RLCS Season 8 and the Improved Rival Series

Ian Nowakowski

The Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) is back for its eighth season! The best teams from Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America will compete for more than $1,000,000 in prizing and their shot at becoming Season 8 World Champions!

The Rival Series will also return for its fifth season, but the format is going to be a bit different from last season’s iteration. So, what changes are we making exactly? Check out all of the changes below.

Leveling Up the Rival Series

As the seasons have progressed, it’s become clear to us that the number of fantastic players in our competitive ecosystem is continuing to rise and shows no sign of slowing down. To give even more players a shot at making the RLCS, we’ve expanded the Rival Series to include ten teams (up from eight in previous seasons). This move brings more high-level players into the Rival Series mix, while also adding more matches for teams to prove they have what it takes to compete for a coveted spot in the RLCS. This also means that six teams will now retain their Rival Series spots, adding more stability and opportunities to work long-term toward a spot in the RLCS.

In addition to this, we’ve added an extra week to the Promotion Tournament, with the first week featuring a brand new Rival Series Regional Playoff. With this, we’re shifting focus from the beginning of the Rival Series to the playoffs, when every result counts towards an RLCS spot. That means that the Play Ins will no longer be broadcast, but there will be an additional week of broadcasted playoff action. This new phase of the Promotion Tournament will feature a Page Playoff format with the top four Rival Series teams competing for the chance to be one of two teams to compete in the Promotion Tournament. The qualifying Rival Series teams will play in the standard Promotion Tournament format (a double-elimination bracket) for their shot at RLCS qualification. We believe this change gives more teams a meaningful chance at staking their claim to an RLCS spot.

Rival Series Qualifiers

Just like last season, you’ll be able to team up and take on some of the best teams in the world to qualify for the Rocket League Rival Series. This season’s Open Qualifiers will follow the same format, allowing your team to enter up to two qualifiers (of the four total qualifiers). Following the completion of all four qualifiers, the remaining top 128 teams will move on to the Play-In phase where they’ll fight to fill the remaining open Rival Series spots in both North America and Europe. So, grab your teammates, get signed up, and practice hard to compete for your spot! To sign up, head over to the Smash.gg page!

Important Dates & Information

Check out the dates below and mark your calendars so you don’t miss a beat of Season 8!


  • Now through August 26 – 12:00 p.m. PDT / 7:00 p.m. UTC

North American Qualifiers

  • August 31 – 10 a.m. PDT

  • September 14 – 10 a.m. PDT

  • September 17 – 3 p.m. PDT

  • September 21 – 10 a.m. PDT

European Qualifiers

  • September 1 – 11 a.m. UTC

  • September 15 – 11 a.m. UTC

  • September 18 – 4 p.m. UTC

  • September 22 – 11 a.m. UTC

Rival Series Play-Ins

  • North America – September 28

  • Europe – September 29

RLCS League Play Begins

  • North America – October 5

  • Europe – October 6

Rival Series League Play Begins

  • Europe – October 11 10 a.m. PDT / 5 p.m. UTC

  • North America – October 11 4 p.m. PDT / 11 p.m. UTC

The Rival Series is open to all legal residents of Europe and North America who are 15 years of age or older on the date that the team competes in the Open Qualifier. For players in the Oceanic and South American regions, additional details on the qualifiers and schedules will be announced soon.