ESports News – RLCS Edition

by stubat
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With the first Rocket League LAN event in two years coming up, today is as good a chance as any to take a look at some of the new regions that have been introduced to the RLCS this season. Historically, we only ever had attendance at LAN from North America, Europe, South America and the Oceanic region.

But this season? We have representatives from the Asia-Pacific region (we’ll break this one down shortly) and the Middle East and North African regions, which for me, a neutral RLCS fan who doesn’t side with any teams, even though I like to see European teams do well, it is awesome to have more representation across the board and it gives plenty more people a chance to show the world what they’ve got!

I think it’s worth mentioning before we delve into this, that there aren’t really any surprises as to who people are looking at as the favourite regions coming into this major. As a gambling man myself, if I’m putting my money anywhere it’s either North America with The General NRG (Favourites at 6/4 on Bet365) or it’s going to be Europe with Team Dignitas (9/1 at Bet 365, crazy).

I watch a LOT of professional Rocket League and the quality coming out of some of the new regions isn’t QUITE up to scratch yet but that isn’t to say it’ll never be there, also anything can happen on the day. But if you’re perusing the usual forums looking for tips, places like Everygame Review, /r/RLCS on Reddit, or even just discord groups devoted to esports or the RLCS in general, I feel like most of your tips are going to be exactly the same as mine. A North American or European team takes this, with MAYBE FURIA (15/1 odds from Bet365, worth a punt IMO) from South America coming in as a dark horse.

So, while the Middle East and North African region were pretty “straightforward”, typical open qualifiers and then your normal regionals, with lower prize money than the big boys sure, but it was pretty standard, all boiling down to ONE slot for the major. We definitely need to mention the APAC Region, the route that Tokyo Verdy had to take to qualify for the major was much more convoluted.

With every other region, things were pretty simple. Regional 1 of the split you would have an invitational qualifier, the top 8 placed teams in the invitational qualifier would be pushed through to the Swiss Stage of the regional proper, the bottom 8 teams would drop into the closed qualifier, where they would be joined by 8 teams who made it through the OPEN qualifier.

This gives ANYBODY who is good enough a chance to make it to the big stage of the RLCS, something I quite frankly love and honestly, some big-name teams missed out on making it to the Swiss Stage of the actual regional from this format, Team Liquid, FC Barcelona and Solary in particular from EU alone. Liquid alone would be a huge loss but followed by those guys? Crazy.

With the APAC (Asia Pacific), firstly their region was split into two. Asia Pacific South and Asia Pacific North, for both regions qualification for the main event, was done in 2 phases. An open qualifier that allowed 32 teams from the North and 32 teams from the south to compete in a closed qualifier *deep breath* THEN the top 16 teams from each of those CLOSED qualifiers would qualify for the main event which runs Friday-Sunday. There was a LOT on the line for both APAC-N and APAC-S, as this is the VERY FIRST time Asia Pacific would be represented in the RLCS. 

But that’s not all. Some of you may already know that qualification for the Major is based on a points system. Your finishes throughout the split in each of the 3 regionals will allow you to accumulate prize money but on top of that you earn points. Those points will allow you to attend the major, however, it is shared out quite unevenly, this is based on the history of the RLCS it seems.

The top 5 teams from North America and the top 5 teams from Europe qualify, the top 2 Oceanic region teams qualify and the top 2 South American teams qualify, but the MENA and APAC regions only allow for 1 spot each. Now I hear you asking, but how do they pick which APAC team is attending the RLCS Major if their region was split into North & South?

Okay so, the top two teams from APAC-N, Tokyo Verdy and Team GanDerS as well as the top two teams from APAC-S, Pulse (yes that Pulse) and Azure Esports would play in a small format double-elimination tournament to decide which team from the APAC region would get to travel to Sweden. Tokyo Verdy, as they did through the entire APAC-N Fall Split, put on a very dominant performance, now the hopes of the entire APAC region are on their shoulders. There is still of course the Sub Saharan Africa region that is now also part of the RLCS, but for the time being, they don’t have any spots up for grabs at LAN, it’s all about baby steps, right?

RLCS Fall Major final words

That’s going to do it for this one! I hope you guys are as excited for the RLCS Fall Major as I am, I wish I could’ve gone to Sweden to attend, alas, I’m just stuck watching it on Twitch like the majority of us. I am worried however that Omicron might put a stop to the remaining planned LANs of the season, here’s hoping that doesn’t happen! Who do you guys think takes the glory at the LAN? I really can’t look past NRG or Dignitas, both teams have been playing phenomenally well and realistically NRG have been the ONLY consistent team so far this season. ANYWAY, take care everybody and happy gaming!

For even more esports news on RLCS and other tournaments, click right HERE.

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