The first Rocket League Championship Series is already underway, pitting players of cars-wot-football against one another to find the world's best. I know this because I read Brendan's article where he took on the pros and
won lost repeatedly and instantly.
Now it seems the main game is going to be getting some Team Fortress-style unlockable crate drops in order to fund future prize pools.
An early crate asset was spotted by a Reddit user and confirmed as real in a comment by Psyonix vice president Jeremy Dunham. "Those assets are, indeed, early pieces of an upcoming system we plan on implementing to fund our esports prize pools and events," the comment begins. "We plan on officially announcing it next month at (or near) the RLCS Live Finals since it directly relates to that event and other events like it."
He then explains a little of how the system will work, and it's a little different from Team Fortress 2 and CS:GO. Crates will contain cosmetic items only, and nothing that offers an advantage to one player over another; players can hide the system entirely with a single checkbox if they don't want to see or receive crates in-game; and arenas, modes and new items will continue to be added for free and via paid DLC.
Most significantly, there will be "no Steam Marketplace integration with crates. We are definitely aware of the problems related to third-party gambling in other games and we are not interested in taking that approach." I wonder if they were planning on taking the same tact all along, or whether it's a new direction after concerns over CSGO gambling reached fever pitch in recent weeks.
Rocket League was our favourite game of 2015 and since then its expanded while still maintaining its purity and silliness, with Batmobiles, Deloreans, and hockey and basketball modes being added to the game. I'm glad that, even as it courts an esports audience and embraces psychologically 'noisier' mechanics like crates, that its also making effort to maintain that purity for those who still want it.