Rocket League Tournament Will Be Televised On NBC Sports
Television networks have been gaining interest in esports for the past couple of years, and today NBC Sports became the latest network to jump on the trend. It announced today that it’ll broadcast a Rocket League tournament, marking the first time that Rocket League has been televised.
In a press release today, developer Psyonix detailed its new partnership with the NBC Sports Group. The network will broadcast a two vs. two tournament with a $100,000 prize pool this summer. The tournament will begin with regional online qualifying matches organized through the Faceit esports platform, then later rounds will be aired on the NBC Sports App.
The Grand Finals, which take place from August 26-27, will be broadcast on NBCSN, the network’s TV channel, in the United States, and the Syfy channel in the UK, Germany, Australia, and Latin America.
According to Rob Simmelkjaer, senior vice president of NBC Sports Ventures, the network decided to make Rocket League its first foray into esports because it believed that the game is already close enough to sports to make it easy and entertaining for NBC Sports’ current audience.
“We looked at lots of different games in lots of different genres,” he told Mashable. “We ultimately landed on Rocket League for a number of reasons. Number one, it’s growing at a nice clip. We see its audiences are growing.”
“Number two, we thought that it had some sports DNA to it, which would be a good fit for us and for our audience–our sports-loving audience,” he continued. “It’s obviously got this sort of soccer mash-up with with motorsports, which are sports that we cover extensively on NBC Sports Network.”
Psyonix’s head of esports, Josh Watson, also said that the game’s low barrier of entry makes it a good fit for the network. “Rocket League is an easy-to-understand game, which makes it the perfect introduction to esports for fans of all backgrounds and ages,” he stated in a press release.
Other esports that have been or will be broadcast on TV include Heroes of the Storm on ESPN 2 and Injustice 2 on TBS.
Rocket League is currently available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and soon it’ll launch on Nintendo Switch, as well. You can see its Switch announcement trailer at the top of this article. The Switch, Xbox One, and PC versions will have cross-play compatibility, but the PS4 is currently left out. It will be released on Switch this holiday season.
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