Spanish football team RCD Espanyol asked Psyonix to kick their former roster from the Rocket League Rival Series (RLRS) and give the slot back to the organization, after the players left the team hours before the playoffs.
The end of Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) Season 9 has been marred with controversy across regions.
Two players from Oceania’s Team Esper were banned for match fixing, and now, during the promotion tournament for Season 10, an organization has put out an impassioned plea to Psyonix to stop their former players from participating in the competition's qualifiers.
— RCD Espanyol de Barcelona eSports (@RCDeSports) April 12, 2020
Just hours ahead of the RLCS Season 10 qualifiers, RCD Espanyol announced they were pulling out of Rocket League, leaving their players orgless for the tournament.
However, the Spanish football team pleaded to Psyonix to not allow them to play, instead giving the slot back to the organization.
“When the players, often inexperienced, don’t act with the principles they are expected to have, it must be the publisher [Psyonix] who puts on the board that, above all, there are values, principles, and ethics that everyone should have and respect,” said Laurea Folch, the former Head of Digital Strategy at RCD Espanyol.
“Under no circumstances should [the] gamers that have represented RCD Espanyol de Barcelona in the RLRS play the promotional tournament for the RLCS tomorrow.”
Endpoint’s Nelson ‘Virtuoso’ Lasko came out in defense of the former RCD Espanyol players. He mentioned that the players’ contracts ran out days before RLRS, and described RCD as a “dodgy org” after negotiations with his own squad fell flat.
“They were dodgy when offering us [a contract],” he said. “Tox signed the contract while he is 16 and RCD didn't even ask his parents to co sign which meant that his contract was not legally binding.”
He also opened up on why he thinks Espanyol would want to keep their slot, speculating that the Spanish organization doesn’t want players to play under their banner that don’t represent them. “On the broadcast, they will still play with Espanyol, which is why this is an issue with RCD,” he added.
The former RCD Espanyol team ended up playing in the RLCS Season 10 qualifiers under a new banner, Stonkers.
However, they failed to qualify after losing back-to-back games to Solary and Endpoint in the promotion tournament. They will retain their slot in the RLRS as a core, after RCD Espanyol announced their departure from Rocket League entirely.
The organization cited a lack of “stable growth” for clubs who play in the Psyonix-developed game. They will instead be focusing on FIFA, and revitalizing their “digital strategy” for the coming years.