Ahead of the tenth season of the RLCS, we take a look at what the revamped circuit will look like.

17:30, 12 Jun 2020

The world of Rocket League Esports is in an interesting situation right now. Amidst the signing of a letter of discontent by 13 organisations with teams in the RLCS, Psyonix announced $300,000 in funding for community TOs to keep RL esports going through to the end of July. Yesterday evening, The Esports Observer published an article detailing an email sent to RLCS organisations regarding what the Rocket League ecosystem will look like from now on.

The International is arguably the biggest tournament in all of esports. With record-shattering prize pools year in year out, TI champions walk away with a jaw-dropping amount of money. In the twelve months leading up to The International, the Dota Pro Circuit takes place. Teams compete in majors (with online qualifiers six different regions) and minors (with a spot in the major on the line) in order to accumulate points. At the end of the DPC, the twelve teams with the most points and one additional qualified team from each region compete in The International.

Whilst this system could work for Rocket Leauge, one main issue would be the complete removal of online League Play. With orgs already unhappy that the players have too high an influence over their spots, the removal of spot retention altogether without an event as big as TI to attract big orgs could prove to be disastrous for the esport as a whole.

RLCS World Championship Points
image via Valve

Another issue is that of how the points would be distributed. In Psyonix’s previous venture into a points-based circuit, the Renegade Cup, teams lost all of their points if they made a single change to their roster (even if it was just adding a substitute). This system did not work very well, with players forced to stick with their previous rosters up to four months after making a change in order to keep their finals spot. One solution to this problem was offered up by Beyond for their ASTRONAUTS Star Circuit Finals. Here the points were given to players as opposed to teams, with players then using their combined point totals to claim spots in the six-team finals.

So, what will the future of Rocket League Esports look like?

To start off, the RL Esports calendar would be based on 3 Majors. Teams would obtain points from each major, with roster changes potentially being penalised by a reduction in their point totals. In the downtime between each major, both NA and EU will have several weeks of online play and three bigger standalone tournaments, all feeding into qualification for the major. Although we don’t know how this weekly league will be structured, teams currently holding RLCS/RS spots are being given spots ahead of the system’s debut. At the conclusion of the regular season, teams then qualify for the World Championship based off of their point totals.

One major flaw of this system is that it would require teams to be at the top of their game for the majority of the year in order to secure a spot at the World Championship. This is where the distribution of points for each event becomes crucial, as teams who only start to gain a significant number of points later on in the year should still be able to secure an automatic spot at the World Championship. Rainbow Six’s previous system, similarly to the Renegade Cup, gave the winner of each major an invite to the World Championship even several months prior. Whilst this could work, teams the don’t have much of an incentive to play in the subsequent majors at all. Instead, teams who win a major will be given enough points that they can still qualify even with poorer performances later on. Another point of contention would be the continuation of the now far less important RLCS and Rival Series league structure.

Whilst we still have no idea what this format will look like in its final form, this leak has given us an insight into what Rocket League Esports will be from now on, once the Community Tournament Takeover is done and dusted.


Images via DreamHack | Valve

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