RLCS is Proving eSports are Here to Stay

This past weekend, the 2021-2022 Rocket League Championship Series – Fall Split Major took place. Competed at the ESL Sweden Studio in Stockholm, Sweden, this particular season of RLCS was highly anticipated for several reasons. 

Most notably, there was a major expansion in the field of regions. The Middle East & North Africa (MENA), Asia-Pacific North, Asia-Pacific South, and Sub-Saharan Africa join North America (NA), Europe (EU), Oceania, and South America. It also marked the return of RLCS from two years ago due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. 

After 4 exhilarating days of competition, Team BDS was crowned victorious and walked away with $90,000 of the $300,000 prize pool. Runners-up NRG, FAZE, and SMPR Esports rounded out the final four. As one of the most popular and lucrative eSports out there, Rocket League is proving that things will only get better for the competitive gaming scene!

An Unlikely Formula for Success

Rocket League is a 2015 sequel to the 2008 Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. It pits two teams of one to four rocket-powered cars in one of many arenas. They participate in a futuristic, automobile-focused version of soccer – or football, depending on who you ask. 

Through mechanical skill, strategic prowess, and team communication, teams compete for 5 minutes of regulation and, if needed, a sudden death overtime period to crown the victory. Who knew cars and soccer would go together like peanut butter and jelly!

March Madness but with Cars

RLCS is conducted in the “standard” game mode of three versus three. In the RLCS 2021-2022 Fall Split Major, the sixteen teams spanning the eight previously mentioned regions, participated in a best-of-five match group stage labeled the “Swiss Stage”. Following the first round of the tournament, the top eight teams participated in a best-of-seven single-elimination playoff. The grand final is the first to win two sets of best-of-seven matches!

Because of the nature of this video game, matches are high octane for the 5+ minutes of competition. The viewership confirms this. At one point on Saturday, nearly half a million people between Twitch and YouTube had tuned in to watch a quarterfinal match between FAZE and SMPR Esports. That would be about two stadiums worth of viewers. During the group stage, Rocket League ran an A and B stream to cover all the action a la March Madness during the first couple weekends. Thanks to Twitch’s squad mode, watchers could stay on top of all the action!

You can find links to replays for every match played during this RLCS here.

What’s Next for RLCS

RLCS brings a lot of competitive fun and pride to regions around the world. Even though Rocket League is in its sixth year, expect RLCS to only get bigger and better in future seasons!

With more representation across the world, lesser-known regions will get notoriety and the sport will continue to grow. Considering the fact that the mechanical game is still evolving and team compositions are getting stronger, the best is yet to come. The Psyonix-developed, Epic Games-acquired product is here to stay!

The Winter-Split major is scheduled for the end of March. We’ll see you there for a different type of madness! Behind the fantastic production and amazing team of announcers and analysts, this is prime time competitive viewership.

What do you think about the future of RLCS and Rocket League eSports? Will there ever be a need for Rocket League 2? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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