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Thoughts From Insomnia 57

Thoughts From Insomnia 57

As I sit here besides a peaceful lake, it seems like a good time to reflect on the goings on just a stone’s throw away in the Birmingham NEC. Insomnia 57 is my first gaming festival, and it's made something incredibly obvious to me:

Rocket League is huge.

For those of you who don't know my story, I started playing RL about two weeks after the release of the alpha way back in early 2014. Back then RL was barely a blip on anybody's radar. SARPBC had gone largely unnoticed, and the alpha was only known to a few who had discovered that hidden gem. Luckily for me one of my good friends loved SARPBC, and when he heard about the alpha he made sure to annoy me constantly until I tried it. I was hooked instantly.

Anyway, I'm rambling. My point is, Rocket League back then was tiny. It was played by maybe a hundred people at a time, and that was at its very peak. There was a great community on the Psyonix forums, but it was really small, and pretty much everybody in that community knew who everybody else was.

Fast forward two years to March 2016 and I'm at Insomnia, the biggest gaming festival in the UK. In a stark contrast to those days, it's safe to say that Rocket League is now one of the most popular games out there.

Wandering around the expo hall it was really hard to escape it. Sony had it, Microsoft had it, Razer had it, Asus had it. Wherever you went in the LAN hall, people were playing it. Even a charity dedicated to creating accessible technology were using it for a demonstration. At every turn, it was there. It was quite literally unavoidable.

It's been obvious for a while that Rocket League is a huge thing, but seeing it being played and loved by so many people, in person, really drove that fact home to me. Seeing 100,000 people online or 10,000 concurrent viewers for the Pro League final is incredible, don't get me wrong, but it's hard to visualise how many people that actually is. To see swarms of people of all ages making a beeline to the Rocket League demonstrations, to see a kid drag his Dad over to the Razer stand to play it, to see stupidly long queues to play it, it's just a wonderful experience, and definitely not something I could have ever foreseen back in the alpha days.

The past two years has been an incredible journey, and hopefully just the first chapter in Rocket League’s path to world domination.

Good job, Psyonix!

Site Feature Refocusing

Site Feature Refocusing

So, it's now about nine months since we started this website properly, and how things have changed. While we knew Rocket League had a vast amount of potential, its sheer success took us by surprise as much as everybody else.

The site was originally aimed at a group of probably fifty people back when we first created it, and it's now used by more than 100,000 people a month. As the times have changed so have our goals for the site, so it's time to take a look at what we're doing and where we're going with this thing.

We like to think we've done a pretty good job with the site, but we'll be the first to admit that we could have been done some things better, stayed on top of things better and added new features quicker. As such, it's time to re-evaluate what we offer, and we've decided to do a few things.

In a move akin to the plot of that film where the bloke chops his arm off to survive, we're going to be winding down some of our features that just aren't used. Primarily, we're talking about our tournament creation system. To begin with it was our cool little unique selling point, but as we've grown it's been largely forgotten about, and to be honest, other sites do it better. With the likes of Challonge and Toornament on the scene offering so many more tournament formats and options, it just doesn't make sense for us to pour our (very limited) resources into trying to match what they do. We could, but it doesn't make sense.

Previously completed tournaments and those that have seen recent activity will be left in place, but you won't be able to create new tournaments for much longer, plus we'll be tidying up the sea of inactive tournaments.

We're also going to be cutting back our team profile pages for now. It's likely not the end for these, we still love the idea of allowing teams to show off their rosters and achievements, but to do that we need to take them back to basics and re-build them from the ground up. We want to shift the focus from allowing you to enter tournaments on our site to allowing you to show off what you've achieved in other tournaments. We'll likely ask for some feedback on our ideas there in the future, so if you're interested, keep an eye out.

Lastly, we're going to be disabling our signatures for now. As of yet we don't have Season 2 rank information set up (we're working on it though, don't worry) and some of the other data such as number of items/trophies isn't as useful as we thought it might be when we first created them. We won't rule out bringing them back, but for now if you want to show off your stats, Rocket League Stats' signatures offer largely the same functionality and are ready to go right now.

Away from the cuts, we're going to re-focus our efforts to make sure that our most used features (such as the event finder, the pro team & player pages, news, item database and cinema) are as useful and easy to use as possible. We've had a lot of plans to improve a lot of things for a long time, but with less to work on it should mean that changes can be prioritised properly and implemented more quickly.

If you have any ideas for new features you'd like to see us add to the site please do let us know, we're always on the look-out for new ways that we can improve things for the community!

Thank You!

Thank You!

I'm sure by now you all know how well the Rocket League Central Pro League final went. If not, I wrote a proper article which you can see here that explains what happened, or you can watch it all here if you don't want spoilers. This also contains copious amounts of thank yous (or variations thereupon), so if you're allergic to those, look away now.

I just want to say, on behalf of everybody at Rocket League Central, and from everybody at Rocket League Garage:

THANK YOU

It's safe to say that the past few days are amongst the craziest and best days of my life, and I'm sure it goes without saying that that's the case for the rest of the team too. That final was truly insane, beyond our wildest expectations, so thank you thank you thank you. You all made this happen.

Firstly, thank you to everybody who tuned in to watch throughout the entirety of the Pro League. We were excited most weeks when we hit 3k, but to get ten thousand concurrent viewers wasn't really on anybody's mind. In TeamSpeak before the event started DMRawlings, RLC Ambassador extraordinaire, guessed that we'd hit nine thousand and we all laughed him off. As it happens he actually underestimated, and we can't thank you all enough for coming out. We're terribly sorry about all of the technical issues, we're working on trying to make sure that those don't happen again, but to everybody who put up with them, who put up with us, thank you so, so much!

Donators! You made this event possible. It's no secret that RLC is entirely fan funded at the moment, so without your donations there really wouldn't have been an event. To see so much support for something we do just because we want to help the Rocket League scene is so incredibly heart warming. Whether you donated one dollar or a thousand, from the bottom of all of our hearts, thank you so much. You allowed us to put on this event and give the players something to really fight for.

Now thank you to the players. Paschy, Sikii, Killer, Mike, Marky, Kux, you did us proud, but more importantly you did Rocket League proud. Your actions in that final got Rocket League noticed by some of the largest news outlets with articles on FOX Sports and The Daily Dot, and that's a huge accomplishment. Whatever we did, the event would have been nothing if you guys didn't play as well as you did, so thank you.

Of course, those were just the guys who played the final too. To everybody else who played throughout the Pro League, regardless of how much you played, thank you for being a part of this and for making it such an incredible run. Lach, Fireburner, Sad, Kro, ELMP, Geno, Turbo, Miztik, Jacob, Gambit, Maestro, Sniper, Vogan, Moses, Dadooh, Greazy, Huskih, Stocki, X3, Remkoe, Quinn, Sid, Low, al0t, Vafele, Azi, Edwind, Zane, TJ, Jhzer, Skyline, Prime, Pluto, Kyle, Klassux, Gibbs, Fl0w, Scrub, Amoney, Insolences, Rizzo, Snaski, Dooble, Mecha, you played oh so well throughout, so thank you! I hope you all had as much fun playing as we did watching.

Psyonix, where to begin? Whatever we do, without you guys it wouldn't have been possible. Your game has helped to form friendships, relationships, incredible memories and so much more. Thank you so much to everybody involved in making it, to Dave, Thomas, Corey, Jeremy, Art, Mark, Jared, Luke, Adam, Kyle, Dirk and to everybody else at Psyonix, thank you. Thank you for the game, for your crazy donations at the weekend and for your support. You're all incredible.

Thanks to everybody on the team who helped to put all of these events on. My life has changed significantly for the better since we all teamed up to do this, so thank you for being around, and thank you for working so incredibly hard to accomplish this (oh, and thanks for putting up with me for the best part of a year, but let's not go into that). Laurids, James, Pasch, Cristian, Shalthis, Shogun, DM, Dpants, CJ, Roro, Chewy, Serubi, thanks for all the work you put in to help achieve this. It's been fantastic working with you all, and long may it continue.

Of course, there is one man who's not on that list who orchestrated this entire thing. Without him, none of this would have come together, and I don't think the RL eSports scene would be anywhere near as good as it is if he hadn't been around. CloudFuel, I don't even know where to begin thanking you (although I'll start by not posting that picture of you I have). Never stop what you're doing, you're going to go far.

tl;dr - thanks.