RLCS Reportedly Bend Minimum Age Requirements For Team Liquid
Psyonix is reportedly bending the 15-year-old minimum age requirements for the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) to allow Team Liquid to field two underage players, despite the developers recently reinforcing the rule in community tournaments.
Having doubled down on their minimum age requirements to include all community tournaments in addition to the RLCS, Psyonix has allegedly made an exception to the rule to allow Team Liquid's 14-year-old duo to compete in the Winter Split Regional Event 3 Qualifiers.
Psyonix Reportedly Allowing Underage Team Liquid Duo To Compete in RLCS Qualifiers
The developers released a blog post on February 7, in which a wealth of positive adaptations to the community tournament guidelines were included, such as an increase in annual prize pools and crowdfunding sources. However, the post also included that, "All players must be at least 15 years old," a ruling in place for the RLCS but previously waived for community events.
Now, just a matter of days later, Psyonix has allegedly allowed Team Liquid to play in the Open Qualifiers, despite Oskar "Oski" Gozdowski and Tristan "Atow" Soyez not being of age until the main competition.
According to a public message within the ShiftRLE Discord server from Liquid's only eligible player Bruno "AcroniK" Lopes "liquid got the exception" to allow their players to play in the qualifiers.
Both Atow and Oski's birthdays are on February 22 and 23, respectively, meaning that they would be eligible to play in the Winter Split Regional 3 main event (February 25). However, having signed the prodigal duo after the Fall Split and subsequently forfeiting any points, the organisation would have to compete in the official qualification stages, which begin on February 20 - making the pair ineligible.
The trio has yet to showcase whether they have what it takes to make the main event, although it's apparent that the rising stars will have the opportunity to show the world what they have before their fifteenth birthdays.
Why Is The Exception Upsetting Fans?
Psyonix has been forced to take action against teams that have broken this rule in the past, which has now rubbed some fans up the wrong way. Back in RLCS X (the 2020/21 season), Jamal Jabary were disqualified from the Spring Split regional after their underage signing Lagan "Lj." Wilt didn't become eligible until the main event - much akin to the Team Liquid situation.
Many upcoming players have also had to bide their time patiently in the past.
Most recently, Daniel "Daniel" Piecenski had to wait before joining Spacestation Gaming and making his RLCS debut, despite being arguably the best 1v1 player in America.
In 2020, Moroccan-born Amine "itachi" Benayachi was also disqualified based on his location at the age of 13, and Psyonix made no leeway in allowing him to compete for FC Barcelona, making him wait until he moved to Spain to be eligible to play again.
Previously, Psyonix has followed their guidelines to the letter, leaving some fans rather disgruntled that the legislation is being loop-holed this time around.
The reports from AcroniK remain unconfirmed by Team Liquid and Psyonix, although we'll likely find out whether they'll take to the field in the coming weeks.