January 9, 2022
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Last December, Rocket League fans had plenty of action to follow as the game’s esports scene finally returned to offline events after well over a year since the online era started. However, the hype for the game hasn’t died a single bit, and fans are already looking forward to the next big thing in Psyonix’ schedule.

This next big thing is, of course, the next Major event in Rocket League. The RLCS 2021 – 2022 Winter Major is set to start in March, but before it does, the circuit that will lead to it has already kicked off, and every team hoping for a chance to take part in the event will have to perform to their best to reach it.

But exactly how is the circuit built, and what a team needs to reach the upcoming Winter Major? This is what we’ll be addressing today!

THE WINTER MAJOR

Before we talk about Psyonix’ circuit, let’s first see how the Winter Major itself will be run. The event is planned to be played offline just like the Fall Major, and it will pack a $300.000 prize pool. Least but just as important to mention, the RLCS Winter Major will kick off on March 23rd.

The event will feature sixteen teams, and there won’t be direct invites. This means that all these squads will have to fight their way into the event. And here’s how the spots will be awarded:

  • 5 spots will go to the five top teams in the North America Winter Rankings
  • 5 spots will go to the five top teams in the Europe Winter Rankings
  • 2 spots will go to the two top teams in the Oceania Winter Rankings
  • 2 spots will go to the two top teams in the South America Winter Rankings
  • 1 spot will go to the top team in the Asia-Pacific Winter Rankings
  • 1 spot will go to the top team in the Middle East and North Africa Winter Rankings

HOW THE RANKINGS WORKS

Rocket League esports’ scene right now have two kinds of ranking systems in place by Psyonix. The first one we’ll be calling the general RLCS ranking, and it carries points from the entire 2021 – 2022 season. This ranking is being used to decide which teams will qualify directly to Rocket League’s regional events and which teams will have a spot in the closed qualifiers instead. Of course, this system will also decide which teams will go to the World Championship.

The second ranking system is specific to the Winter Season, and points for this one will be gained through the three regional events that will be hosted by Psyonix from January to late February. Every region but APAC will have three regional events, and each one of those will feature sixteen squads. From these sixteen teams, eight will come from the qualifier system, and eight will be direct invites based on the general RLCS ranking. Points gained in the Winter Season also count to the general RLCS ranking.

So, now that we’ve got the gist of how the rankings work, let’s take a look at how the Winter Regional events will work.

REGIONALS

As mentioned above, all regions but APAC will see three regional events taking place from January to late February. These events will be played online and each region will have its own prize pool. For example, North America and Europe events are going to pack $100.000 in each event, while the MENA, South American and Oceanic regionals will each feature $30.000 in prize.

Besides the money though, each event will also award ranking points. Each tournament for every region will feature a total of 2511 points, with the winning team taking home 351 points, and the four squads in last place only leaving with 60 points each. This means that teams that have already qualified to every event in their region due to the general RLCS ranking such as FaZe Clan have already guaranteed at least 180 points. This amount, however, will be far from enough to qualify to the Winter Major.

Following up, there are teams that have already directly qualified to all of the regionals, but some teams have only qualified to one or two, and others have qualified to none. For these teams, they will have to go to the qualifiers in order to get a shot at reaching the regionals.

THE FORMAT

Before we forget, here’s how the Winter Regionals will work, format-wise. Each event will be a two-stage tournament, with sixteen teams starting up in a round robin setup. Four groups with four teams each will be formed, and the winner of each group will advance to the Winners Bracket in the playoffs. The second and third places will advance to the playoffs too, but they will be in the losers-bracket. All matches are BO5s.

As for the playoffs, it will be run in a double-elimination bracket. All matches in the upper-bracket are BO7s, while the first two stages of the lower-bracket will see teams playing in BO5s. The lower-bracket finals will be played as two BO7s series. Finally, the grand-finals will be played as a BO7 with a bracket reset.

QUALIFIERS

Open and closed qualifiers will be held by Psyonix for each Regional event in all regions. Most open qualifiers for the first regional are already going on. Still, you can register your own team through here.. In any case, eight teams from the open qualifiers will advance to the closed qualifiers. There, eight teams will be waiting them. These eight teams will be awarded spots based on their positions in the general RLCS ranking.

As for the closed qualifiers, these events are single-stage tournaments using the Swiss system and all matches will be best-of-five. The top eight teams at the end of each event will be awarded a spot in the Winter Regional that they qualified for, and they will be joined for the eight teams in the top of the general RLCS ranking.

THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Qualifying to any Major in Rocket League is a great feat for sure. However, the Majors in the current circuit are just steps leading towards the biggest event in RL history. The World Championship.

The Championship will boast a massive $2.085.000 prize pool, and 24 teams will fight for it. This is shaping up to be the biggest event in Rocket League, and excitement is off the roof. Still, many details are unknown to this point. What we know, though, is that Psyonix plans to host it in North America. Considering the size of the event, it’s fair to assume it’s planned to be played in front of a live crowd.

However, the World Championship is set to kick off only in July. Until then plenty of action in the Rocket League scene will be happening. First, the Winter circuit. Then, we’ll also be have the Spring Major and circuit following next.

So until the World Championship, make sure to follow us here! We’ll be covering everything esports and Rocket League related!

@mjunior