The AU Rocket League team has found success in their inaugural season.
First-year Head Coach Matt Burnstedt has allowed his players to manage their time and efforts effectively this season. This has led the team to a 7-4 record while they wait on word from the conference to see who will win the conference tiebreaker and make the playoffs.
“Rocket League in its simplest form is soccer, but instead of people, you use RC cars,” said Burnstedt.
Rocket League is a popular video game, hitting its monthly peak in January at over 100,000 concurrent players according to statisca.com.
The Ravens have 33 players on their Esports roster, with four of them specializing in Rocket League. For Rocket League, only three players are on the field at a time for each team.
The Ravens are led by their captain, freshman Jack Long, who was voted into his position by his teammates. Through the regular season, Long has led the way with a cumulative score of 7722 and is second on the team in goals with a total 22.
Burnstedt said that each aspect of the game is worth a different number of points depending on when it happens during the game.
“For example, a goal is worth 100 points and an assist or a save could be worth 50 points and that’s how the scores get added up for the players,” said Burnstedt. “The points for each team don’t determine the outcome of the game, only the goals scored do, but normally the team with the highest score comes out on top.”
In preparation for their games, the Rocket League team reviews replays of previous matches to see where they can improve their game, much like traditional sports teams do.
Though it is their first season, the team’s goal is to win the conference. Burnstedt said that once they can accomplish that goal, they will look at trying to join the Rocket League professional league.
The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) offers 12 games in Esports. The Ravens compete in five of these games: League of Legends, Call of Duty, Rocket League, Valorant and Overwatch.
Burnstedt noted that the Esports teams are open to adding more players.
“The goal is to grow Esports at [AU] into not only a place where gamers can play, but a place where anyone who wants to have fun playing video games can come into the lab and enjoy themselves, so don’t be afraid to reach out,” said Burnstedt.