TAMPA, Fla. – The United Soccer League and teams from the USL Championship and League One are getting set to square off in a new arena.
On Wednesday, the USL announced the inaugural edition of the USL eCup: Rocket League Edition, which will see 32 teams from across the organization’s professional ranks meet in a month-long tournament featuring one of the most successful and highly-awarded games of all time.
“We just wanted to create something fun and entertaining,” said USL Senior Vice President of Digital Lizzie Seedhouse. “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.”
Launched in 2015, Rocket League has become one of the premier games in esports. With a head-to-head format that models soccer in many ways, the game sees players navigate their vehicles to drive the ball toward the net and score goals. Claiming Best Sports Game at E3 in 2015, Rocket League has continued to accumulate awards in the years since thanks to its immense playability.
The 32 clubs will square off in a one-on-one duel format and each team will be represented by a team captain, who will serve as the primary player, with two alternates available to each team over the course of the tournament. The clubs will be drawn into eight groups of four teams, which will be revealed later today, with the tournament’s group stage set to run between Tuesday, March 31 and Friday, April 10.
Each group stage match will be a best-of-three between the two players. Each team will play once during Week 1 of the group stage, and then twice in Week 2. The winner of each best-of-three series will receive three points in the group standings while the loser departs empty-handed.
The top two teams from each group will then advance to the knockout stage of the tournament, which will be held between Monday, April 13 and Saturday, April 25. Knockout round matches will be staged in a best-of-five series through the Round of 16, Quarterfinals and Semifinals, with the Final to be staged over a best-of-seven series to crown the winner of the tournament’s inaugural edition on the final day.
In addition to the action on the virtual field, the tournament will also offer the opportunity for each club participating in the tournament to have a charitable tie-in locally. Clubs will nominate a charity of their choosing and a link to a donation page will be available for fans to chip in and support throughout the Twitch streams and on club and league websites.
Every game of the USL eCup: Rocket League Edition will be streamed live on Twitch, the world's leading live streaming platform for gamers, allowing fans to interact with teams and players throughout the action. Daily coverage will also be available on USLChampionship.com and USLLeagueOne.com following the teams and players throughout the event.