting disciplines — such events as WePlay AniMajor, WePlay Ultimate Fighting League, WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020 prove this. Although, we strive for more, and for this, we are studying new disciplines.
How will you go about organizing the event, and what can we expect to see in terms of the production element?
During the development of the WePlay Esports Invitational concept, we did not strive to create something completely new within this discipline. On the contrary, we tried to highlight the main characteristics of Rocket League as a title — innovation, expressiveness and drive. You will see all this in the full extent during our live broadcasts. I’m confident there will be things your readers haven’t seen in an esports broadcast before.
What can WePlay Esports offer to Rocket League tournaments that the community has never seen so far?
We are willing to bring our special flavour to the table, one driven by innovation, creativity and merging of concepts.
Today, the level of organisation of esports tournaments is striking in its scale and thoroughness. Tournament operators are keen on organising broadcasting and streaming continuity, picking a good talent crew and setting up a fancy picture. However, this is no longer surprising. The audience wants to see the show and performance. And this is what we do the best — entertainment through competitive events. This is something we can bring to the Rocket League community to the table.
The in-game overlays are often widely discussed in Rocket League, what can we expect to see from WePlay Esports in this respect?
Overlays are a complicated matter. You don’t want to make them from scratch because then the audience will need to get used to the novelty. It’s not ideal for a four-day event. For this tournament, we will be using the standard overlay, with some additional flair.
If we continue working with Rocket League and as our experience with the game grows, we might start introducing more changes.
How important was it to identify the right line-up of talents and casters for the event?
The talent team is the soul and spirit of any esports broadcast. They create an atmosphere that viewers feel while watching. We select talents who not only know the game and can explain its features, but also understand how to evoke emotion in the viewer. The WePlay Esports Invitational is our first Rocket League tournament, but be sure — while watching our broadcast, you will feel as if you met an old friend whom you have known for many years. And that is also thanks to our wonderful talent crew.
People familiar with WePlay Esports will know your creative signature stance is very credible – can you shed any insight on what type of themes and styles you’ll be implementing to the production?
Those, who hear about us not for the first time, know that we are in no hurry to announce surprises and features of the events we're hosting. I can only say that future tournaments will strike even people who don’t usually watch competitive gaming events.
Last season we saw a range of community tournaments prior to RLCS, but WePlay’s is by far the biggest we’ve had this season. Do you think this bodes well for Rocket League Esports to have a more competitive tournament?
We are just starting our journey with Rocket League. Nevertheless, I can already say that we will be glad to work with this title in future within other tournaments.
If you could be in Psyonix, what one element would you add to Rocket League that could help for better production? E.g. more team decals, team goal explosions, coaching roles in-game…?
With Rocket League, we already have a lot of things to keep the audience excited during the game. My team’s job is to make sure the viewers are emotional, curious, and interested to keep watching the show between the matches.
I’m sure Psyonix has a crack team of balance professionals, game designers, and other experts who consider dozens of factors about Rocket League we don’t even realize are there.
The WePlay Esports Invitation is live on the WePlay Rocket League Twitch channel, starting on September 16.