RLCS World Championship 2021-22 Preview

by stubat
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It’s almost time! In just ONE WEEK the wildcard stage of the RLCS 2021-22 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP begins! And on June 27th we were treated to the seeding for the first round of games in the swiss wildcard! But before we get into the wildcard and some of the standout matchups, we’ll take a look at a full breakdown of the format, as well as the 8 teams who made it into the main event, the teams who get to rest up for a few days longer!

RLCS World Championship Schedule

Schedule for the RLCS World Championship
Schedule for RLCS World Championship 2021-22. Source: RL Esports

If you’ve followed any of our RLCS coverage this season, you’ll understand why I’m so excited about the World Championships. First things first, there are 24 teams in total attending this season’s World Championship. The 8 top performing teams in the regular season automatically qualified for the main event and as such get to avoid playing in the wildcard swiss stage where all matches are best of 5.

The 16 teams in the World Championships swiss stage will battle it out for their place in the group stage. To get there, you must win 3 games. When you win 3 games, you book your place in the playoffs! Lose 3 games however and you will be sent home! A team can play a maximum of 5 games in the swiss stage.

Next, you have the World Championships group stage. The group stage features the top 8 seeded teams and the top 8 teams from the swiss stage. The group stage is a double elimination bracket where every game will be a best of 7. A double elimination bracket means you get TWO chances to qualify for the main event. 4 teams will qualify for the playoffs, the 2 who win their QF & SF games as well as the 2 teams who make it through the lower QF & lower SF. This is the same for both groups.

THEN we have the World Championships playoffs. The playoff is a single elimination bracket, again featuring only the best of 7 matches. This is a set seeding, however. The matches will be as follows:

  • Group A Upper Semi 1 Vs Group B Lower Semi 2
  • Group B Upper semi 2 Vs Group A Lower Semi 1
  • Group B Upper Semi 1 Vs Group A Lower Semi 2
  • Group A Upper Semi 2 Vs Group B Lower Semi 1

Unfortunately, since it’s a single elimination bracket, we won’t get any crazy lower bracket runs in the finals. Which some might say is a good thing. Full-blown “nut up or shut up” mode with your only “lifelines” being in the form of extra chances in the swiss and group stages. I like the idea of late heroics and a lower bracket run to the grand final, each to their own right?

One thing that is interesting to see about Rocket League as an esport now, whether you like the format or not, is how much it is growing in popularity across the board. With some places televising the majors and now World Championships, we’re seeing more and more sportsbooks across the world opening up markets for it, including across the US where esports betting isn’t fully regulated yet.

For example, if Ohio-born AyyJayy’s former colleagues, friends, or family want to bet on FaZe lifting the World Championships trophy at the end of the tournament, now there are plenty of Ohio sports betting apps that have markets available for them and these markets are growing across the US.

RLCS Faze Clan Winner

Speaking of FaZe, it’s time to take a look at the top 8 teams from the regular season, who through a complicated ranking system managed to make it to the World Championships group stage without having to worry about the swiss stage!

Top 8 Seeded Teams for World Championships

G2 (NA #1)FaZe (NA #2)NRG (NA #3)Moist (EU #1)
Satthew (C)Sizz (C)Noah (C)
musty (S)
BDS (EU #2)Endpoint (EU #3)FURIA (SAM #1)Falcons (MENA #1)
M0nkey M00nRelatingWaveCaioTG1Ahmad
Mew (C)Eclipse (C)Kairos (C)bo0odi44 (S)
MaRc_By_8. (S)STL (C)
Key: (C) = Coach (S) = Substitute

These teams were the best of the best and after performing the most consistently, or other teams not being quite as consistent in some cases (cough, NRG.) they no longer have to worry about the nervy swiss stage.

Now we’re going to take a look at the first round of games from the World Championships swiss stage, none of the teams listed above are in this swiss stage however 16 teams are a LOT to list, so what I’ll be doing instead is talking about a couple of these games that will be kicking off the actions in Dallas!

World Championship Round 1 Games

RLCS World Championship Schedule Round 1 Matches
Wildcard Round 1 Matches. Source: Liquipedia

The first big game on this list to me is one that should be a fairly straightforward affair for Karmine Corp, but their first game is against 01 esports from Saudi Arabia. Some people may not have heard of 01 esports, depending entirely on whether you watched much RLCS outside of NA/EU this season. I didn’t catch a lot of the MENA season, partially because SRG/Falcons won 9 out of 9 regionals. BUT! I did see the Gamers8 tournament from Riyadh.

01 Esports put up a pretty good showing beating AllMid, Renegades twice and after losing to Dignitas once, managed to beat them the second time they played them. 01 would however go on to get swept 4-0 by Guild. So while it isn’t a true gauge of their ability given the Gamers8 tournament featured 1v1 & 2v2 which people know favours the Saudi teams, given that was their biggest form of grinding for a while! But they still played well in the 3v3 games they played. Mohsen (M7sN) in particular was fantastic.

See, Karmine Corp were Semi-Finalists in the Spring Major, not only that as a roster they have only been together as a full roster since April 2022 when noly joined and Eversax was picked up as their coach. This roster has come on leaps and bounds since noly was acquired and it is a real joy to see. I feel that if people are thinking they plateaued in the Spring Major they are honestly mistaken. I feel like KC is only getting better and could be looking at a top 8 finish at worlds MINIMUM. But the element of surprise is real for 01 and they could do their bit in getting KC’s tournament off to a rough start.

Next up would be V1 vs Orlando Pirates, this one is an easy guess at who wins, I can NOT see Orlando Pirates winning this one by any stretch of the imagination. Not to take anything away from OP but at the Gamers8 LAN, they said it’s hard for them to develop their meta and push their skills because South Africa has a very small player base and playing against other regions they suffer from massive ping.

So why is this one interesting? Easy. This is the LAN debut for Orlando Pirates, never mind a debut at a World Championships. I’m excited for this, in the same way, I was excited to see Tokyo Very and Sandrock Gaming in the Fall Major. While Tokyo Very performed poorly and SRG finished top 8, I kind of expected and wished for SRG to do well, TV on the other hand I was more interested as to HOW they would do, given we had seen and heard of SRG, even though it wasn’t on the RLCS stage.

We need to get the EXPANSION REGIONS more time in the spotlight. But ultimately V1 are too strong a side to lose this match, not to mention how intimidating it can be playing against a MASSIVELY vocal Comm!

Rocket League Car

And finally, it would be Team Secret Vs Semper. This one is a genuinely interesting matchup and could dictate the rest of the swiss stage for either team. It’s no secret that the hopes of glory for South America likely rest on FURIA for obvious reasons, yanxnz is arguably a top 3 player in the world right now. However, Team Secret are actually a damn good team, a roster of Sad, nxghtt and math is nothing to turn your nose up at. There’s a reason they’re the #2 South American seed. But Semper will be wanting to get their season properly up and running with this new all-French roster they’ve got.

This game could genuinely go either way, I can see both of them getting through to the group stage, whether either of these teams makes it through to the World Championships playoffs remains to be seen, but a strong showing in the swiss stage to build confidence could really set the stage for one of them to make a deep run in the tournament, right? Secret is fighting for SAM pride but Semper is trying to prove a point after making some roster changes and loaning archie to Endpoint. It really could go either way.

That’s going to do it for this one! Unlike the Spring Major in London, I am unable to attend the World Championships in person, a 2-week stay in Dallas is quite far off the table for us right now. But I’m very excited regardless and I am definitely looking forward to getting the opportunity to attend more RLCS Lans in the future! Keep your eyes peeled because we will be getting coverage up as and when we can! Who do you think is gonna win the tournament? Will a non-EU/NA team make the grand final for a second LAN in a row? So many possibilities!

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