Get a breakdown of each new format change and what it means for this year’s competition.

Three significant format changes for the remainder of the RLCS 2024 season have just been announced via Tweet by Rocket League Esports. These changes address community concerns from the recently-concluded first split and ensure a more competitive second split and World Championship.

Screenshot of the format change announcement Tweet from @RLEsports (Image via esports.gg)
Screenshot of the format change announcement Tweet from @RLEsports (Image via esports.gg)

The first two changes will take effect immediately for the second split, which begins next weekend. The final change strictly regards the RLCS 2024 World Championship and introduces a Hybrid Elimination Bracket.

The three new RLCS format changes

More best-of-five matches in the Open Qualifiers

During the first split, Open Qualifier Double Elimination matches were best-of-three all the way up until the Top 48, where best-of-five matches would begin. The community complained that the shorter series did not accurately determine winners. It was claimed that the low amount of games directly caused many more upsets and increasingly inaccurate results.

With the new changes to the RLCS format, best-of-five matches begin at Top 192. This means Open Qualifier Double Elimination bracket results should be much more consistent during split two.

Swiss Stage seeding considers previous performances

Another notable change takes effect during the second split of 2024. Teams' current season points now affect the Swiss Stage seeding process. Previously, only the results from the double-elimination brackets were considered. Combined with the shorter length of matches, this led to more inaccurate seeding during split one of RLCS 2024.

The new seeding method is closer to last season's, which considered results from the three most recent events.

Hybrid Elimination Bracket

Finally, the RLCS 2024 World Championship playoffs will be in the form of a Hybrid Elimination Bracket. While brand new to the RLCS and a tad confusing to many fans, this format saw success in Salt Mine 3, a 1v1 tournament hosted by well-known caster John "JohnnyBoi_i" MacDonald.

Screenshot from Liquipedia's RLCS 2024 World Championship page (Image via esports.gg)
Screenshot from Liquipedia's RLCS 2024 World Championship page (Image via esports.gg)

As the RLCS 2024 rules describe, the bracket will sort the top eight teams from the Swiss Stage into two groups based on seeding. Seeds #1-4 are designated as the Upper Group and Seeds #5-8 are designated as the Lower Group. All matches for this Hybrid Elimination Bracket will be best-of-seven.

The Upper Group will then kick things off by playing matches among themselves. Seed #1 will play against Seed #4, and Seed #2 will face off against Seed #3. The teams who win their Upper Group match will advance directly to the RLCS 2024 World Championship Semi-Finals. Those who lose their Upper Group Match will drop down to the Top 6 Quarter-Finals and have a second chance to advance.

The Lower Group begins by playing matches among themselves as well. Seed #5 will play against Seed #8, and Seed #6 will face off against Seed #7. The teams who win their Lower Group match will advance directly to the Top 6 Quarter-Finals of the Bracket. Those who lose their Lower Group Match are eliminated from the tournament and finish 7th-8th.

From the Top 6 Quarter-Finals onward, every match loss results in elimination from the tournament. The bracket then continues until an RLCS 2024 champion emerges victorious.

RLCS 2024 World Championship prizing splits

Screenshot of the updated prizing split from the RLCS 2024 rules (Image via esports.gg)
Screenshot of the updated prizing split from the RLCS 2024 rules (Image via esports.gg)

Prizing distribution also adjusts to fit the results of the new Hybrid Elimination Bracket format. Since four teams are no longer simultaneously eliminated in the Quarter-Finals, 7th-8th and 5th-6th have different prizing splits. Previously, all four losers received $75,000 each. Now, the 7th-8th placed teams receive $66,000, and the 5th-6th placed teams receive $84,000 each.

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