Why play FIFA 20 when you can just play vehicular soccer?
Officials have been looking at ways to keep the United Soccer League active while practicing social distancing to prevent further spread of the Coronavirus. And it is not a surprise that they have turned to video games to fill in the void.
"We just wanted to create something fun and entertaining," said USL Senior Vice President of Digital Lizzie Seedhouse in USL's statement. "More than anything, this tournament will be a great way to give clubs and supporters the ability to come together, compete and have some fun."
USL professional soccer players have proven their skill in soccer stadiums, but it is time for them to take their skill into Rocket League arenas. The 32-team tournament consisting of USL Championship and League 1 is set to begin on March 31 and end on April 25.
About Rocket League
It is a surprise that the league decided to go with Rocket League instead of FIFA. However, it is a good move given the success that the game has had since its launch in 2015.
Rocket League quickly became one of the best and most competitive esports games claiming Best Sports Game at E3, a popular videogame convention, in 2015.
The concept of the game is as simple as soccer; get the ball in the back of the net more times than your opponent. Of course, the demolition derby aspect of the game, rocket-powered cars dynamic arenas and fewer participants add to the personality of the video game.
USL eCup: Rocket League Edition format
Now that you know more about the game, it is time to understand the format of the online competition.
Each club will choose a team captain who will serve as the primary player. However, each team is allowed to have two alternate players available through the course of the tournament.
Eight groups made up of four teams will make up the tournament's group stage.
Each group stage match will be a best-of-three between two players. In week one, each team will play one game. In week two, each team will play the remaining two games of group stages.
The winner of each best-of-three series will be awarded three points while the loser receives no points.
The top two teams of each group advance to the first knockout stage of the tournament which is a round of 16. Unlike group stage matches, all knockout round matches – excluding the final – will be decided by best-of-five series. A best-of-seven series will decide the winner of the first-ever USL eCup: Rocket League Edition.
USL eCup: Rocket League Edition: Groups and teams
USL released the teams and schedule for the tournament.
While we can't wait to get back on the field for the real thing, we couldn't go too long without competition.— Jake Edwards (@EdwardsUSL) March 25, 2020
Congrats to all 32 @USLChampionship and @USLLeagueOne teams participating in the inaugural USL eCup. Look forward to seeing you all in action! pic.twitter.com/QcQ4aKU7D8
North Carolina FC
Reno 1868 FC
Louisville City FC
Austin Bold FC
South Georgia Tormenta FC
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Phoenix Rising FC
San Diego Loyal SC
Toronto FC II
Philadelphia Union II
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Rio Grande Valley FC
San Antonio FC
El Paso Locomotive FC
Saint Louis FC
New York Red Bulls II
North Texas SC
Hartford Athletic FC
Loudoun United FC
OKC Energy FC
Greenville Triumph SC
Las Vegas Lights FC
Birmingham Legion FC
Forward Madison FC
Memphis 901 FC
USL eCup: Rocket League Edition: Charity
The tournament will offer the opportunity for each club to have a local charitable tie-in. Each club will nominate a charity of their liking sharing a link for fans to donate money through Twitch streams and club websites.
How to watch USL eCup: Rocket League Edition?
Every game of the competition will be streamed live on Twitch, the world's leading live streaming platform for gamers. This will allow fans to interact with teams and players via chat through the tournament.