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While the RLCS Season 8 World Championships are still in full swing this weekend, RLCS9 was already announced — and it begins much sooner than usual. Signups for the lower division, Rocket League Rival Series (RLRS), are already live, and the qualification begins in January. Official RLCS and RLRS League Play will begin on Feb. 2 and Feb. 9, 2020 respectively.
RLCS9 with 10 teams and direct promotion and relegation
One enormous change from previous seasons is the fact that the first place finisher of RLRS Season 9 league play will now directly promote to RLCS10. This means that last place in RLCS9 must relegate directly as well. But with the league having been increased to 10 teams next season, one bad week no longer could mean disaster for your season. There will be eight weeks of round-robin league play as opposed to just five from previous seasons. If a team still ends up last, it’s hard to argue against the fact that they don’t belong in the top league.
On the flip side of that argument, Rival teams that just promote have recently also shown they can immediately qualify for the world championship that same season. Even an RLCS of 14 or 16 teams would likely result in a league of incredibly close teams. The difference between the 10th placed RLCS team and the third-placed RLRS team is nearly negligible. So while a direct relegation seems justified in a larger league, time will tell whether a 10-team league is enough for this kind of rule.
RLCS9 world championship locations and dates are unfortunately not yet known. The prize pool will also be announced at a later date.
RLRS to be more exciting than ever?
Over the last two seasons, we’ve seen new debutants in the RLCS directly qualify for the world championship, from FC Barcelona and Triple Trouble in season seven to eUnited, Pittsburgh Knights, and Veloce in season eight. With up-and-coming players proving their skills more than ever, we’ll be sure to see some completely new faces in season 10 through the direct qualification system. The Rocket League skill gap is razor thin, and bubble teams are more threatening than ever.
Michael Kloos is a Dutch esports journalist and enthusiast with a particular like of Rocket League and VALORANT. He is also an avid fantasy/sci-fi reader and writer. He spends most of his time trying not to be in the real world.