For the first time since 2019, the best Rocket League players from around the globe are back on the LAN stage for the RLCS 2021-22 Fall Split Major in Stockholm, Sweden.
And as if that weren’t exciting enough, the Fall Major will take on even more of a world championship feel than previous international events as teams from six different regions will be represented in the tournament.
Orgs from North America, Europe and Oceania are joined by the top RLCS contenders from South America (SAM), the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region for a truly international competition. It’s the first of three majors this season, each with its own distinct set of rules.
The event kicks off on Wednesday, Dec. 8. Here’s more on the format, schedule and teams to watch at the Fall Major.
The 2021-22 Fall Split Major will be held using the Swiss System, with 16 teams competing in five rounds of best-of-five matches. The top eight from the Swiss stage will then advance to a single-elimination, Bo7 playoff, culminating with a double Bo7 in the grand final.
Under the Swiss system, teams play up to five different opponents, either qualifying for the playoff upon winning three matches, or are eliminated once they reach three losses.
The total prize pool is $300,000, with $90,000 -- and 601 RLCS points -- going to first place.
Teams accrued points from three regional RLCS events to gain entrance into the Fall Major, with five from NA and EU, two from OCE and SAM, and one each from MENA and APAC making the cut.
The schedule will be determined based on the results, but we know which teams will square off in Round 1 of the Swiss stage.
- Ground Zero Gaming (OCE) vs. Team Envy (NA)
- Dignitas (EU) vs. Tokyo Verdy Esports (APAC)
- Team BDS (EU) vs. Complexity Gaming (NA)
- The General NRG (NA) vs. eRa Eternity (SAM)
- G2 Esports (NA) vs. Sandrock Gaming (MENA)
- Endpoint CeX (EU) vs. Renegades (OCE)
- FaZe Clan (NA) vs. Team Vitality (EU)
- SMPR Esports (EU) vs. FURIA Esports (SAM)
Teams to watch
Favorites: Endpoint CeX and NRG
Photo credit: Psyonix
Not only are NRG the reigning NA champions -- they’re technically the reigning world champs. A lot has changed since the last international finals were held nearly two full years ago in 2019, but one thing that hasn’t is NRG’s place in the S-tier. They enter the Fall Major with only one victory in three regional tourneys, but is there any question the seasoned duo of Garret “GarretG” Gordon and Justin “jstn.” Morales is the most consistent long-term pairing in the RLCS?
That being said, if you’re the wagering type, you might get more favorable odds on Endpoint, who have come from nowhere to dominate the EU scene this Fall. After finishing 10th in points last season, Endpoint have taken two of three regionals so far. It’s not entirely clear what has sparked their abrupt turnaround -- 17-year-old Frenchman Enzo “Seikoo” Grondein is the lone newcomer and arrived with a thin resume. Regardless, Endpoint are one of the hottest teams in the game right now.
Contenders: Dignitas, G2 Esports and Ground Zero Gaming
Photo credit: Psyonix
Here are three more teams who, along with NRG, are members of the old guard in RLCS yet still look just as dangerous as ever.
Coming off a rare down season, Dignitas are the only org not named Endpoint to win an EU regional thus far. Rocket League super-veteran Kyle “Scrub Killa” Robertson is new to the squad after playing *checks notes* pretty much everywhere, and they’ve been competitive in every tournament since.
G2 enter with momentum after taking the last NA regional. They’ve been steadily improving since Jacob “JKnaps” Knapman and Reed “Chicago” Wilen started working in 15-year-old newcomer Andres “dreaz” Jordan into the lineup late last season -- though, not surprisingly, they’re still unpredictable.
And after a pair of runner-up finishes in regional brackets, Aussie favorites Ground Zero finally picked up their first regional win of the season on their way into the Fall Major. All three of Jonathan “Express” Slade, Luke “Amphis” Riddell and Daniel “Torsos” Parsons return from last year’s OCE champions.
Dark horses: Renegades, Sandrock Gaming and Tokyo Verdy Esports
Photo credit: Psyonix
Here’s what’s so great about the new RLCS set-up for majors. In the not-so-distant past, two of these teams wouldn’t even have an opportunity to appear on this stage, let alone test their ability in a season split. Now, we get to find out how the best orgs from the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific stack up against all the rest.
Representing MENA will be Sandrock Gaming, a Saudi Arabian squad made up of players who previously dominated the Middle East with the Osh-Tekk Warriors. Sandrock took all three of the regionals, so there’s little doubt we’ll be seeing the best of the best from that part of the world in action.
Out of Japan is Tokyo Verdy Esports, which has put together a group of long-time Rocket League veterans whose careers have intersected with various orgs. Tokyo Verdy have also run the gauntlet and come away undefeated in APAC tourneys, so there also should be a lot of intrigue with how they fare here.
Of course, first-timers aren’t the only teams that can creep up on opponents. Renegades might get overshadowed by their OCE counterparts, Ground Zero, but it was actually Renegades who won the first two regionals of the season. The org has some solid Rocket League history, and seems to have got its groove back with the addition of 16-year-old Lachlan “Fever” Aitchison to the roster.
Lead photo credit: Psyonix