Announcing the RLCS 2021-22 Season

September 15, 2021     esports  

 

The Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) is back and bigger than ever! With the largest RLCS prize pool ever of $6,000,000, more regions, and an updated format, the RLCS 2021-22 season is set to be the most exciting one yet.

Whether you made your way here after our RLCS announcement live stream or you're learning about the RLCS 2021-22 season for the first time, you're in the right place. Let's dive in and take a look at all of the big upgrades coming to the newest season of the RLCS!

 

Expanding the RLCS

For the RLCS 2021-22 season, the league is set to make the largest expansion in its history. We're excited to announce that the RLCS will be expanding to three new regions for the upcoming RLCS season. The new regions that will be joining the RLCS are:

  • Asia-Pacific North (APAC N)

  • Asia-Pacific South (APAC S) 

  • Middle East & North Africa (MENA)

This expansion opens RLCS competition to dozens of new countries across two continents (check out all the included countries in the Official Rules) and makes this season of the RLCS the most worldwide competition yet. 

With this expansion, we also wanted to increase the uniformity of our leagues and competitions. We're excited to announce that every region playing in the RLCS 2021-22 season will now be playing the same format (more on format changes below). This will help make it extra clear to fans around the world who's performing at the top of their regions and how they compare to their international counterparts.

In addition to the expansion of the RLCS, we will also be officially supporting Sub-Saharan Africa with three Splits of Regional Events. While this region won't be a full participant in the RLCS this season, the two best-performing teams in Sub-Saharan African tournaments during the course of the RLCS 2021-22 season will have two guaranteed slots at the Rocket League World Championship Wildcard (more on that below).

We're excited to bring RLCS competition to more regions than ever this upcoming season and can't wait to see how they perform.

 

Revamping the RLCS Format

RLCS X was the biggest format change in RLCS history. The change from League Play to an open, circuit-based format was a huge leap for the esport. We didn't want to reinvent the wheel this season, but there were plenty of changes we felt needed to be made with the league's expansion. Let's start with the big headlines:

  • The season will once again be divided into Fall, Winter, and Spring Splits, leading to the Rocket League World Championship 

  • Each Regional Event begins with an Open Qualifier on smash.gg

  • Teams can auto-qualify to Regional Events via their performance at the previous Regional Event, but in the first Regional Event of the year, all teams must play in the Open Qualifier

  • Each Split has three Regional Events and is capped with a Major

  • Every Regional and every Major in each Split will have 16 teams

  • Each Split features a different format

  • Teams earn points at each event, with Majors being heavily weighted over Regional Events

  • Points from Regional Events and Majors are used to qualify to the Rocket League World Championship

  • RLCS: The Grid won't be returning for the RLCS 2021-22 season, but team broadcasts are taking place on the first day of every Regional Event in Europe and North America

  • Teams are allowed to make two roster moves in total throughout the season, with a max of one per trade window, without forfeiting their points

  • Sign ups will open soon!

The Fall Split will feature a Swiss format that feeds into an eight-team, single-elimination bracket. In the Winter Split, teams will battle through a Group Stage with four groups, which will then seed them into a double-elimination bracket. The Spring Split will be the tried and true double-elimination format.

The Rocket League World Championship is receiving a huge makeover as well. With seven regions now vying for spots at the most prestigious Rocket League tournament on the planet, it was time for an overhaul. Here's how the World Championship will work:

  • The World Championship will have two main stages: the new World Championship Wildcard and the World Championship Main Event

  • Eight teams will auto-qualify to the Main Event

    • Regions that perform the best at Majors are rewarded with auto-qualification spots to the World Championship. After all three Majors, the best regions in the top eight of Major points will be weighted against each other to see who earns the most auto-qualified slots to the World Championship Main Event. More details can be found here.

  • The Main Event will feature four double-elimination groups that feed into a high-stakes, single-elimination bracket.

  • 16 teams will qualify for the World Championship Wildcard

    • North America: Three seeds

    • Europe: Three seeds

    • Middle East & North Africa: Two seeds

    • Oceania (OCE): Two seeds

    • South America: Two seeds

    • Sub-Saharan Africa: Two seeds

    • Asia-Pacific North: One seed

    • Asia-Pacific South: One seed

  • The top eight teams from the World Championship Wildcard will qualify for the World Championship Main Event

  • The World Championship Wildcard will feature a Swiss format

 

Season Schedule

RLCS 2021-22 Format

Below you will find the RLCS 2021-22 season schedule for all full RLCS regions. Please keep in mind that these dates are subject to change.

Fall Split

  • NA, MENA, OCE, APAC S Regional #1: October 15 - 17

  • EU, SAM, APAC N Regional #1: October 22 - 24

  • NA, MENA, OCE, APAC S Regional #2: October 29 - 31

  • EU, SAM, APAC N Regional #2: November 5 - 7

  • NA, MENA, OCE, APAC S Regional #3: November 12 - 14

  • EU, SAM, APAC N Regional #3: November 19 - 21

  • Major: December 8 - 12

  • Transfer Window: December 13, 2021 - January 2, 2022

Winter Split

  • NA, MENA, OCE, APAC S Regional #1: January 14 - 16

  • EU, SAM, APAC N Regional #1: January 21 - 23

  • NA, MENA, OCE, APAC S Regional #2: January 28 - 30

  • EU, SAM, APAC N Regional #2: February 4 - 6

  • NA, MENA, OCE, APAC S Regional #3: February 18 - 20

  • EU, SAM, APAC N Regional #3: February 25 - 27

  • Major: March 24 - 27

  • Transfer Window: March 28 - April 17

Spring Split

  • NA, MENA, OCE, APAC S Regional #1: April 29 - May 1

  • EU, SAM, APAC N Regional #1: May 6 - 8

  • NA, MENA, OCE, APAC S Regional #2: May 13 - 15

  • EU, SAM, APAC N Regional #2: May 20 - 22

  • NA, MENA, OCE, APAC S Regional #3: May 27 - 29

  • EU, SAM, APAC N Regional #3: June 3 - 5

  • Major: June 30 - July 3

World Championship

  • Wildcard: July 22 - 24

  • Main Event: July 26 - 31

 

In-Person (LAN) Events

Our intent is to bring LAN events back for the RLCS 2021-22 season, beginning with the Fall Major in Stockholm, Sweden as a players-only event. In light of the evolving situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, our goal is to execute each event with the safety of our players, talent, and staff as our top priority.

With that in mind, we also know it's been nearly two years since we last saw teams from around the globe face off in a LAN environment. The RLCS is a worldwide league and it requires LAN events for the format to function as intended. The initial return to LAN event (the Fall Major) will have no crowd and will have stringent health precautions in place for every player, talent, and staff member that is on site. We want to get fans back into arenas with their favorite players and we miss hearing the crowd go wild during clutch plays, but we won't be able to re-evaluate that option until 2022.

We're heading into the RLCS 2021-22 season with the full intention of having every Major and the Rocket League World Championship be LAN events, but we are also going to monitor the ongoing pandemic and make choices that are healthy for both the players and our league. We're looking forward to the best players from around the world finally meeting again at the Fall Major.

 

That's Not All

If you missed the RLCS 2021-22 season announcement stream be sure to check out the VOD on Twitch or YouTube which has extra information on upcoming changes to the Esports Shop, a new broadcast package, and the changes coming to the Rocket League Esports site next year.

The RLCS 2021-22 season is just getting started. There's more information and content about the upcoming season on the way. Make sure to head over to smash.gg for more information on Open Qualifiers. We'll see you in October as we kick off the RLCS 2021-22 season!




Open October 8, 2021 to July 31, 2022 to legal residents of Canada (excluding Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon), Bahamas, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, United States (including Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands), the Asia-Pacific (APAC), Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Oceania, South America, and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) who are 15 years or older. Minors must have parental consent to participate. 240 RLCS Regional prizes available: cash prize awards each with a value ranging between $900 to $30,000 USD; 48 RLCS Major prizes available: cash prize awards each with a value ranging between $3,000 to $90,000 USD; and 24 RLCS World Championship prizes available: cash prize awards each with a value ranging between $6,800 to $600,000 USD. Winning depends on skill in playing Rocket League. Full Tournament rules available at here.