The Franchise Cup is now a few weeks old and is quickly becoming a mainstay in MLE. If you’re not familiar with the concept, here is an excerpt from the initial announcement about the Cup:
“Introducing a whole new way to earn glory for your franchise and for yourself… The very first Franchise Cup begins this season! All 32 franchises will compete in the most epic and massive event in MLE history. Teams earn Franchise Points in a variety of ways including winning MLE matches, competing in events, end of season awards, and more! Every goal matters in this format. Never take your foot off the gas if you want to claim the ultimate achievement in taking home the Franchise Cup! Teams win points based on the margin of victory for each game, the number of goals conceded, and underdogs can score massive points for a big upset. But that’s not the only way to get your franchise to the top…”
I wanted to get the inside scoop behind the Franchise Cup, so I went to the Events Team Lead himself, KILT. While talking to KILT, he directed me to the mastermind behind the Franchise Cup, GoldenTornado17. I got to talk with both players about their role in the Franchise Cup, as well as their thoughts on the progress so far and potential future events.
Royal: What sparked the idea for the Franchise Cup?
KILT: The Franchise Cup was thought up by Goldentornado. Something that has always plagued events in the past has been a lack of interest and overall structure, which is something I’ve been aiming to rectify since taking over as Events Team Lead. Thankfully the timing coincided with Golden pitching the idea to Sleegi so the potential was immediately evident.
GoldenTornado: I was actually attempting to create a new rating system that could work across all 5 leagues when I kinda stumbled into the idea of creating a “points” system that rewards teams for how they win individual games and more accurately reflects how dominant a team is in its league.
Royal: What went into the creation and setup of the Cup?
GT: First I needed to make sure that the scoring system and behind-the-scenes stuff would work. I created several google sheets that track stats from the replay bot and instantly update the point totals. I also had the idea of creating events (called Majors) that the events team could run to gain exposure for the Franchise Cup and to give the events team a more scheduled and organized format.
KILT: A lot of the backend was settled before I even saw the project; Golden already had points and how to calculate them in a fairly comprehensive form. The setting up of the Major events was split between the Events Team and headed by myself; a lot of it has been trial-and-error and learning from any mistakes. Thankfully there haven’t been any large scale issues so far, so depending on how the rest of the season goes, I could see the overall event structures evolving for the next season.
Royal: What impact do you see the Cup having on the league as a whole?
KILT: The Franchise Cup for me solves two issues; it incentivizes participation in events, which helps the community come together and make new friends within the fun framework of an event. It also brings the franchise together; rather than 5 different leagues just being under the umbrella of a franchise, it provides an overall goal for the entire franchise to aim for. I hope this can bring people who might otherwise never truly interact with each other together and can help the franchise [become] stronger for it.
GT: I think that the Cup will create more team unity across leagues, so people on the Master League team are more invested in the performance of their Academy League teammates since the Franchise Cup requires that every team on a franchise performs well to win. The events side of it is going much better than I had ever hoped and I think that it is giving the MLE a competitive outlet outside of MLE matches that are still important.
Royal: How do you see the longevity of the Franchise Cup, and how do you plan on keeping the community engaged? What events do you have planned for the future?
GT: I think this has the potential to be an MLE tradition for many seasons to come! I genuinely hope the community will continue to show interest in it and, as they understand how it works better, I hope that more people will follow the standings. The winner of the Franchise Cup is truly the best franchise in the MLE regular season. As far as events go, we are discussing a ton of great ideas for future Majors and even working on some “Minors” which could be game modes like rumble or drop-shot. There is even talk of expanding the events outside of Rocket League if the community showed enough interest.
KILT: The Franchise Cup is currently every season and that’s what we’re aiming for. I’d like to see it stay as a staple of MLE but it’s something we’ll have to review at the end of this season. For this season, we have 3 Majors planned, with one already concluded and another currently underway. The next Major is a 3v3 double-elimination tournament, which should be very exciting. As for what we have planned, we’re hoping to have some smaller weekend tournaments, as well as tournaments that aren’t just playing the game; such as our current DECORATE THE DESKTOP event, to have people make MLE desktop wallpapers or other events such as a freestyle tournament or even a fashion show.
Royal: Are there any off-the-walls ideas? Rocket Labs maps, chaos mixer, anything crazy?
GT: Oh we are considering anything! The idea that I most liked so far was a Minecraft event where the franchise with the best design after a week of work wins.
Royal: Do you think it will change the way GMs draft or think about their teams?
KILT: I don’t personally think it will change the draft strategies of General Managers but if it does, that would be very exciting. There are some General Managers who currently focus on one or two of their teams doing well, even drafting away high draft picks in other leagues to benefit in those one or two, so if this means they value the overall strength of their franchise, then I’d consider that a success.
Royal: Who are the front runners that are emerging in the cup so far?
KILT: Our current frontrunners are the Hawks, Bulls, and Knights, with the Hawks and Knights getting a big boost in points from their event placings. The Bulls have had a fairly successful run so far in all of their teams, though the top 10 teams are fairly close in the standings currently.
GT: Right now the Bulls are off to a blistering start thanks to a strong showing in every league, but they have not performed well in tournaments so it has left the door open for teams like the Spectre, Knights, and Hawks to close the gap. The Sabres are also very close to the top few teams but need to step it up in the tournaments 😉
(Golden later amended his final answer to say that the Hawks are currently killing everyone after week two)
I can’t thank KILT and GoldenTornado enough for giving their insight on the Franchise Cup and I think their excitement about it will match the league’s excitement for the cup going forward. I, for one, am looking forward to the Sabres rise to the top.