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Rocket League Championship Series: What You Need to Know

Rocket League is one of the most popular games in the world of eSports, and the Rocket League Championship Series is one of the most anticipated events in the gaming community. It is a fierce and long competition that attracts tons of spectators every year. Players from different organizations and teams compete against each other for the title of world champion. So, if you are thinking about starting a career in professional gaming or just want to participate as a fan, this article is for you. Today we will explain in detail what RLCS is, how it works, and when the next event will take place.

What Are Rocket League Championships?

The Rocket League Championship Series, also known as RLCS, is the largest and most significant event in Rocket League eSports. It is an official tournament organized by Psyonix, Epic Games, and Twitch that takes place every year and attracts a large community of players annually.

A Brief History of the Event

The first edition of the RLCS was organized back in 2016 in Los Angeles. The championship included teams from North America and Europe, while the prize pool amounted to quite a nice sum of $55,000. The Rocket League crew that claimed the title of the first official world champion was iBUYPOWER. The next edition of the event was held in Amsterdam. After that, the RLCS grew very quickly, and soon (after 3 seasons to be exact) a second division was introduced, namely the Rocket League Rival Series, also known as RLRS. The idea was to give all the best teams a chance to show their skills in the main event, which is RLCS. This was possible due to the fact that in order to participate in the Rocket League Championship Series, crews would have to advance from the Rocket League Rival Series, which could be achieved during the Promotion Playoffs. However, after season 9, the RLRS was removed due to various changes to the RLCS format.

Most of the major changes occurred when Epic Games acquired Psyonix in season 8. In 2021, more regions were added and a 3 split system was introduced, which was essentially an open event-based circuit format. Currently, the 12th season of Rocket League is divided into 3 parts – Fall, Winter, and Spring. All of them have their own regional events leading up to the main course, which is the international Rocket League World Championship.

How Does Rocket League Championship Series Work?

So the RLCS experienced major format changes during the last 2021-2022 season. There is no more RLRL and the competition is divided into 3 official splits – Fall, Winter and Spring. Now, the point of this division is to determine who will take part in the official World Championship. In order to do so, during each split, three regional events are held – an Open, a Cup, and an Invitational, during which the players are earning points. Unfortunately, the tournaments all work on a different principle, which makes things a little bit complicated. Let us explain.

The Open

The Open, as the name suggests, is supposed to be open pretty much for everyone to participate. In the case of the fall split, this is absolutely true. An Open Qualifier is held, during which the 16 available slots for the Open are supposed to be filled. However, when it comes to the Winter and Spring splits, it works a little differently. Half of the slots are filled by the highest overall scoring teams, while only the other half consists of crews that qualified through an Open Qualifier.

The Cup

Fortunately, the cups in all 3 splits work on the same principle, which is pretty much the same as the Open in the Winter and Spring splits. Namely, half of the participating teams are the highest-scoring teams of the season, while the other half qualified through an Open Qualifier.

The Invitational

The Invitational, as you can imagine, is the most exclusive of all regional events. The only way to participate is by receiving an invitation, and the teams that receive one are always in the top 16 of the RLCS rankings. No Open Qualifiers are held.

Each split ends with an international Major, where 16 teams battle it out. These are the events that give you the most points and, just like the Invitationals, are invite-only. However, being invited to a Major is a huge deal, as the number of points that can be earned through such an event is significantly higher than those that can be earned at a regional event.

The World Championship

The World Championship is the culmination of everything happening prior. It is a huge event (10 days to be exact), which is divided into 2 stages.

The first stage is the World Championship Wildcard, where 16 so-called “Wildcard” teams compete against each other in a Swiss format to advance to the next stage. The Swiss format means that you must win 3 matches to qualify, and if you lose 3 matches, you are automatically eliminated.

The next stage is the World Championship Main Event. There, 16 teams compete for the title of Rocket League World Champion. There are 8 auto-qualified teams, and 8 teams that won the Wildcard stage. However, during this part of the competition, the Swiss format no longer applies. This time the teams are divided into an eight-team, Double-Elimination Bracket. The final stage of the competition is a Single-Elimination Bracket, and whoever wins it is declared the overall winner of the Rocket League Championship Series.

When Was the Last RLCS?

As mentioned, the RLCS is currently divided into 3 splits, each with its own major regional events. These tournaments are designed to determine the teams that will then have the opportunity to participate in the World Championships. This is where the individual competitions were held in the 2021-2022 season:

  • Spring Split Major: London, Copper Box Arena
  • Winter Split Major: Los Angeles, FACEIT Studio and YouTube Arena
  • Fall Split Major: Stockholm, ESL Sweden Studio
  • World Championship: Fort Worth, Dickies Arena

The World Championship was held in August of 2022 and had a prize pool of $2,085,000. A total of 24 teams took part in the event, and the winners turned out to be the crew members of Team BDS, which is a Swiss eSports organization.

When Is the Next RLCS?

The next RLCS takes place in August of 2023 and is expected to have an even bigger prize pool of $2,100,000. Unfortunately, the location of any of the events, including the 3 regional competitions, has not yet been announced. The entire Rocket League eSports community is on its tiptoes, waiting for Epic Games to reveal where the tournament will be held. What is certain is that it will probably be the biggest event in the game’s history.

What Are the Current Best Teams?

Rocket League is one of the most dynamic branches of eSports, and statistics are constantly changing. With such a complex RLCS format and such intense competition, it’s hard to pinpoint a reigning leader. However, with the 2022-2023 season fast approaching and the World Championship only a few months away, some of the biggest rivals can be named.

The current Top 5 teams, according to international rankings, are:

  • Gen.G Mobile1 Racing from the United Kingdom
  • Karmione Corp from the Benelux region
  • FaZe Clan from the United States
  • Moist Esports form the United Kingdom
  • Team Liquid from the European Union region

Here are a few other teams that are worth your attention:

  • G2 Sports from the United States
  • Dignitas from the United States
  • Complexity Gaming from Argentina
  • Team Secret from Brazil


The Rocket League Championship Series is one of the biggest events in the entire world of eSports. Every year, this complex tournament attracts players from all over the globe who want to either participate or simply find out who will turn out to be the next reigning champion. If you are interested in being a part of the Rocket League eSports community, then be sure to read this article to fully understand what RLCS is. Also, check out this guide on how to become a Rocket League pro to help you kick-start your career.

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