After entering the Call of Duty arena late last year with the debut of Minnesota Røkkr, WISE Ventures ESports has announced its first major expansion in the Esports realm — a new Rocket League team dubbed “Version1.”
“As we considered our next opportunity in esports and professional gaming, we wanted to diversify our content and audience, to continue building our fan base,” Jonathan Wilf, President and Ownership Partner of WISE Ventures Esports, said in a press release.
Version1 members (roster below) will pit their supersonic acrobatic rocket-powered battle-cars against the competitors of Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) X including RLCS: The Grid, a league that recently underwent a structural shift by the developer of the game, Psyonix. The new season includes three splits in the fall, winter, and spring with three regional events and a major tournament per split. A total of $4.5 million in prizes will be doled out to teams and players.
“Our goal for this team is to establish a national and international brand and grow support from fans around the world,” Brett Diamond, Chief Operating Officer of WISE Ventures Esports, Minnesota Røkkr and Version1, said in the release. “Our headquarters in Minnesota will also allow us to create opportunities for local Rocket League fans to come out to live events and in-person watch parties once it is safe to do so.”
Version1 will take to the virtual rocket-powered pitch on Friday, August 7 in the first RLCS: The Grid circuit and continue (hopefully) dominating in the first North American Regional tournament of the fall split August 15-16 and August 22-23. Matches will be streamed on the team’s Twitch channel (in partnership with OS Studios).
“We had a unique opportunity to enter Rocket League Championship Series with a top tier roster…” Diamond said. “Our philosophy with Røkkr has been to build this organization one fan at a time and that will continue to be our focus with Version1.”
Here’s the roster for Version1 (with bios from the press release):
- Kyle Storer “Torment” joins Version1 after competing at Cloud9 since July 2017. Torment recently earned Savior of the Season honors after RLCS Season 8 – North America by tallying the highest saves per game. Torment was named World Championship MVP in the RLCS Season 6 World Championship, which he won with teammate Gimmick.
- Jesus Parra “Gimmick”joins Version1 after competing with Torment at Cloud9 since July 2017. Gimmick recently earned the Golden Striker award for scoring the most goals in League Play during RLCS Season 9 and won the RLCS Season 6 World Championship with teammate Torment.
- Alexandre Bellemare “AxB”joins Version1 after competing with Spacestation Gaming since April 2019. AxB recently earned Clutch Playmaker honors in RLCS Season 8 – North America for achieving the most assists per game in the region. AxB finished 3rd in MVP voting while leading Spacestation Gaming to a 2nd place finish in RLCS Season 9.
- Jason Nunez “Fireburner”joins Version1 as coach after competing for NRG from 2016 to 2019 and coaching Torment and Gimmick at Cloud9 in RLCS Seasons 8 and 9. Fireburner competed in every RLCS LAN event until his retirement from competitive RLCS in 2019, one of only two players to do so. He won four RLCS North American tournaments with NRG, earning Clutch Playmaker and Golden Striker awards in Seasons 7 and 3 respectively.
Images: Pysonix, WISE Ventures Esports