Rocket League needs to bring Midseason Mayhem back


Even if it's not in the middle of the season

Rocket League is currently in its sixth season of competitive esports. The Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) is a grueling five-week gauntlet where every team plays every other squad in their region. Then, the top six square off in the regional championships. Finally, the best squads from North America, Europe, and Oceania meet up at the World Championship -- a LAN tournament that crowns the very best Rocket League players on planet Earth.

It's very serious stuff, but there used to be a very wacky break in the middle of it all. During Seasons 2 and 3 (Fall 2016 and Spring 2017), RLCS paused for Midseason Mayhem. This was a single-elimination one-weekend tournament that had the pros thrown into game types that were outside their comfort zone. It was glorious.

Twitch viewers were the driving force behind Midseason Mayhem. They got to vote for the modes and the modifiers that the pros would play. Sometimes it was simple stuff, such as alternate game types like Rumble or Dropshot. Other times, it was brutal chaos like a pinball modifier that caused the ball to zip across the map on even the lightest of touches.

Midseason Mayhem was so great because it had a weird way of humanizing these players. Top-level Rocket League has gotten so incredibly consistent. Pros don't really mess up. When they do, it's glaringly obvious. They seem more like Rocket League robots to 99 percent of players. There's something highly relatable about watching them completely botch a read on a pinball shot that's zooming across the pitch at a million miles per hour.

(But, Midseason Mayhem was also great because it never gets old watching someone like Fireburner use the spikes power-up to juke the entire other team before air-rolling into the goal:)

So, why was Midseason Mayhem canned? Psyonix's esports operations manager Josh Watson tells us it was a combination of factors. "When we initially introduced the show, our regular season was one week shorter (at four weeks) which allowed for more interesting experiments like Midseason Mayhem. As we moved to a five-week season, it became apparent that the season felt a little long," Watson explains.

He continues "At the time, there was also a big push within our community to standardize the competitive side of the game. After taking into consideration the overall feedback from our community, we moved to a standardized arena layout and as a result Midseason Mayhem felt out of place in our highest competitive atmosphere so it was removed."

Emiliano "Sizz" Benny is a Rogue GG Rocket League pro who played in Midseason Mayhem back in Season 3. Sizz seems to remember it as a neat little detour. "We just [scrimmaged] like normal, kept our usual schedule, and tried to have fun. It was cool because all the players kind of cut loose for it since there weren't any league consequences," he says.

Sizz elaborates "I don't really think it was a distraction. Looking at other esports, they'll usually do something like this nearing the end of a tournament or during a specific event scheduled off just for messing around. So I think the timing could've been better but I don't think it took us out of our flow at all."

Sizz's last point is something Psyonix agrees with. Watson also emphasizes that the best time for this sort of non-sequitur spectacle might not be during league play. "In hindsight, I think the show would have been better suited as a one-off weekend event that did not occur in the middle of the RLCS season," says Watson.

Even though Sizz admits Midseason Mayhem was "definitely fun," there are other appealing options. "I also like the idea of having something more along the lines of an all-star game or some cool LAN meetup with fans. An event like that would let the fans watch the top pros compete in teams they've never seen before doing what they are best at, and I think that would be really fun for everyone."

There's another common thread between Sizz's and Watson's opinions about Midseason Mayhem: It's really up to you. Sizz adds "Ultimately, if the fans like it that's what's important, so I say let them decide!" Watson states "I'd love to revisit [Midseason Mayhem] someday, but that depends largely on community sentiment. If our players and fans ask for it, we will absolutely consider bringing it back for them."

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Brett Makedonski
Brett MakedonskiManaging Editor   gamer profile

While you laughing, we're passing, passing away. So y'all go rest y'all souls, 'Cause I know I'ma meet you up at the crossroads. Y'all know y'all forever got love from them Bone Thugs baby... ... more + disclosures



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