No, you did not get to the ball first.
Magoo, RLX Writer & Proofreader
As a community, South African Rocket League players have made a substantial effort to reach the ears of Psyonix in regards to local servers, and, it seems that we have. You can find out more about that right here.
For the time-being though, we are stuck with ~200ms ping. It’s not all that bad at the end of the day, and we have all come to terms with it mentally, but we are surely at a disadvantage in this fast-paced environment. Here are some tips on playing Rocket League with a high ping.
Rule #1: Don’t get faked out by thinking too far ahead. Also Rule #1: Don’t be too late to the challenge. Goalkeeping against a player with good ball control is a real balancing act and I often find myself feeling cold and scared as they approach me like dancing queens with the ball atop their car. Even for a player with low latency, there is a certain amount of prediction and luck involved in defending this. The delay that we have here only amplifies these factors.
Pay attention to your opponent’s car and keep in mind that what you are seeing has already happened a moment ago. Don’t be fooled by a grounded ball on your screen because in real-time it could well be on top of their car again, ready to be flicked. Your best move is to stand your ground until such point where you feel that your opponent’s options are limited enough that your challenge will eliminate as many scoring shots as possible. Each scenario is different of course, but ideally you don’t want to give them enough time to perfect their dribbling shot. You also don’t want to rush in too soon, like the honourable and sacrificial mad-man that you are, ultimately giving them the opportunity to dribble away from where they know you’re going to meet them – and giving them the space to correct their path after said dribble.
Combined ping is over 900oooooooo!
Okay, let’s be honest here. Players in EU have 50/50s. Players in South Africa have 25/75s. If it looks to you like you are heading for a head-on pinch with an opponent, chances are that they will actually get there before you. You should be looking at the dunk if you are going in for these shots. If it looks to you like you are going to pop the ball away JUST in time before the opponent gets there, chances are that you’re in for one of those 25/75s. If it looks to you like the opponent is going to get there before you, they will. End of story. You’re going to need to pull off some kind of Randy Orton dunk here.
Again, pay attention to your opponent’s car and keep in mind that what you are seeing has already happened a moment ago. A real, well-orchestrated 50/50 challenge will look to a South African like more of a dunk shot. Do not be too worried about the uncertainty of these close calls, as your opponent will experience the same uncertainties and visual delay. Their downfall will be with their inexperience to doubt and anticipate the messy outcome.
“Players in EU have 50/50s. Players in South Africa have 25/75s.”
Committing to Plays
I have heard recently of something called a “sunk cost fallacy” in where a person won’t give up on a lost cause simply because of how much they have invested into it. It is important to know that sometimes you have to cut your losses and retreat. If you are looking at a 5% chance of succeeding at what you are attempting to do, there is probably a better chance that your opponent will fail at what they are trying to do, and you can catch them off guard at a later stage.
It often occurs that (and I admit, I myself am guilty beyond reasonable doubt of this) players take flight for an aerial or commit themselves to a corner boost, where only a 150 milliseconds after they have made the decision it becomes apparent to them that their plan has been foiled in the nick of time. Well I say unto them, LET IT GO, LET IT GOOOOO! Over-commitment is detrimental to your game in the first place – and anyone who’s seen me play 1v1 can confirm that. Even more so when you’re doing it based on fewer facts than available to your opponents. Play slower and smarter South Africans, do not give in to the sunk cost fallacy!
Totally planned upside-down 420 no-scope.
The main thing is to be aware of your disadvantage. If you find yourself saying “But I got there before them!” or “That went straight through me!” too often, then you should know that they’re not going to stop getting there first, and the ball is not going to stop going through you. Plan around it!