Rocket Street CEO Alejandro Pavon Ruiz speaks about the addition of South America teams to the official Rocket League Championship Series.
A more diverse group of players are heading to the Rocket League World Championship. The competitions newest expansion includes the South American Grand Series — and with it, more than a dozen teams who are bringing more eyes and introducing new competitors to the game.
In an effort to expand their tournaments across the globe, the competitive soccer game with cars, officially added South America to the list of official league play in January.
For the first time since the World Championship started in 2012, players from fourteen teams all over South America are able to compete in their very own Rocket League competition to earn a chance to go to the game’s biggest tournament of the year. The tournament has seen players from Europe and North America when it began in 2012; Oceanic countries joined the league two years after its inception.
The Rocket League Championship Series, currently in its seventh season, partnered with South American professional gaming league Rocket Street, to launch the Grand Series for the continent. The newly formed tournament features South America’s most popular and best Rocket League players and teams.
Alejandro Pavon Ruiz, CEO of Rocket Street, tells Proving Grounds that the inclusion of South America to the RLCS is a big deal not only for Rocket League teams, but for up-and-coming players.
“It’s the first tournament and the first inclusion in RLCS, so the scene is starting to take the next step in terms of maturity,” Ruiz explained to Proving Grounds. “You see more community organizations rise to deliver better quality, [such as] more pro teams getting involved and players starting to think about how they can be pro esports players.”
Ruiz has been hoping for an opportunity for Rocket Street to join the official league and compete across the globe since launching the organization in 2015.
“Since the creation of Rocket Street, we always had that dream to take SAM to the international scene and to organize such [a] tournament. Now these guys have their chance, and we as Rocket Street will do everything in our power to make South America a great Rocket League esports scene.”
The RLCS is streamed live on Twitch to nearly 900,000 followers. The tournament so far has seen nearly 69 million people watch teams compete live around the world. With the introduction of South America, more people will be watching the competition at this year’s Rocket League World Championship.
As for the players and teams included on the South American roster, Ruiz said they are prepared for the challenge.
“I know a lot from the LAN event we had last year and I know many players, like ‘Haberkamper’ [Bruno Haberkamp], are very passionate about the game and are very excited about going against the best in the world in RLCS,” Ruiz explained. Many of the players have anticipated this moment would come and have spent the time perfecting their skills in the game in order to qualify for the Grand Series. “These players have stayed almost 3 years practicing and waiting for their chance.”
Ruiz has kept an eye on the competition and believes the teams are exceeding expectations. “To be honest, it’s going very much as I had expected. The best teams we already knew have already qualified, the players we knew had a lot of potential are getting very serious about practice and execution, and there’s an air of hype around the scene to see what’s going to happen in League Play.”
Ruiz believes after SAM’s inclusion, for the time being, Psyonix won’t add any further new locations to the RLCS roster. After all, bringing South America into the league took a long time to become a reality.
“It took two years from the OCE inclusion to the SAM inclusion in RLCS. I do expect a shorter time for the next region to be included, but not next season.”
Proving Grounds reached out to Psyonix, the creators of Rocket League, to get a comment about SAM and other possible leagues, but they did not reply at the time of publication.
While it may be some time before more countries and teams join the RLCS; the addition of South American teams are sure to open up opportunities for other international competitors and leagues for future seasons. In the meantime South American teams Lowkey Esports and INTZ e-Sports, will be flying out to New Jersey to compete in the Rocket League World Championships on June 21st. Ruiz is confident the South American competition will surprise fans of the game.
“Now they got their chance, and I’m totally confident the world is not prepared for what is coming.”