So you made it into the Minor League Esports server. You filled out your application, made it through your interview and your orientation and have accepted the invite to the server. You might even already have a “free agent” tag on your name. Congratulations! Welcome to the wonderful world of being an MLE free agent. But you’re only halfway to playing in the league.
Now that you’re eligible how do you get on a team? How do you get all those Franchise Managers(FMs) and General Managers(GMs) to notice you? There are so many players, how do you stand out from the pack and get picked? Luckily we’re here to help guide you through the process and make sure you’re on everyone’s draft list. Here’s our official guide to ending up on everyone’s draft board and more importantly not ending up on anyone’s “do not draft” list.
How The Draft Works
Before you can get on a team it’s important to understand how teams pick players. At the start of every new season, the league goes through an official draft. Every league and every team takes turns picking players during a streamed draft event. There will be three rounds of the draft which means three picks for every team. After the draft, teams can sign free agents to fill out the remaining spots on their rosters.
There are two factors to keep in mind when it comes to the draft. The first import factor is salary cap. When you enter the league you’re given a salary. In each league there is a salary cap which determines what combination of players a team can pick up based on their salary. (the one exception being premier league which has no salary cap). This is important to know because based on how a GM or FM is planning their roster they may only be looking for a certain salary or salary range.
The second important factor when it comes to the draft is Retentions. At the end of each season GMs have the option of picking up a certain number of players from each league to keep on their roster for the following season. These are called retentions. During the draft you will see these retentions on the draft board as they represent picks already made for that team.
How a Team Is Structured
Part of the fun of tryouts is getting to know people throughout the league. Although this may seem intimidating, you’ll soon find that the staff of current teams are some of the most friendly people around. Each team is composed of a FM who is head of the team and will be responsible for making picks during the draft. They control the final draft list for their team. Next you have General Managers and Assistant General Managers(AGMs) that help out the FM and can be a great resource when it comes to scouting. Teams may also have team captains or scouts that run tryouts and scout for their team. When you come across any of these people remember that they’re the people that are going to speak for or against you when the FM or GM makes their draft list.
Each team and by extension their FM will have their own style and team environment. Although every team wants to win, some teams have certain things they look for in players. Some teams value players that are active and like to grind the game. Some teams value players that are more casual and focus on the social side of being on a team. If you want to know what team “vibes” with your style, the best thing to do is to simply talk to the scouts and team members about their team.
How Tryouts Work
Tryouts can be intimidating for a lot of players. Part of this is due to the different styles that teams have for scouting players and the different way players can make themselves known to GMs and Scouts.
Teams will hold individual tryouts in a variety of different forms. Some teams will host small private lobbies throughout the pre-season that you will sign up for. Other teams will host larger lobbies with a lot of players rotating in for one or two games. A few teams may even invite you to a private tryout to play with them and get to know you better. And you will even find that a few teams hold no tryouts. They do their scouting through other mysterious means. Regardless, you’ll want to join the MLE tryout server which you can find in the main server and keep an eye out for teams running public tryouts as this is the most direct way to get scouted.
The most important thing to remember about tryouts is that you don’t only have one chance to get onto a team. If you play bad in a tryout it is not the end of the world. Lots of teams will be holding a lot of tryouts and you will have multiple chances to show what you can do. It’s also important to consider that some scouts may not notice or particularly care about how many goals you scored or how many times you whiffed. Many scouts are paying closer attention to things like your personality in the voice chat and if you do well in communicating with your teammates. There are a ton of stories throughout MLE of players who got drafted to a team after they thought they bombed that particular tryout. So have fun, be yourself, and try to make friends.
This season has introduced a scrim system to determine player’s salaries. This system is largely built to help determine what league players are supposed to be playing in along with ensuring they’ve played enough games to be eligible. Additionally, there will be some teams that look at scrim results and stats to fill out their draft board. If you are performing well in scrims there is a good chance teams will take notice. Scrims are a great way to meet other MLE players and get your name out there. You can find the scrim channels in the Discord section titled “Emilia’s Scrim Scram Jamboree.” There will also be an event called the MLE Combines that will allow scouts to enter scrims on April 2nd and 3rd. This is a great chance to play in front of scouts while getting your scrim points.
Dos and Don’ts of Trying out
Let’s start with the Don’ts because in some ways I think they’re more important. If you are active within MLE and you put yourself out there, odds are good that you will find a team eventually. But if you commit one of these don’ts then you may get a bad reputation in the community and it will be hard to recover. Something new players may not know is that FMs will share info and chat about players they’ve seen. This means that if you leave a bad impression on someone they won’t be afraid to tell other FMs that you’re bad news and wouldn’t be a good pick for their team.
Don’t be a Jerk!
It sounds simple but you would be surprised how many people either find it hard to get a team or flat out get kicked from MLE because of a bad attitude. MLE is a community formed around having a non-toxic place to play and it takes that mantra pretty seriously. If you are bad mouthing other players in a voice chat people will take notice. If you’re toxic to opponents or just toxic in general people will notice.
Don’t annoy FMs or GMs!
Franchise Managers, General Managers, and Assistant General Managers have a lot to do in the preseason. They are looking at a ton of players across multiple leagues. They also have lives outside of MLE and can’t spend every minute hosting tryouts for you. Be courteous of their time. Pinging the tryout server relentlessly asking “when are tryouts” is a good way to annoy a GM and have them not want to pick you even before they’ve seen you play. And when GMs do post tryouts try to follow instructions. If a GM says that a tryout is full and you show up in the voice chat anyway and ask if you can play, you are being disrespectful to both the GM and the players that followed instructions and you aren’t going to make any friends in that tryout.
Don’t Pitch yourself too hard!
This one isn’t as egregious as the last two but I’ve seen it burn a fair number of players before. Nobody likes the cocky person in the lobby. If you spend the whole tryout talking about how good you are you’ll likely end up with a lot of players who don’t want to play with you. Pitching yourself is generally good. You want to make it known that you’re a solid player and that you’ll do well on a team. But try to let your play do the talking. Remember that GMs are looking for players that will do well on a team and getting along with others is an important part of that team chemistry.
Don’t Get Discouraged if You Don’t Get Picked!
This season rosters have been expanded to a possible 8 starting spots. During the draft, teams will only pick their first 3 spots. That’s a potential 5 slots that will still be open on a team when the draft is over. That’s right, I did the math so you don’t have to. There will be plenty of opportunities to find a team after the draft is over. And throughout the season players will rank up or go from rostered spots to free agents which opens up new starting spots all the time. So if you continue to be active throughout the season opportunities to find a team will open up.
Do be Active!
MLE drafts go quickly and FMs often exhaust their list of potential picks before the final round. The difference between making a team and not making a team can sometimes be as simple as if a GM has chatted with you or seen you be active within the community. Active members quickly make friends not only in tryouts but in the general chat as well. And do you know who hangs out in General chat? Those really active members of MLE who often know everyone and are sometimes AGMs and Captains who have the ear of the FM. Being active within the community is the simplest way to make sure you end up on someone’s draft list.
Do show interest in a team!
If there is a team or teams that you really want to play for, don’t be afraid to approach that team yourself. Showing an active interest in a franchise is a great sign that you’ll be an active player. Join the team’s discord server, introduce yourself to the team, let them know you’re excited to try out. Just don’t copy-paste the same message to every team in the league. People will catch on and that will backfire.
Do try your best!
I’ve put a lot of emphasis on showing your personality and not worrying too much about your play. At the end of the day, however, most teams are looking to draft the best players in the league. Especially if you want to end up high on the draft board you’ll want to impress at your tryouts. Make sure you’re showing off what you can do best at each tryout. Do communicate with your teammate and focus on winning the game. Don’t try to steal all the goals or show off with only ceiling shots. But play the game the way you feel you would if you were trying your best to win. Your style will naturally come out, you don’t have to try to emphasize it.
MLE is a great community and joining a team is a great way to not only play Rocket League but to find friends with a common interest in the game. I truly hope that everyone who wants to gets to experience being a part of an MLE franchise. Remember that the MLE is only here as a resource for people to have fun playing the game we all love.