RLCS World Championship 2022: Everything you need to know

by Brian Bencomo

The Rocket League Championship Series World Championship kicks off on Aug. 4 and runs through Aug. 14 in Fort Worth, Texas. There will be more teams than ever competing in an RLCS international event: 24. The 24 teams come from seven different regions around the world: North America (NA), Europe (EU), South America (SAM), Oceania (OCE), Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Asia Pacific (APAC) and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

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This will be the first time ever that teams from Sub-Saharan Africa will compete in an RLCS global event. RLCS Worlds 2022 also will have the biggest prize pool ever for an RLCS event at just over $2 million with the champion getting $600,000. The only other Rocket League tournament with that big a prize pool was the Gamers8 tournament that took place in Saudi Arabia in early July. To get you ready for the biggest RLCS tournament ever, here’s a primer on the qualified teams, schedule and format and storylines to watch.

Photo credit: Psyonix

Qualified teams

NA teams: G2 Esports, FaZe Clan, NRG, Version1, Spacestation Gaming, OpTic Gaming

EU teams: Moist Esports, Team BDS, Endpoint, Dignitas, Karmine Corp, SMPR Esports

SAM teams: FURIA Esports, Team Secret, The Club

OCE teams: Renegades, Pioneers

MENA teams: Team Falcons, Veloce Esports, 01 Esports

APAC teams: Tokyo Verdy Esports, Gaimin Gladiators

SSA teams: Orlando Pirates Exdee, Bravado Gaming

Read more: One thing to know about every RLCS World Championship qualified team

Photo credit: Psyonix

Schedule and format

The RLCS World Championship begins with the wild card stage which will be a 16-team Swiss system format, with teams needing to win three matches to advance to the group stage. Teams that lose three matches are out. All matches are best of five, and ultimately eight teams will advance. The wild card stage runs from Aug. 4 to Aug. 7. The 16 teams competing in the wild card stage are:

  • Version1
  • Spacestation Gaming
  • OpTic Gaming
  • Dignitas
  • Karmine Corp
  • SMPR Esports
  • Team Secret
  • The Club
  • Renegades
  • Pioneers
  • Veloce Esports
  • 01 Esports
  • Tokyo Verdy Esports
  • Gaimin Gladiators
  • Orlando Pirates Exdee
  • Bravado Gaming

The eight teams that make it out of the wild card stage will join eight teams that have directly qualified for the group stage, which will take place Aug. 9-13. The 16 teams will be divided into two groups of eight, and four teams will advance out of each group onto the playoffs. The playoffs will be a single-elimination bracket taking place on Aug. 14. All matches in the group stage and playoffs are best of seven. The eight teams directly qualified for the group stage are:

  • G2 Esports
  • FaZe Clan
  • NRG
  • Moist Esports
  • Team BDS
  • Endpoint
  • FURIA Esports
  • Team Falcons

Photo credit: Psyonix

Storylines to watch

Will any of the Major winning teams win Worlds?

Moist Esports, G2 Esports and Team BDS are the obvious choices to win Worlds since they have all won a Major this season. Moist are probably the favorites considering they are the only team to have reached two Major finals this season. Of course, entering every Major, the previous Major winner has been favored only to lose early in the tournament. Will the same fate await Moist at Worlds? It’s also worth noting that the Major winners have all hailed from the region where they won the Major. Both European Major winners won in Europe, and G2 won in North America. With the world championship being held in North America, does this give G2 a slight edge?

Read more: Moist Esports win RLCS Spring Major filled with shocking results

Given their recent form and reaching back-to-back Major finals, Moist are probably the most likely of the three to win a second title this season, but considering how unpredictable this RLCS season has been, it’ll probably be a new team lifting the trophy.

Photo credit: Psyonix

Will this be the first RLCS international event in which a team outside of NA or EU wins?

There are two teams outside of North America and Europe that are real threats to win Worlds: Team Falcons and FURIA. The Spring Major was Team Falcons’ breakout tournament as they went undefeated through the upper bracket to the grand final, becoming the first team outside NA or EU to reach an RLCS international final. Of course, they lost to Moist Esports, but it was close and they beat numerous top teams from NA and EU along the way.

FURIA have finished in the top six at both the Winter Major and Spring Major. Most recently, they won the Gamers8 tournament in Saudi Arabia. Their run included a 4-3 win over Team Falcons in the semifinals in a reverse sweep. Gamers8 wasn’t an RLCS event, but there were a lot of top teams in Riyadh in addition to Team Falcons, including FaZe Clan, G2, Dignitas, Endpoint and Spacestation Gaming. And with a $2 million prize pool at stake, this wasn’t just a warm-up for Worlds.

Photo credit: Psyonix

Which teams besides the Major winning teams have the best chance of winning?

Besides FURIA and Team Falcons, the other teams that are most likely to win Worlds are the strongest teams in Europe and North America: Version1, FaZe Clan and Karmine Corp.

Version1 have shown great improvement across the past two Majors. They finished top six at the Winter Major and then top three at the Spring Major. They were the only team to beat Moist at the Spring Major, although they ultimately lost to them 4-0 in the lower final. Robert "Comm" Kyser and V1 also love to play on LAN where they can talk trash to their opponents and seemed to feed off the boos they got in London at the Spring Major.

Read more: How Version1 rocketed up the NA RLCS ranks during winter split

FaZe Clan consistently have been a top four team at international tournaments. They were top four at the Fall Major, Spring Major and at Gamers8. V1 and FaZe have been the only teams that have been able to challenge G2 domestically lately, and they both have a strong track record internationally.

Karmine Corp surprised with a top four finish at the Spring Major, their first international event of the season. They beat G2 and FURIA twice in London. Like everyone else they lost to Moist, but otherwise they appear to be the second-best EU team right now.

Photo credit: Psyonix

How will teams from SSA and MENA (besides Falcons) fare?

There will be four teams in Texas that have never competed in an international RLCS event: Orlando Pirates Exdee, Bravado Gaming, Veloce Esports and 01 Esports. Veloce Esports and 01 Esports are both from MENA, a region that was dominated by Team Falcons this season. Given how good Falcons have been internationally, it’s reasonable to think these two teams might be able to take a few matches against some of the more seasoned teams. At Gamers8, 01 Esports beat Renegades and Dignitas, so they’re definitely a threat to make it out of the wild card round.

The Orlando Pirates and Bravado Gaming have never competed in an RLCS global event, so it’s difficult to say with any certainty how they’ll fare. The Orlando Pirates dominated Sub-Saharan Africa, winning six of the nine SSA regional events this season. They did, however, lose both games they played at Gamers8, including one against FaZe Clan. Team Falcons had never competed against international RLCS competition before this season, yet they showed they can compete against established teams despite coming from a “minor” region. Perhaps the Pirates can similarly rise to the occasion in Fort Worth.

Lead photo credit: Riot Games

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