Due to COVID-19, Rocket League had to change how they host their championship tournaments. Here’s a look at what Rocket League’s competitive changes will look like.

Rocket League opening screen
2020 will see significant changes in the competitive structure of Rocket League.
Image by by Caelestis on MobyGames.com

Considering Rocket League’s growth since its first Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) in 2016, their competitive play was due for a change to accommodate its millions of new players. On July 1, the new Rocket League Championship Series was announced, titled the RLCS X. This structure is open-format, meaning anyone could register their team through battlefy.com before the July 24 deadline. A total of 4.5 million dollars in prize money is at stake, with the first Regional on August 1.

They divide the season into three equal lengths of time, called “splits.” They’re divided by seasons (Fall, Winter, and Spring) with the World Championship in the Summer. Each split features three Regional events that determine who qualifies for the split’s Major tournament. They award points based on results, with Major tournaments being worth more than Regionals. Points are totaled at the end of the final split to decide which teams go to the World Championship.

Visual format of the groupings for Rocket League's tournaments.
A visual representation of Rocket League’s new competitive format.
Image from Rocket League official website

While the top-performing teams from last year automatically qualify for Regionals, they hold an open qualifier to determine which teams fill the rest of the 32 slots. Regional tournaments follow a round-robin style tournament until 8 teams are left, making it a single-elimination tournament.

They divide regions by continent — Europe, North America, South America, and Oceana. The formatting of this new system, however, has only been revealed for Europe and North America. We also know that the World Championship will feature 6 teams from America, 6 from Europe, 2 from Oceana, and 2 from South America.

Another new aspect of the RLCS X is its weekly Grid tournaments. Each week, the top-performing teams earn $10,000 of prize money. Though these wins don’t contribute to the points needed to qualify for Worlds, winning secures a spot in that split’s Major. The top 10 of the 16-team tournament are guaranteed a place in the next split’s Grid.

Each Major follows a unique structure depending on the split, but specifics are not available yet. For the upcoming Fall Regional, they will play all games online because of COVID-19. Stay tuned into Rocket League’s Twitch for live broadcasts of the RLCS X, starting August 1.