We’re just days away from season four of the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) and inaugural Rocket League Rival Series (RLRS). It’s finally time to take a look at this season’s competitors, with Play-Ins taking place last weekend.
Despite upsets already happening, Friday marks the beginning of a long road to the world finals for these players.
Season four will take place over the next six weeks, with Oceania’s league play offset from North America and Europe by a week. Meaning OCE’s fifth week of league play will take place on week six, while NA and EU are in regional championships. Two weeks after this, OCE’s regional championship will take place alongside NA and EU’s promotion/relegation tournament.
With the addition of the RLRS, there are 40 teams competing in season four. 16 from NA, 16 from EU and eight from OCE. Here’s a look at the season four teams, with substitute players in parenthesis.
- Cloud9: Torment / SquishyMuffinz / Gimmick / (Napp)
- Emotion: Allushin / Sea-bass / TyNotTyler / (Blaze)
- Flyquest: CorruptedG / Chrome / Sadjunior / (Pepiope)
- G2 Esports: Kronovi / Rizzo / Jknaps / (Turtle)
- Ghost: Klassux / Lethamyr / Zanejackey / (blueze)
- NRG: Fireburner / Jacob / GarretG / (DudeWithTheNose)
- Renegades: Dappur / Moses / Timi / (Mijo)
- Rogue: Matt / Sizz / Insolences / (Red)
- Ambition Esports: PrimeThunder / Wonder / Air / (sQuillis)
- Cypher: Dooble / Kerupt / King Wizard / (Akenro)
- Fibeon: Chicago / Zolhay / Hato / (Raze)
- Incognito: GoRocksGo / Tuster / JWismont / (Nickymac18)
- Out of Style: Lachinio / JSTN / EPICJonny
- Premature Superhero Cops: Gambit / Prem / Genocop / (Donnie)
- SetToDestroyX: Lemonpuppy / Halcyon / Memory / (Loomin)
- Wildcard Gaming: Laz / Nomad / Pepper / (Astroh)
- Aeriality: Continuum / Tylacto / FlamE / (Ertunc)
- EnVyUs: Remkoe / Deevo / gReazymeister / (Mout)
- exceL: Nielskoek / Pwndx / Zensuz / (Masterio)
- Flipsid3 Tactics: Markydooda / Kuxir97 / Miztik / (JHZER)
- frontline: Ferra / Bluey / Chausette45 / (Yukeo)
- Gale Force eSports: ViolentPanda / Turbopolsa / Kaydop / (Dogu)
- Method: al0t / Metsanauris / Mognus / (Sniper)
- Mockit eSports: paschy90 / Fairy Peak! / FreaKii / (PetricK)
- BoonkGang: Skyline / Mummisnow / EyeIgnite / (Tizz)
- eHawkerz: Kontrol / GCR710 / dani_ana
- Endpoint: Tinny / Cheerio / Shakahron / (Pulsar)
- Inspiration: Oscillon / Sebadam / Lauty / (Flakes)
- Soul Gaming: Dadooh / SkieS / ghostfire / (Wolfsonthemoon)
- Supersonic Avengers: PauliepaulNL / ELMP / Shikuni / (kilEak)
- The Juicy Kids: Killerno7 / stocki / Frag / (coKaaa)
- The Leftovers: Snaski / Maestro / Sikii / (Danzhizzle)
- Avant Gaming: Cyrix / Ellusive / Siki / (Requiem)
- Chiefs ESC: Torsos / Drippay / Jake / (Enigma)
- Conspiracy Esports: Hectic / Slurpee / Walcott
- JAM Gaming: Montyconnor / Express / Shadey / (Bango)
- Legacy Esports: Soma / Zen / Plitz
- Noizee Isn’t Toxic: Noizee / Outlast / Zest / (Reggles)
- Pale Horse Esports: CJCJ / Kamii / Kia
- Scylla Esports: Dumbo / SnarfSnarf / Addzey
Ultimately, all of these teams are aiming for a chance to take the stage at the world championships. However, the road to the world championships is longer for some of these teams than others. Any team in the RLRS hoping to make it into the world championships will have to wait until season five.
In order for any of the teams in the RLRS to have a shot at the world championships in season five, they’ll have to come in the top two for their region in season four. Even then, they aren’t guaranteed a spot in the RLCS. At the end of season four, the top two teams in each region of the RLRS will take part in a double-elimination, best-of-seven tournament along with the bottom two teams in region of the RLCS. This tournament will determine whether a team drops into the lower RLRS division, rises up into the higher RLCS division, or simply stays in their current division.
The introduction of this promotion/relegation system raises the stakes for these players. They can no longer simply regroup or try a new team after a cold season and make into the RLCS next time around. Any new team hoping to compete in the RLCS must first fight their way to the top of the RLRS.
Despite league play not beginning until Friday, season four has already seen several upsets. Many expected to see Fibeon Esports get a shot at the RLCS in season four. However, they were relegated to the RLRS after losing 3-0 to Emotion in the loser’s bracket of Play-Ins.
Perhaps the biggest upset so far, though, is the relegation of The Leftovers to the RLRS. After season three, The Leftovers gave Victor “Ferra” Francal the boot, opting to replace him with veteran Nicolai “Maestro” Bang. Ferra created his own team and knocked The Leftovers into the loser’s bracket with a clean sweep.
In the loser’s bracket, The Leftovers were relegated to the RLRS after losing by another clean sweep. This time to Aeriality. Aeriality was, perhaps, expected to make it into the RLRS. However, the clean sweep over the veterans in The Leftovers sent them into RLCS, causing perhaps the biggest upset of season four so far.
With teams relegated and league play about to begin, the real question is whether or not these upset teams can hold their own against the veteran teams they’ll be up against in the RLCS. Will the upsets continue, or will they find themselves being relegated down to the RLRS for season five?
Team captain of The Leftovers, Nicolai “Snaski” Vistesen Andersen believes his team will be promoted to the RLCS for season five, as he tweeted “Guess we gotta go through RLRS to show everyone that we definitely don’t belong there.” There’s a strong possibility that this veteran team will do just that, coming in the top two of the RLRS and winning their way into the RLCS during the promotion/relegation tournament. That being said, in order for The Leftovers to be promoted, someone has to be relegated down.
With these upset teams already shattering expectations, it’s surely possible they will continue to do so during league play. Hence the term upset. Yet, I fully expect to see Emotion from NA and Aeriality from EU at least competing in their respective promotion/relegation tournaments, if not being relegated down to the RLRS for season five.
Featured image courtesy of rlcs.gg
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