At first glance it may seem as though Rocket League is just a fun game to play with your friends (or strangers on the internet). However, like most games that start off with a casual following, there's quite a large competitive scene for Rocket League. If you're interested in not only taking your game to the next level, but potentially winning some cash in the process, we've got the information you need.
Team or Solo
First and foremost, you need to understand that Rocket League can be played in a number of different ways. In a way it's very similar to the Super Smash Bros. series. A lot of casual players want to get as many people as possible into each game, so they play 4v4. However, you won't see many tournaments running 4v4 teams because it just gets too chaotic more often than not.
If you're looking to become a pro player at Rocket League, it's best to start with 2v2 or 3v3 team matches. This helps you learn team work and rotating on offense and defense, while still working on your fundamentals. Once you're good with 2v2 and 3v3, shift your focus to 1v1.
Much like in Smash Bros. a 1v1 game takes an additional set of skills because you don't have any teammates backing you up or covering goal. It forces you to learn when to push the ball and when to hang back to stop a goal. It also improves your ball-handling skills and gives you more experience shooting on goal.
Practice, Practice, Practice
There's nothing more important than practice when it comes to becoming a professional Rocket League player. Get online and play as much as possible. When you lose, don't get upset or blame lag, look at what happened during the loss and figure out what you could've done differently. Even if it was laggy, you could've held back and played more defensively or tried to destroy the opposing team's RC cars to make it harder for them to get in good positions. There are always things you could've gone better or differently when you lose, it's just a matter of identifying those holes in your game and improving your skills to fill the gaps.
Air or Ground
A lot of newcomers watch high-level play and assume you have to have a good aerial game to be a professional Rocket League player. While having advanced options in the air is important, there are plenty of great players who have a more grounded play style. In fact, if you're good at controlling the ball on the ground and preventing it from shooting into the air all the time, that play style is a direct counter to the people who want to get their aerial groove on. You can frustrate these players endlessly if you have a good ground game and keep the ball out of the air.
The bottom line is that there's isn't a set play style that the pros use. You see a wide variety of play styles, some based on keeping the ball on the ground and others based on high-flying antics. Play with whatever style works best for you and take that style to the next level instead of conforming to what other players think.
There are a plethora or tournaments happening for Rocket League all the time. While most are 2v2 or 3v3, there are plenty of tournaments that offer 1v1 or even a few 4v4 team-based events. You can find a listing of open tournaments here or active tournaments here. These listings will give you an idea of what's out there and how much time is needed to compete. If you're looking to play in one of the team tournaments, it's best to have your team ready to go and practice with them. Verbal communication is also very important in team play so make sure you're talking over PSN or you're using PC voice chat software to stay ahead of the curve.