Viral clip shows the potential of Air Racing Rocket League mod

This mod has some real competitive potential.

Image via Psyonix

A clip from a custom Air Racing Rocket League mod posted on Reddit went viral today. The players featured in the clip both demonstrate incredible technical air skills, and show the competitive potential of the Air Racing mode as an esport in its own right.

The clip shows two highly-skilled Rocket League players with unlimited boost racing to complete a complex and flowy air racing course. The course is marked with rings and gates which players must fly through. Along the way there are plenty of obstacles to be managed and dodged, as well as some Mario Kart style boost pads. 

Air Racing is a community game mode and esport that was created using mod tools for Rocket League. Anyone can download and play the mode using the powerful Rocket League Bakkes Mod.

The PC mod enables you to download and play any number of modes and specially created maps directly from your Rocket League titled screen. You can even play these modes online, though it is a little complicated to do since custom mode matches aren’t hosted on official Rocket League matchmaking. 

This particular Air Racing mode was first released in August 2020. Since that time, Air Racing has built a small yet devoted community. The creators had a very specific competitive intent from the very start, and they have organized their players via Discord and YouTube.

Although this mod is not an officially supported Rocket League mode, the mod still qualifies an esport. It has clear and objective rules, the competition takes place entirely inside the game, and it is even built with spectators in mind. There is a rich history of well-designed game mods becoming fully fledged modes or even entire new games. Most famously, both Dota 2 and League of Legends started as mods of Warcraft 3. 

While many of the modes are either practice maps or silly nonsense, there are occasionally some mod ideas that have some serious competitive potential. Along with Air Racing, there is also a very polished Volleyball mod that has become popular among RL YouTubers over the past few years. Many players would love to see more support from the developers for these community-generated maps.

While Psyonix has never bought any of these mods from creators in the past, other games companies have been known to pay creators for content like this. Epic has their creator codes for Fortnite, which reward community map creators with a portion of the profits generated from users who use their code. Perhaps now that Epic bought Psyonix, we will see some system like this implemented into Rocket League to reward the map designers.