Esports Rocket League

Rocket League: What South America’s Inclusion Means for the RLCS

South American Rocket League

Psyonix announced that South America will become an official region of the Rocket League Chamionship Series’ seventh season. With Tuesday’s announcement South America (SAM) becomes the fourth region to join Rocket League Esports.

While this moment is a proud one for SAM, their inclusion also has interesting ramifications for the future of the RLCS. First, here’s a quick crash course on Rocket League in South America.

SAM: A Region of Untapped Potential

Most of the tournaments that have happened in South America have been organized and run by Rocket Street. They’ve run the Rocket Street Grind Series, SAM Championship Season 1 and many others. They will probably continue to work closely with Psyonix to bring more tournaments to pass in SAM.

The 0-4 performance that viewers saw from TBD at WSOE 4 was not the best SAM has to offer. Most of the region’s most talented players were not able to attend, and the ones that were don’t all play for the same club.

The region has three standout teams that have performed the best over the last few tournaments. Erodium posses one of the region’s elite rosters made up of Caio ‘CaioTG1’ Vinicius, Matheus  ‘Math’ Gonçalves and Valter ‘Valt’ Junior, who participated at WSOE with TBD.

South American Rocket League
Valt at WSOE 4

Lotus is the second behemoth of the region with Bruno ‘Haberkamper’ Haberkamp, Juan Carlo ‘Juan’ da Silva and Antonio ‘FirefoxD’ Schilling (also at WSOE). LaQuímica e-Sports is also among the top teams and is composed of Gabriel ‘Caard’ Cardoso, Felipe ‘Repi’ Chaves and Enzo ‘Tander’ Toledo.

The region is dominated by Brazilian talent. There players from other countries including Argentine Kevin Nahuel “Sempa” Sanchez and Chilean Haaron Fabian “Lance” Soto of Wiry Force.

How Will SAM Impact RLCS?

Assuming Psyonix invites the top two teams from SAM to the RLCS, there will be 12 teams at the season seven World Championship. Adding two more teams will throw a wrench in the 10 team format the RLCS has used since OCE joined in season three.

This means there could be major format changes to the World Championship. How will the tournament’s structure change with 12 teams? They will likely have to expand the bracket, and that means adding four more matches to an already extensive tournament.

Here’s what it might look like:

RLCS adds SAM

The top two teams from NA and EU would get first round byes, and it would make the path harder for the #3/#4 seeds and the top seeds from SAM/OCE to make a deep bracket run. The losers bracket will fill up more quickly.

This format places a higher emphasis on doing well during group play and in the regional tournaments. The top two seeds have a pretty nice advantage over the rest of the bracket.

RLCS could also move to a group play style with four groups of three. The winner of each group of round robin play advances to the semi-final. Or two teams could advance from each group for an eight game playoff. This format loses the excitement of a loser’s bracket run and leads to less matches played overall. Maybe that’s a good thing.

SAM’s inclusion comes four seasons after OCE was introduced into the fray. OCE joined in season three. This move leaves the door wide open for the inclusion of an Asian region. There are plenty of budding Japanese, Malaysian and Indonesian talents that in a season or two could be landing on the scene.

Expansion is good for the game. The more professionals included in high tier events means more people from all over the world watching those events. The more regions the merrier!

Images courtesy of WSOE.

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