When someone asks me what the rarest wheels in Rocket League are, they expect answers like Goldstone Alpha Wheels or White Apex. Sometimes they’ll shoot for an obscurity or discontinued items. Maybe Crimson Dynamo or Monstercat DJ Turntable Wheels.
Although, a subset of wheels exist flaunting more rarity than Black Dieci, or any other coveted RL cosmetic you can fathom. They are untradable wheels – only redeemable by codes from a single event. The RLCS world championships. A set of Pro wheels ties to a finite number of ticket sales.
Amidst the blistering heat of summer 2017, we witnessed something unprecedented. Psyonix released a fresh Rocket League cosmetic item to commemorate their most hardcore fans.
Decennium Pro codes entered the pockets of anyone and everyone who attended RLCS live and in-person.
LAN rewards were born.
They were a heightened form of fan reward, ritzy wheels set aside for the tireless eSports fanatics who eagerly waved signs and banners through the blood, sweat, and tears of primal battle-car carnage.
These weren’t the same folk you see idly spamming Twitch chat for free drops.
LAN rewards signify a different breed of Rocket League fan. These guys purchased plane tickets and hotel rooms to meet their childhood heroes.
In season 3, Northern Gaming clawed their way out of the losers bracket to be crowned Rocket League champions of the world.
Decennium Pros fostered a design polish that screamed exclusivity. They had a unique gold rim pattern that was nigh impossible to find in-game. They bore a loose familiarity to the luster seen in ever-elusive alpha items. The sparkling auburn color extended into a unique tread pattern that mirrored etchings from an obscure alien species in a sci-fi flick.
These goldenrod gems looked unmistakable from any angle.
Decennium Pro wheels were the closest most RL players could get to experiencing the lifestyle of Las Vegas penthouse suites, arms laced with a dozen paid escorts. Equipping Decennium Pros is the RL equivalent to a flawless white tuxedo draped over the shoulders of an elite Russian mobster.
Decennium Pros represented Rocket league royalty. Psyonix slayed on this design. Season 3 RLCS attendees won the digital lotto.
For wheels boasting royalty in the title, Sovereign Pros severely missed their mark.
Sovereign Pros dropped in autumn of 2017, the season immediately after Decennium Pros. Sovereigns may not have been as lustrous as Decenniums, but they featured a very sporty look. Owners were still proud to wear them.
Sovereign Pros were also the only LAN wheel to drop in Rocket League history to be designated to the blue team.
From here on out, RL players could expect a promotional wheel code for attending any RLCS LAN event. With expectation comes a market, and from the next wheel onward we would face scalping, price gouging, and typical code redemption scam alerts to go along with them.
I won’t say that Sovereign Pro wheels lack individuality. They were unique at first.
Until Psyonix broadcasted the biggest middle finger these poor LAN attendees could have imagined. Sovereign A/T’s.
On June 11th, 2018 Rocket League servers hosted the Beach Blast event. It was easily the most well-received event until Radical Summer trailed it a year later.
One of the crate wheels rolled out was a strictly more impressive version of Sovereign Pros, available in every color. The biggest punch of all? They launched as import rarity.
Psyonix nuked the exclusivity of Sovereign Pro wheels overnight.
Not long after, Sovereign Pro owners experienced another dose of highway robbery.
A near-identical replica of Sovereign Pro wheels appeared. They were color-swapped to lime and released as a free rocket pass item called M8 wheels.
That’s the story of how Sovereign Pros fell from the unobtainable realm of the skies straight into everyone’s inventory as a junk Rocket Pass drop.
So… let’s dedicate a moment of silence to our men and women who spent hundreds or THOUSANDS of dollars to attend RLCS and wound up with the most massacred reward of the bunch.
In season 5, Dignitas defeated NRG to become the only back-to-back title holders in RLCS history.
Meanwhile, RLCS LANdon birthed Mothership Pro wheels. Don’t let the cute play on words fool you. LANdon proved the biggest European showing in RLCS history.
Mothership wheels have a story to tell, one wrapped in spaghetti code and drizzled with disappointment.
When Mothership Pro codes first dropped, a bug made them 100% tradeable. Not a big deal, right?
Well, Psyonix responded with radio silence. Many players traded their redeemed Mothership Pros for other expensive items.
But here’s the catch:
Almost a week later, Psyonix snapped all those trades back and re-issued the wheels to their original owners without returning any of the items traded for them.
The debugging programmers effectively scammed anyone who traded for Mothership Pros. Support tickets ensued.
Luckily, anyone who jumped through the flaming circus hoops received compensation.
But that isn’t the headline story:
One day Mothership Pro owners woke up to find that EVERYONE in the game owned their prized wheels. The Rocket League community downloaded routine update patch revolving around another crate full of cosmetics. Although, this time, something was amiss. Mothership Pros were listed as common.
The community was a train wreck.
Players cried out about how crate culture overhauled the game. They said they deserved a free item. Owners of exclusive Mothership Pro wheels started blasting forums about getting swindled, but “Enjoy the camaraderie!” spam comments hijacked every thread.
In the end, Psyonix left Mothership wheels as common items for everyone to enjoy. They redesigned the pros into the white variant we see today. After all, white is the most coveted color in Rocket League.
I applaud the effort from the Psyonix PR team, but honestly, these wheels looked better before the palette swap…
The whole tale leaves a sour taste in the mouths of LANdon wheel code redeemers.
Cloud9 defeated Dignitas to take home the cup.
On December 8th of 2018, codes for Aero Mage Pros began trickling into the inboxes of season 6 LAN attendees that trekked out to Las Vegas, NV.
Since the PR disasters of the past two wheels had led to in-game variants of other pro-tier wheels, Psyonix altered their approach. Pro wheels were no longer a fresh and exclusive design, they would be “Premium” versions of other in-game cosmetics.
Painted Decenniums entered the fan reward circuit.
And with this change, Aero Mage Pro’s dawned in the advent White Aero Mage craze.
Overall, Aero Mage Pros were popular. The wheels featured a stellar gradient from white to black. They kept a neutral, easy-to-match color scheme. They retained simplicity. The fade into charcoal black looked smooth and consistent.
These wheels were so clean, Billy Mays could’ve featured them on a detergent commercial.
“Keep your brights brighter and your blacks blacker”
To everyone’s surprise, standard painted Aero Mages didn’t feature gradients. The unpainted Aero Mages showcased a unique tri-color blend that made them fun to create designs around.
Aero Mage Pro wheels filled that void. They became more popular than Decennium Pros. These wheels could match both team color palettes.
Psyonix succeeded. With such an overwhelming approval rating, a formula was settled. Fan rewards would provide the basis for Pro wheels appearing in upcoming seasons.
Let’s fast forward to the first season of 2019. Renault Vitality defeated G2 to take home the RLCS trophy. The event took place in the largest venue ever booked: The Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Emerald Pro’s have a phenomenal appearance. Even after 5 professional seasons had passed, gold wheels were still a rarity in Rocket League. They were more sought after than ever before.
That isn’t to say we didn’t experience a hiccup in RLCS season 7. The original announcement was for a Ninja Pro wheel that was nearly identical to the white Ninjas already present in many player inventories.
Not to mention Ninjas have always been dwarfed by the ever-popular White Apex that released the same season. Ninjas just don’t look all too special.
I think the idea was to create a nostalgic throwback to the original fan rewards. Ninjas were among the first wave of twitch rewards. Surely, the crowd would go wild, right?
Take a look for yourself.
A small inner-section of the wheel was color swapped from silver to white. Rocket League players around the world stirred an uproar. This was the laziest design yet!
So our boys at Psyonix did what they were prone to do – scramble around and slap band-aids along the yellow brick road leading to RLCS.
Although, a stunning result arose.
From these ashes, Emerald Pros were born – like a glistening phoenix in a bright afternoon sky. Vibrant gold highlights shimmered through a jet-black void in a way that was certain to turn heads. Psyonix re-introduced the popular “infinite” effect from 2017’s hit victory crate model, the Infinium. This effect would eventually spam our inventories as “Special Edition” variants of every rocket pass item and crate exotic alike… but for the time, this was pretty unique!
From here on out, all LAN rewards became animated. They were no longer simple nor clean. Billy Mays wouldn’t feature Pro wheels on any detergent commercials.
These wheels were more in line with something Mike Tyson would sponsor. They were flashy and gold.
NRG took home the title of world champions in season 8 after defeating Vitality. Many considered GarrettG and JSTN’s triumph long overdue, as their curse of losing to Dignitas had finally been lifted.
Metalstar Pros followed suit of their predecessors. Again, we see the “Infinite” effect appear on the outermost region of their tread. They glow and rotate, which leeches their appeal. They’re like funky roadside Ferris wheels.
Still, Metalstar Pro wheels aren’t lacking in glitz and glamour.
No community drama to report here. Psyonix delivered what they promised. Bugs were fleshed out. Metalstar Pro wheels weren’t as admired as Aero Mage, Emeralds, or Decennium. They also weren’t as loathed as Mothership or Sovereign.
I suppose that’s a win.
Still, this marked the first season where RLCS began to decline in popularity. An outcry began to take root for our beloved Rocket League to re-launch as a free-to-play title.
A live event for season 9 never occurred. G2 defeated Spacestation Gaming to take home the RLCS trophy while we sat through an unforgettable quarantine.
As someone who doesn’t enjoy Mendoza Wheels, the Pro’s are gorgeous. The animation isn’t too shabby, either.
These rare golden wheels feature a soft white brim perfect for balancing out muted color palettes and pastel color schemes.
Anyway, Psyonix canceled the event in Texas where these were intended for distribution. It was scheduled smack dab in the middle of The Quarantine Times. Psyonix refunded tickets. Original buyers scored complementary Mendoza Pro codes as an apology.
Of course, by this time, scalping RLCS tickets became a hulking issue. To make matters worse, the real fans blew chunks of cash on non-refundable travel plans. We can’t blame Psyonix for any of that, but the frustration felt by fans was palpable.
At least we have a beautiful wheel resting on the pedestal of Rocket League history. Still, Mendoza Pros are a subtle reminder of one of humanity’s worst years.
After a two year drought, Team BDS took home the title of RLCS X World Champions in a landslide victory against G2. Seikoo cemented himself as rookie of the century as he led m0nkey_m00n and Extra toward the most brilliant teamwork ever showcased in a competitive Rocket League tournament.
But Patriarch Pros sang a more melancholy melody – An end to an era.
LAN attendees weren’t the recipients for Patriarch pros. Instead, every Twitch viewer who spent two hours streaming the event took home a set of these gilded little buggers. It felt a little conniving that Psyonix didn’t announce plans to vanquish the scalper-ridden line of LAN wheels while selling tickets like hotcakes.
Patriarch Pros gleam with a darker shade more akin to copper or bronze, but aren’t lacking when it comes to shimmer and luster.
A smoky galaxy overrides the simplified background seen on standard Patriarch wheels. Sparkles emulate stars in a hazy cloud of nebulous space junk.
It’s on par with the Rocket League vaporwave aesthetic.
A whirlwind of backlash and one rewardless LAN later, Pro wheels sprouted from the salted soil of a tattered PSD Bank Dome in Düsseldorf, Germany.
This time, Psyonix showcased a variant on the iconic Haunted Hallows hit – Revenants.
Team Vitality grabbed 2023 by the horns and ran. They clobbered Team BDS, using their own vile trick against them. Zen, a player who spent a meager two months in the RLCS circuit, latched a clean sweep. Not only that, a staggering 82% of the goals scored throughout the series went to Vitality. Zen single-handedly raised the bar to entry in competitive Rocket League.
Anyway, let’s hop over to the wheels.
Black Revenants have always held the eyes of RL collectors worldwide. They’re so sought after that Psyonix recycled their style in the original batch of Special Edition wheel variants: Holographics.
But not even holographic Dracos can dethrone the legacy of Revenants.
They’re the perfect pick to make a loud statement, both on-field and in the icy tundra of PR-land. They shout from the precipice of arctic permafrost, “LAN wheels are BACK, baby! And we’re taking them as serious as ever.”
And scalpers can’t get their dirty mitts on these puppies, either. Psyonix distributed every last code in-person.
Now all that’s left to do is bask in the beauty of a new black and gold heirloom.
No hideous animations. No off-brand re-releases. No unexpected color choices. There’s just a gorgeous gradient on an exemplary wheel selection.
Thanks to the rocky road of past Pro wheel development, we can chart the course ahead with relative simplicity. For the most part, we know what to expect in the future.
The question is, which fan reward will they douse in a tub of gold next? Will we see Apex Pros? Decopunk Pros? What reward would you like to see from the next RLCS LAN?
If you’re craving more Esport-themed preset inspiration, feel free to check out my Octane Esport Decal tier list!