Psyonix vs. Community: Why Rocket League Freestyle Is Dead

Rocket League Freestyle might die because Psyonix has taken action against accounts from some of the most popular content creators in the scene. Here's the whole story.

Rocket League Freestyle
Is Freestyling in Rocket League Dead for good? | © Psyonix

The period between the release of a new Rocket League season and the start of the 2022-23 RLCS season can be pretty boring at times – luckily, there's some drama in the community right now. Our main protagonists are Psyonix and the freestyle community of Rocket League. But what's the fuzz all about? What's happening to these players? Who's in the right, who's in the wrong? Well, let's find out!


Why Psyonix Targets Rocket League Freestylers

If you want to freestyle in Rocket League, you don't do it against bots or good players, but against casuals and noobs who pretty much can't defend themselves. This makes at least some sense from a freestyler's point of view because they can do their aerials, flicks and other moves without interference. But why not play against bots right away, as it's almost the same? Well, seems to be some unwritten law among freestylers that this doesn't count.

As beautiful and impressive as it is to watch some Rocket League Freestyle compilations... there's one huge problem: for any other player – except the Freestylers – the gameplay experience is simply horrendous. First, they need to tank their MMR down to Bronze or Silver ranks, where they can do their moves against newer players. To achieve this, they need to lose... a lot. Which obviously affects their teammates or opponents who just want to play the damn game.

Once the first step is complete, and the freestyler has manipulated the system to allow them to play in lower ranks, they can begin creating a hellish experience for casuals. Of course, the casuals have no chance surviving against the much better freestylers. It doesn't matter if they somehow manage to win or not: it's just not fun to watch your opponent play the game for 5 minutes straight. It's really no surprise that Psyonix doesn't like this behavior, I mean, nobody likes smurfs...


Account Bans And MMR Adjustments

The whole topic picked up steam when Devin Connors – Senior CM at Rocket League and Psyonix – made a post on Reddit. Check it out for yourself if you want further information:

Let's Talk About Freestyling in Casual Playlists from RocketLeague

To break it down for you, he's saying that Casual Playlists (where most freestylers do their content) should be fun for everyone, but the Rocket League experience gets ruined by freestylers desperate to show off that mechanical prowess. As a first step, they started taking action against a small number of accounts. They either banned them for violating the TOS or just changed their MMR to match their skill – forcing them to face similarly experienced players.

Faith (top level freestyler) tweets "I'm done" citing his frustration with being moved from 500 MMR (casual) to 1600. from RocketLeague

(Sorry, guys. Can't embed it directly, as tweets from this account are protected. I am not an approved follower, sadge. But here's the Reddit post from u/ShlowJoey, though.)

Freestylers vs. Rocket League Community

So... basically, there are two different sides to this story. Pretty butt-hurt freestylers, mad that they can't dunk on casual players anymore. And then everybody else outside the freestyler's bubble. Depending on whether you browse Twitter or Reddit, you experience two very different emotional states. The Reddit community seems to be quite happy with Psyonix' recent actions, while Twitter is salty af. So pretty much the norm.

While Devin Connors clearly stated that this is NOT the end of freestyling, it really could be. Many freestylers have already stated that they might quit the game now. Would this be the downfall of Rocket League? Probably not. Do I personally care about this topic? No, I suck anyway. Do I get paid to write about Rocket League? Yep, so here ya' go. Just don't be salty, compliment your teammates and have fun!

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