Psyonix hit the track at full speed for the new competitive season.
Psyonix is making some big changes to the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) for the 2021-22 season, including a revamped format, more regions, and a prize pool totaling more than $6 million.
Starting in October, the RLCS will expand into three new regions: Asia-Pacific North, Asia-Pacific South, and the Middle East and North Africa. Additionally, there will be three official regional splits held for the Sub-Saharan Africa region, with two spots guaranteed for the unofficial region at the Rocket League World Championship Wildcard.
With this expansion, every region will compete using the same, updated format during the 2021-22 RLCS season. This will open up Rocket Leagues top-level competition to many new countries, helping Psyonix reach new markets while also keeping the league uniform.
Iterating off of RLCS X, Psyonix is keeping the Fall, Winter, and Spring Splits seasonal layout, with each regional event starting with open qualifiers hosted on smash.gg. But each split will feature a different format:Image via Psyonix
RLCS: The Grid wont be making a return this season and teams will be allowed two regulation roster moves per season where they won’t forfeit performance points. This includes a maximum of one trade per regulated window.
Each split will have three regionals, which will feed into a Major to end the split. Teams will still be able to automatically qualify for regionals by earning performance points at various regionals. But for the first regional, every team will need to compete in an open qualifier.
Points from regionals and Majors will stack up and help teams qualify for the Rocket League World Championship, with Majors being heavily weighted over regionals in terms of performance point distribution.
For the Rocket League World Championship, Psyonix has massively overhauled the event, starting with a split into the Wildcard and Main Event.
Eight teams will automatically qualify for the Main Event, with regional weight and slots being assigned at the end of the regular season. An additional 16 teams will qualify for the World Championship Wildcard, where they’ll battle it out in a Swiss bracket for the final eight Main Event spots. Here’s how the Wildcard seeding will work:
Psyonix is planning to bring LAN events back starting with the Fall Major, which will be held in Stockholm from Dec. 8 to 12. But it will be players only. The intent is to have every Major and the World Championship at least be played as LAN events.
The RLCS is a worldwide league and it requires LAN events for the format to function as intended, Psyonix said. 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.
You can read more about the schedule, updates to formatting, and additional details on sign-ups by visiting the official Rocket League blog.