Rocket League’s Season 2 Update!
Rocket League continues to expand and capture the hearts of gamers, both casual and competitive, across the world. The hit of last year that ended up being many critics and players favourite game of 2015 was updated with another patch recently, bringing in new maps, cosmetics and changes to ranked play.
Of interest to the ESports community is this patch bringing another change to how the ranking system works. Each season and preseason has tweaked upon the progress of the last and this is no different. The old bronze, silver and gold divisions will be replaced by prospect, challenger, and star divisions, each with their own sub-divisons. Players in Season 2 must play ten placement matches to gain their new rank. Promotion and demotion also now works slightly differently. You will be promoted or demoted when your overall skill rating is consistently in another division. This will generally mean slower promotions and demotions for most, putting less emphasis on single wins and losses. In addition, the ‘Wasteland’ map has been added to ranked matchmaking, adding the spice of variety to the map pool.
The developers have also been busy adding new items, while they have already added some brilliant items with Halloween and Christmas updates, this patch includes a mass of community flags to show your colours, all of which can be placed in the ‘antenna’ slot on your car, and are available without needing to be unlocked.
The biggest part of the update however is undoubtably the new rocket labs. The rocket labs are a testing area for new maps to be released, specificially new map layouts that deviate from the standard stadia. All lab maps currently have the same visual palette, but drastically different designs. The maps, currently named underpass, double goal and utopia retro, look to add a whole new dynamic to the game. Only time will tell if these maps are just for fun or if the hope is to get them into competitive play.
At the moment many tournament organisers just run a single map across best-of-3 or best-of-5 sets. Many games that have multiple map possibilities currently have a pick and ban phase for these sets. With the Wasteland map now in ranked use and the possibility of the maps from the labs joining it, a veto system to allow these maps to be played in competitive play is surely on the horizon. One way or another, with the developers and several big competition organisers all getting involved, Rocket League is set to continue growing through 2016!