The world of offline sports has twisted itself in knots trying to keep itself afloat in the COVID era. However, at least parts of the esports world seem to be in rude health, based on the prize pools available.

This week ESL Australia and Psyonix announced that players in the ​ESL Rocket League Oceanic Championship​ will compete for hundreds of thousands of dollars in a new competition. The total prize pool is $US225,000.

On Steam, which some argue is the most popular PC gaming platform in Australia.

Rocket League has consistently stayed within the top 20 of most played games.”

The game’s publisher, Psyonix doesn’t share its data, however, independent trackers say in July Rocket League – where players try to knock a virtual ball into a virtual goal with a virtual vehicle, topped out at 72,000 concurrent users worldwide in July. When Which-50 checked this evening there were almost 22000 concurrent users on the game.

Globally the top esports tournaments can attract prize pools in the tens of millions.

Locally the three top prize pools Which-50 has been able to identify are;

  • Call of Duty World League – A $300k AUD prize pool in 2016 across two $150k stages.
  • IEM Sydney 2019, which boasted a $250,000 USD prize pool (although, this tournament was open to international teams)
  • And the Wargaming.net League Asia-Pacific 2016 Season – which had a $100,000 USD prize pool. Again this was a regional tournament, but the focus was on Australia, and which has a history of an Australian team winning it)

Scheduled to run until ​April 2021​, each match of the tournament will be broadcast live from the ESL Studios, Sydney, to ​Rocket League ​fans across the world, according to organisers.

The tournament will be broken up into three ‘splits’ (‘stages’) played across ​August 2020 – April 2021, ​with each split offering up a prize pool of ​$75,000 USD ​between the top 8 teams of each event. 

The top teams from each split will also earn qualification points towards the ​Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) X Majors ​and the Rocket League World Championship​, ​the pinnacle of ​Rocket League​ competition involving the world’s best ​Rocket League ​teams.

According to Ben Green, Publisher Development Manager at ESL Australia, “​Rocket League ​has always been a leader in the esports space, so the opportunity for us at ESL to partner with Psyonix here in the Oceanic region was something we jumped on. As the future of sport turns towards online platforms, we will look to deliver the evolution of digital competition, starting with the ​ESL Rocket League Oceanic Championship.​”

Players will be able to sign up to the ESL Rocket League Oceanic.”

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