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RLCS 2021-22 Season announced with largest ever Rocket League esports prize pool, new format and regions, The Grid scrapped, plus the return of LANs

The Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) is back with the largest RLCS prize pool ever of $6m, more regions, an updated format and more.

RLCS 2021-22: Regions

First up, regions. For the RLCS 2021-22 season, the league is set to make ‘the largest expansion in its history’ by expanding to three new regions: Asia-Pacific North (APAC N), Asia-Pacific South (APAC S) and Middle East & North Africa (MENA),

In addition to the expansion of the RLCS, developer Psyonix will also be 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.

Also, every region playing in the RLCS 2021-22 season will now be playing the same format.

Psyonix said: “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.”

RLCS 2021-22: Format

RLCS X implemented a change from league play to an open, circuit-based format.

For the 2021-22 RLCS, the season will once again be divided into Fall, Winter, and Spring Splits, leading to the Rocket League World Championship. Each regional event will begin with an open qualifier (registration link at the bottom of this article).

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 have a double-elimination format.

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, and there will be 16 teams in every regional and major in each split. Teams will earn points at each event, with majors being heavily weighted over regional events. Points from both will be used to qualify for the Rocket League World Championship.

RLCS: The Grid won’t be returning for the RLCS 2021-22 season, but team broadcasts will take 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.

The Rocket League World Championship is also receiving a makeover as well. It will have two main stages: the new World Championship Wildcard and the World Championship Main Event. Eight top-performing teams from the majors will automatically qualify for the World Championship.

After all three majors, the best regions in the top eight of the major points table will be weighted against each other to see who earns the most auto-qualified slots to the World Championship Main Event.

The Main Event will then feature four double-elimination groups that feed into a single-elimination bracket.

The World Championship Wildcard will feature a Swiss format and 16 teams will qualify for it. Then the top eight teams from the Wildcard will qualify for the World Championship Main Event.

Seedings for the Wildcard are as follows:

  • 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

RLCS 2021-22: LAN events

Psyonix says its 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. It hopes to have every Major and World Championship as LAN events, but will monitor the pandemic and ‘make choices that are healthy for both the players and our league’.

“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,” the developer said in a press release.

“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.”

RLCS 2021-22: Season schedule and dates

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

All the new RLCS details were first revealed on the Rocket League Twitch channel today.

To sign up your team to compete in the open qualifiers, visit smash.gg.

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