Thousands filled Dickies Arena with their eyes glued to the big screen for the Rocket League World Championships.
The sold-out arena held four best-of-seven matches Friday, the first of three days of the final Main Event. The 10-day event concludes Sunday as top professional players from across the world compete for a $600,000 grand prize.
Rocket League, which is available on all gaming platforms, is a multiplayer video game in which soccer is played with vehicles. Twenty-four professional teams reached Fort Worth by placing in tournaments and seasonal splits.
Théo “Mew” Ponzoni, coach of Team BDS from Europe, said he and his team have been waiting a long time to come to compete at the world championship.
“Just feels amazing to finally be here, as well,” Mew said. “And this is something that is really insane. Because when you see on Twitch, you have like the viewer count and stuff, but you cannot really realize what does it feel in real life.”
Alex “Extra” Paoli of Team BDS said worlds is the most important part of the season, as a loss can erase everything.
“I feel like World Championship is like the most important part,” Paoli said. “Like for me, even the major I will say, I will always take a major as like a preparation for World Championship. For me if you win World Championship, everything that you did before is completely erased.”
Finlay “Rise” Ferguson, 17, of US-based Moist Esports, said Worlds will be something to look back on in the future. But for now, he said it is time to relax and be a kid who is good at video games.
“I think we’re probably the most unprofessional team,” Ferguson said. “Like we literally don’t take it seriously or we just come into play. We should just treat it like a video game instead of treat it like a job.”
Moist Esports will take on Team BDS on Sunday.
“I also think those teams will be nervous on Sunday,” Ferguson said. “Because you know, they’re put in like the best teams right now.”
This story was originally published August 12, 2022 4:29 PM.