The Rocket League World Cup, a historic event

Rocket League

Report

11/07/2024 - 5'

The top 16 countries will take part in the World Cup

On 23 June, FIFA announced the creation of a Rocket League World Cup by nation. This will be integrated into the eWorld Cup, which until now has been played exclusively on the football simulation, and will bring together the best teams from 16 countries in a global tournament - an extremely rare occurrence in esports circles. This isn't exactly the first competition of its kind on Psyonix's licence: in July 2021, the nations also met as part of the Intel World Open (IWO), an event co-organized by the International Olympic Committee.

But while this tournament should have been played on LAN alongside the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the Covid-19 pandemic forced the organizers to revise their ambitions. The IWO ended up being played offline, but was above all 'regionalized', with four competitions in four different regions, resulting in four winners: France for the EMEA region, the United States for the Americas, Japan for continental Asia and Australia for maritime Asia/Oceania.

A revival for Rocket League

This new competition will therefore be a second attempt, but this time it should be a grand premiere. It will be an opportunity to fuel regional rivalries between the game's major powers, led by North America (NA) and Europe (EU), known for their epic battles in the RLCS, the official club circuit. While the Middle East and Brazil are gradually making a name for themselves in the global Rocket League hierarchy, Europe and the NA have so far monopolized all the titles at international events: the Majors and the Worlds.

Beyond its competitive appeal, the World Cup could well be just the boost Rocket League needs. If some people no longer hesitate to describe the game as a "dead game", pointing the finger at the lack of recent updates and technical challenges such as DDoS attacks, this event promises to renew interest and enthusiasm around the licence. By showcasing the raw talent of the best national players raising their nations' flag and providing a platform for thrilling clashes, the World Cup could captivate a new generation of spectators and competitors, while redefining expectations for Rocket League esports.

France-United States, the two giants

The favourites are, logically enough, mainly European and North American teams. Among them, France is perhaps the best suited: in 2023, France dominated the competitive ecosystem with the infernal trio Karmine Corp-Vitality-BDS, almost always present in the top 4. Although this supremacy was dented at the Major in London last June, the arrival of Gentle Mates Alpine on the circuit in 2024 helped to consolidate French over-representation in the upper echelons. M8 and their two Frenchmen won the first Major of the year in Copenhagen.

Above all, the French undoubtedly have the largest pool of talent, particularly around their two young stars Axel "Vatira" Touret (Karmine Corp) and Alexis "Zen" Bernier (Vitality). Two friends that, until now, have always been rivals, and that many dream of seeing evolve together. But as good as they are, even these two geniuses would not necessarily have a guaranteed place in a possible trio, given the stiff competition for the blue jersey. Overall, around ten players are likely to be eligible for inclusion in the squad, and choosing just three will probably be a real headache.

The United States will legitimately have the same ambitions as the French: the title. And with good reason: the G2 Stride trio, winners of the last Major and unfortunate finalists in Denmark, is made up of three American players. The Samurai have enjoyed an impressive rise to prominence, thanks in particular to their star player, Landon "BeastMode" Konerman. Their performance in London was spectacular and place G2 - and therefore potentially the US team - at the top of the hierarchy. Yet here too, places will be hard to come by, as beyond the G2 trio, the country has a wide choice of players to try and create the best combination.

Many and serious outsiders

Behind this tandem, there are other nations to keep an eye on. First of all, Saudi Arabia, whose representatives failed to reach the final of the London Major under the banner of Team Falcons. Known as a 1v1 specialist, Saleh Abdullah "Rw9" Bakhashwin is perhaps the best example of the rise of his region, which can now look the big ones in the eye. Over the past year, Saudi Arabia has been inching closer to the Holy Grail, and the World Cup could be the best time to confirm this arrival at the forefront.

Then there's Morocco, who may not have a large pool of excellent players but could field a more than promising trio in Amine "itachi" Benayachi (Gentle Mates), Samy "dralii" (BDS) and the now ex-M80 Nassim "nass" Bali. Brazil, with the FURIA trio, Spain, England and Belgium will undoubtedly be among the qualified teams and will also be ones to watch, although they seem to be a little less prepared.

Here is our selection of the top 10 countries that could take part, with a few players to keep an eye on:

  • United States: Atomic, BeastMode, Chicago, Chronic, Comm, Daniel, Firstkiller, hockser, Lj…
  • France: Alpha54, ExoTiiK, Juicy, M0nkey M00n, Radosin, Seikoo, Vatira, zen…
  • Spain: CRR, AtomiK, MaRc_By_8, stizzy, TehQoz, Dorito…
  • Belgium: AztraL, Compact, Atow. …
  • Morocco: Itachi, Drali, Nass…
  • Australia: Amphis, bananahead, Fever, Fibërr, Superlachie, Torsos…
  • Brazil: brad, DRUFHINO, kv1, Lostt, Motta, yANXNZ…
  • Saudi Arabia: Kiileerrz, Mesho, Nwpo, Rw9, trk511, Venom…
  • England: ApparentlyJack, noly, rise, Joyo, Kash, Eekso​…
  • Canada: Lethamyr, JKnaps, blaze. …

A clash of styles

The event will also see a convergence of different styles of play, influenced by the home regions of the participating teams. Here's a look at the specific characteristics and strengths of some of these key regions:

North America (NA): Known for their aggressive approach and fast-paced gameplay, North American teams often favour direct attacks and solid defence. Players like Massimo "Atomic" Franceschi and Jason "Firstkiller" Corral are renowned for their flawless game mechanics and ability to capitalise on opponents' mistakes.

South America (SAM): Renowned for their explosive and unpredictable game, South Americans are renowned for their agility and ability to create shooting opportunities through quick movement and effective counter-attacks. Players like Enzo "tander" Toledo and Facundo "shad" Vallerino stand out for their flair for hard-hitting individual moves and their ability to improvise in hectic game situations.

Europe (EU): Known for its collective and tactical play, Europe often favours precise control of the pitch and outstanding coordination between team-mates. Teams like Team Vitality and Team BDS dominate by exploiting their synchronisation and ability to read the game accurately.

Middle East and North Africa (MENA): Rapidly emerging on the international scene, this region brings a dynamic and unpredictable style of play. MENA teams, like Team Falcons, stand out for their creativity and ability to surprise opponents with innovative strategies and solid individual mechanics.


- Genjusama -