Perhaps it’s only natural that Northeastern students Florent Astié, Steven Rose, and Ryan Heminway would win the inaugural Collegiate Rocket League Championship. After all, they grew up playing soccer, and “Rocket League,” a team-based video game, involves hitting a large ball into your opponent’s goal.
The primary difference is that you don’t use your feet to score—you use rocket-powered vehicles. As Heminway explained, “The game has the same feel and flow of soccer, except that it’s played on a small pitch with cars.”
Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University
The 2017 Collegiate Rocket League, which launched this fall, featured 248 teams divided among four regional conferences. Northeastern was one of eight teams to qualify for the league championship, which was held online last weekend. The finals were broadcast on Twitch, which The New Yorker described as “a streaming platform whose popularity has turned recreational gaming into an improbably viable career.”
As a reward for defeating Ohio State in the championship match, Astié, Rose, and Heminway each received a $5,000 scholarship. “People say you should do whatever you enjoy doing,” Astié said. “I’ve always thought of ‘Rocket League’ as a hobby, but it’s wonderful if I can help pay for college by playing games.”