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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 has spent over 1,200 hours playing Rocket League, and slightly fewer nitpicking the PC Gamer style guide. His primary news beat is game stores: Steam, Epic, and whatever launcher squeezes into our taskbars next.