That is Rocket League if you play it all the god damned time. I downloaded Rocket League yesterday from my brother's Playstation account, booted it up, and ignored the exhibition game it offered me as well as the tutorial (do not insult me, O Rocket League) and dove straight into a 27 game season. There were several difficulty levels below "All-Star," all of which I scoffed at. And we're off!
Game 1 Wyrms @ Skyhaws L 1 - 9 (0 - 1)
Imagine an NBA or NHL team were somehow forced to have someone on the field at all times who had never, ever played the sport that they were now competing in at the highest level. This person isn't necessarily unathletic, in fact they could be in incredible shape (the analogy here being that I've spent an embarrassing amount of time playing video games -- I know the way they move, generally), but still. The results will be ... telling.
That was the setup to the Wyrms game and first loss of the season, 9 to 1. It was 8 - 0 and man, did that one goal that we scored (I think it was Merlin? Can't be sure) shine a ray of hope onto our stupid car faces. Onwards and upwards, right.
Game 2 Wyrms @ Rovers L 2 - 6 (0 -2)
Within the first 20 second of play I fucking drilled a goal straight into the god damn goal for a goal. We then proceeded to meltdown. It was during this game that I realized the importance of personifying my teammates and my enemies. Merlin and Sundown are hard to read, Merlin incredibly so. Sundown often does some questionable things on defense (I know this because I get a great, relatively unobstructed view of much of our defensive tactics while I struggle with the controls on the other, empty side of the field), but the second I question him he does something cool. He scored our second and last goal.
The Rovers had a pretty clear enforcer on their team. I saw Buzz destroy my teammates 2 or 3 times through this game, because I guess blowing up your opponents in this game is a thing. I have not yet experienced it, but I fear it greatly. I do not want to be destroyed.
I'm looking at Merlin and Sundown and I do not think either of them are enforcers. This means I have a niche to fill.
Game 3 Express @ Wyrms L 9 - 3 (0 - 3)
The score can't be entirely trusted on this one. In a lot of ways the Wyrms are a team who are finding themselves. I scored a goal that was the equivalent of a put-back dunk, a no-skill effort point I was rewarded for following the ball like a dog chasing after a car, or, less adorably, a terrified kid on a bike. Merlin went off, scoring the first two points of the game.
Still a lot of problems. A look at the box score says that Sundown made neither of his two shots on goal (meanwhile I was 1 - 1 -- thought I'd mention that), he had no assist and four saves. Defensive specialist, right? Wrong. I got very, very worked up about one goal we suffered because Sundown threw it in reverse right as a ball came careening at the goal he was defending. It looked a lot like this.
I like this core. As both team manager, coach, and clear worst player on the team (I have no idea how our personal scores are calculated at the end of game but here were are standings this time -- Merlin with 290, Sundown 180, me with 145) I have to remain optimistic, but my optimism is not forced. I feel like we can go somewhere. I just have to remember the acceleration button and Sundown has to play some god damned defense.
Game 4 Pioneers @ Wyrms L 2 - 6 (0 - 4)
This one was painful. Definitely a step back. Miscommunications everywhere. I did at one point say out loud "CLEAR IT DOWNFIELD, I'M SO OPEN, THERE ARE NO OFFSIDES IN THIS GAME, WE'RE ALL ROCKET CARS." I'm still worked up about these games, even though the progress I want to be seeing isn't always there. That's a good sign. Gotta stay engaged.
Side note: This stadium is awesome! Haven't been talking about the stadiums because they've all been the same, I had assumed up to this point that they were all the same layout with different aesthetic differences, but this one, The Wasteland, it seems to be called, had raised edges as if we were playing in a plate. Why oh why don't sports do this? This is the one thing baseball does better than other sports, it's cool that it's way easier to score home runs in certain ballparks. Fuck whatever difficulties that creates for the people who are supposed to compile advanced statistics, that shit's awesome! As a kid, and then as a teenager, and then as a college student and now still as a post-grad I've always wanted there to be loop-de-loops on highways, or trolls I have to fight in order to get across certain extremely necessary bridges. Sports are escapism, right? Why can't they be more fantastical? Fuck yes, tell me this isn't the craziest map they have.
Oh god looking at the results throughout the league going into Game 5 is not not not encouraging. There are 10 teams and we are now the only 0 - 4 club. Let's change this.
Game 5 Wyrms @ Cyclones L 4 -7 (0 - 5)
Holy shit did I want this one so bad.
I'm obviously very glad that point differential isn't a thing in this league, because our first couple of games would have definitely damned us if that were the case, but this game was so close.
I'm looking at the league. 27 games in a season before the playoffs. 6 of 10 teams go to the playoffs. (The other option was 4. So very glad I chose 6) Is this doable? Yes, when it comes to numbers, yes, very clearly it can be done. Am I going to achieve this? No, probably not. Am I going to play the rest of the season out? Yes. Because Merlin, Sundown and I are going to watch the post-season, and we are going to be hungry. And then there will be the season after that. And then the season after that.
Trust the process.
GAME 6 WYRMS @ MAMMOTHS W 4 - 3 (1 - 5)
THE MAMMOTHS SUCK THE MAMMOTHS SUCK THE MAMMOTHS SUCK
WE HAD THE LEAD WITH 10 SECONDS LEFT AND THEN I BLACKED OUT AND THEY HAD SCORED
AND THEN THEY ESSENTIALLY LET US SCORE FROM THE KICKOFF
BUT IT'S NOT EVEN A KICKOFF, BECAUSE NO TEAM HAS AN ADVANTAGE
IT'S LIKE A JUMP BALL
IMAGINE THAT SOMEHOW THERE WHERE 9 SECONDS LEFT IN A BASKETBALL GAME
YOUR GUY JUMPS INTO THE AIR, CONFIDENTLY CLAIMS THE BALL, IN THE SAME GORGEOUS MOTION SHOOTS AND SCORES
AND THEN THE GAME IS OVER
ROCKET LEAGUE IS THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD
FUCK THE PROCESS
WYRMS 2016 GOING ALL THE WAY
Game 7 Wyrms @ Monarchs L 3 - 6 (1 - 6)
Game 8 Rebels @ Wyrms L 8 - 4 (1 - 7)
Games 9 Wyrms @ Guardians L 2 - 7 (1 - 8)
Not much to say about these. Maybe there was something to the process after all.
Game 10 Wyrms @ Skyhawks W 7 - 6 (2 - 8)
Game 11 Wyrms @ Rovers W 5 - 3 (3 - 8)
Game 12 Express @ Wyrms W 2 - 4 (4 - 8)
What the fuck?
Game 13 Pioneers @ Wyrms L 3 - 2 (4 - 9)
Listen this one is technically a loss, but it's in this game that Wyrms fans really saw what we had in mind for this franchise. Against the Pioneers (The god damn Pioneers! 10 - 3 after this game, they're unstoppable. Can anyone slow Scout down? And does Skyhook get enough credit? [I made Skyhook up, I can't remember any of the other names, I'll be on the lookout next time I play the Pioneers to decided which car will forever be nicknamed Skyhook]) oh shit where was I that parenthetical aside really got away from me
oh right, yes, anyway, this was a really good game, and we won our three previous. The playoffs are no longer a dream. It'll be difficult, but we're only two victories behind the 6th seed (The Express! Those pretenders we handed a 4 - 2 loss to last week!). I've decided that this league is ruthless, and the bottom 2 teams at the end of the regular season get demoted to the next difficult down, known as the Pro-League but more commonly referred to as the No-League, or maybe the So-Bad-League.
The Wyrms will not be demoted to the Faux-League. It's not going to happen. The Wyrms have wormed their way into the hearts of whatever town or city they represent (ideas? This game seems to take place in the future, but I'm willing to spin this into some high fantasy shit), and soon they'll scorch their way into the playoffs.
Where they will probably be eliminated in the first round by the Pioneers, or the Cyclones, if they're lucky.