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A Rocket League tournament change leads to one of the best unsigned teams getting a sponsor

May 09, 2017 2 min read

This year's Rocket League Championship Series regional tournament carried a little more importance than usual. In the first two seasons, the regionals served as a way to determine which teams from North America and Europe would go to the grand finals and how they'd be seeded. For Season 3, there was a guaranteed spot in Season 4 at stake too.

Psyonix has changed the format of the regionals to include this critical caveat: The two teams to make it to the finals would auto-qualify for the next RLCS. This means that they don't have to go through the open qualifiers that all the other squads do. The open qualifiers have proved troublesome in the past; this year, Iris missed the cut and many people consider them to be one of the best teams in the world.

At last weekend's North American regional, team Atelier (whose core players are Matt, Sizz, and Turtle) was playing for more than just a bid in the world championships and a spot in the next RLCS. In all probability, it was playing for a sponsorship too. Atelier is one of the best unsigned teams out there and everyone kind of assumed that them making the top two would lead to a sponsor picking them up. After all, they'd be clear of the uncertainty that their new signing wouldn't even make the tournament for Season 4.

After a bye in the quarterfinals, Atelier downed Denial eSports 4 games to 1 to clinch a spot in the finals. Even the commentators acknowledged how the victory meant a little bit more to Atelier. They were eventually swept by NRG in the finals, meaning that they missed out on a bit more prize money. But, everyone assumed it meant a sponsorship was likely imminent.

Three weeks ahead of the RLCS grand finals in Los Angeles, that prediction came true. Las Vegas-based Rogue decided to dip its toes into the Rocket League waters. Rogue added the Atelier players to its stable of professional teams that already spanned Overwatch, Call of Duty, H1Z1, Vainglory, and CS:GO. They were signed, in all likelihood, because they'd be at Season 3's RLCS and because they're guaranteed to play in Season 4 too.

We reached out to Psyonix about the signing, and the developer confirmed to Destructoid that the team is allowed to compete under whichever name it wants during RLCS. The official rules state that "players or teams may not change their usernames or in-game names without approval from tournament organizers." It seems Psyonix is lenient enough to let them have their day in the sun. Atelier hasn't yet said which name it's using during the grand finals, but it'll most likely be Rogue -- and it's mostly due to what they accomplished during regionals and an alteration to the RLCS format.

@GoingRogueGG [Twitter]

A Rocket League tournament change leads to one of the best unsigned teams getting a sponsor screenshot