The ninth season of the Rocket League Championship Series is underway, with ten teams featuring in North America and Europe's leagues. Each week we’ll preview games from the two main regions with insight from Pinnacle's odds and statistical analysis.
To see our odds for the upcoming RLCS X season, see our Rocket League predictions here.
What is the Rocket League Championship Series?
The RLCS is the main tournament circuit in Rocket League esports. Hosted by the developer Psyonix, it takes place twice a year, with tournaments lasting around three months at a time.
So far, four regions take part in the RLCS. The two stronger regions, Europe and North America, are operated by Psyonix directly. The remaining two, Oceania and South America, are operated by local tournament organizers. While Europe and North America have been ever-present since the RLCS started, Oceania was added in 2017 for season four, and South America joined at the start of 2019 for season seven.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the world championships were cancelled by Psyonix. As such, the ninth season will end at the regional championship stage. The regional championships are played in a best-of-seven Page playoff format. The teams will be fighting for the lion’s share of $150,000 per region, with $70,000 going to each regional champion.
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RLCS North America Predictions: Upper Quarterfinal: Susquehanna Soniqs vs. NRG Esports
The first game played will be between the third and fourth placed teams from the regular season. Both Soniqs and NRG had matching 6-3 records in league play, and finished behind G2 simply on game differential. The two teams played each other in the opening week of the season, where NRG came out on top after a close 3-2 match.
While Soniqs are making their first regional championship appearance in the debut season, NRG are veterans of this stage. They are currently the five-time RLCS NA champions, and have won the title in each of the past three seasons without losing a playoffs game.
RLCS North America Predictions: Lower Round One: Cloud9 vs. Ghost Gaming
RLCS North America Cloud9 vs. Ghost Gaming Odds
Cloud9 are making their first regional championships appearance since season seven, after a disastrous performance last season. Ghost, on the other hand, have reached their sixth playoffs in a row. However, they haven’t finished higher than fifth since their first appearance in season four, when they finished second after losing to Cloud9.
When the two teams met in the regular season, Cloud9 came out as strong 3-0 winners as part of their four game win streak to secure a playoffs place. Cloud9 will be putting a lot of hope into Jesus "Gimmick" Parra, the league’s top goal scorer at 0.88 goals per game. Ghost on the other hand will be hoping Massimo "Atomic" Franceschi can help them do damage, as the team’s highest goal scorer at 0.70 goals per game.
RLCS North America Predictions: Spacestation Gaming, G2 Esports, who will win?
By virtue of finishing in the top two of the regular season, Spacestation and G2 have been automatically placed into the semifinals of the regional championship. G2 will face the winner between Soniqs and NRG, while Spacestation will take on the winner of the other match.
Spacestation had a remarkable season, finishing with an 8-1 record ahead of G2’s 6-3. The two teams played in the final week of the season, where Spacestation utterly outclassed their more experienced opponents
RLCS Europe Predictions: Upper Quarterfinal: Team Reciprocity vs. mousesports
RLCS Europe Team Reciprocity vs. mousesports Odds
In the same scheduling as North America, the opening match is between the third and fourth placing teams from the regular season, Reciprocity and mousesports. Similarly to North America, both teams ended the season with the same 6-3 records.
Reciprocity picked up a 3-1 win over mousesports in their week two regular season match. The roster behind Reciprocity have only missed out on a top four playoff finish once since reaching the RLCS, and lifted the European title last season. mousesports on the other hand are coming off the back of a disappointing post-season, where they lost four games in a row in order to miss out on a world championship place.
mousesports’ chances are made significantly more difficult, with the team needing to play with substitute Ario "arju" Berdin after Kyle "Scrub Killa" Robertson abruptly left the team before the final week of the regular season. In the two series he played, however, he slotted right in to help mousesports pick win both and end on an average rating of 1.09.
RLCS Europe Predictions: Lower Round One: Veloce Esports vs. FC Barcelona
RLCS Europe Veloce Esports vs. FC Barcelona Odds
At the bottom of the bracket, fifth and sixth placed teams Veloce and FC Barcelona are set to meet. Veloce are looking to rebuild after last season, where they managed a top two regular season finish. FC Barcelona, on the other hand, enter the regional championships at the same round as they did last season. There they were knocked out by fifth place Dignitas.
When Veloce and FC Barcelona played in the regular season, it was an opening week match where Barça came out as 3-2 in a close, overtime filled match. It’ll come down to who’ll be stronger between Aldin "Ronaky" Hodzic and Sandro "FreaKii." Holzwarth, rated 1.08 and 1.04 respectively, to decide the winner of this match.
RLCS Europe Predictions: Renault Vitality, Dignitas, who will become champions?
From the third week onwards, it was only Renault Vitality and Dignitas who were fighting for control of the top two league places. It’s fitting then that Victor "Fairy Peak!" Locquet and Maello "AztraL" Ernst sit in the top two for personal ratings, 1.19 and 1.18 respectively.
Vitality only lost once all season, suffering a serious upset in a second week match to Singularity, who didn’t even manage to qualify for the playoffs come the end of the season. Dignitas will be wary of the winner of the Reciprocity vs. mousesports match, as both teams made it difficult for them during the regular season, with Reciprocity having taken a 3-2 victory in the final week of the regular season.
The Season 9 Regional Championship of the Rocket League Championship Series are set to take place this weekend, with North America being held on March 28 and Europe the following day on March 29. All action can be found on their Twitch channel.