I have no respect for Rocket League players who break Rule 1

Was Tomas Hertl's between-the-legs goal in a blow-out against the Rangers unnecessary? Probably. Unsportsmanlike? Some would say yes. But it hardly compares to breaking Rule 1 in Rocket League, which would be like if Hertl first squared-up for a fight and threw down his gloves before turning around and taking a shot. Unheard of. Unallowable. And yet, when Rocket League's Snow Day mode went competitive, I encountered more than one of these heretics. Shameful.

Maybe it's ignorance, though, rather than willful disrespect. The rule is rarely spelled out by the community, but a sense of mystique is incompatible with encouraging respect for the sport. So for those who don't know, Rule 1 is as follows: If you collide head-to-head or side-to-side with an opponent and become deadlocked, you must hold down the gas and wait for the deadlock to be resolved by other means.

You can see an example of a side-to-side Rule 1 above. Note that it does not matter whether you're playing casual, ranked, or even in a tournament with a cash prize. The head-to-head variant happened in one such tournament, as seen below: 

It's true that the league—aka Psyonix—has discouraged this behavior in the past, even going so far as to call Rule 1 "unsportsmanlike" and threaten players with game ejections (eventually you can time out for inactivity). That is a risk we all face, but if we have any respect for each other, it's one we should bear with a smile.

Psyonix also encouraged players to narc on each other for smooching bumpers. I'll forgive ignorance or an accidental flip—once—but anyone who has reported players for grinding hoods is a cop and can never be trusted.

(Update: Following the publication of this extremely correct article, Rocket League's SVP of Game Development Corey Davis expressed support for Rule 1, as everyone should.)

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I don't care if you snap five bar-down wristers over my head and spam 'what a save' after each one, you'll probably get a 'gg' from me. But if you back out of a headlight hoedown, a one-to-one with the boss, a Pixar fanfic, or a fender mender, then you'll get no post-game handshake.

This is extremely important and I think about it often. Thanks.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.