Well I'm writing this about 10 minutes after the fall major concluded, and we can all agree it was definitely something. I won’t hold you up for too long, let’s just get straight into what I think are the key points to take note of after the conclusion of the rlcs fall major.
Tokyo Verdy Esports - ReaLize, Maru, Tenhow (16th overall, 0-3 in group stage)
First thing’s first, massive congratulations to this team for even making it. They were definitely the favourites of the APAC region to qualify and everyone was hoping they would be able to take a game. Unfortunately for them, they had a very tough draw, having to face regional champions from EU, NA and OCE. The interview with ReaLize had everyone tearing up, as I really didn’t understand how much this meant to him. Without experience, it’s hard to see them doing great in the next regional, but expect a level of dedication so unprecedented, this team will be coming on in leaps and bounds soon enough. They placed where we all thought they would, but that’s not a criticism of them, more admiration of the skill they were surrounded by.
eRa Eternity - Aztromick, math, snipjz(15th overall, 0-3 in group stage)
Tokyo Verdy may have had to face some regional champions, but this roster had the misfortune of facing 3 different RLCS X champions in the form of NRG, Complexity and Vitality. What’s more, they took at least a game off of all of them, even taking Vitality to game 5. It wasn’t expected of them to win a series, and likely to even take more than a game throughout the entire tournament. Another massive credit to their region, but the rest of SAM is right on their heels, so it’s going to take an impressive showing for them to make more appearances. I’m not saying it won’t happen, they just can’t get complacent.
Team Vitality - Kaydop, Alpha54, Fairy Peak!(14th overall, 1-3 in group stage)
Vitality did have a tough draw, being pitted against FaZe, Endpoint and NRG, but they also nearly got eliminated from the major by eRa Eternity (no offence to them). They’ve had a poor showing in their inter-region competitions these past few months, but something really isn’t clicking. It’s unlikely they’ll make a roster move just yet, but this is the first RLCS LAN/season final Kaydop has failed to make since season 2. An abysmal showing from the French trio that left us all scratching our heads.
Team Envy - Turbopolsa, mist, Atomic (T-12th overall, 1-3 in group stage)
Coming in as the NA 4th seed, Envy have already had a subpar season, and this cemented it, placing the lowest out of every single North American team in the tournament. Going to game 5 against Ground Zero Gaming in the very first series of the tournament lent the fans to serious concern. Yes, GZ are good, but this is Envy we’re talking about. Also losing to fellow NA teams Complexity and G2, you could make the case that those are very good teams, but this is a major, every team is on form and making a claim for best in the world. There isn’t room for excuses, copium isn’t an option and calling for Daniel to replace Turbo isn’t a fix. Even as an Envy enthusiast myself, I have to admit this calls for action or a serious team discussion.
FURIA Esports - CaioTG1, card, yanxnz (T-12th overall, 1-3 in group stage)
Furia had a genuinely great showing, and are continuing to show that Brazil is a country that creates top tier talent. Only just losing to SMPR in 5, taking G2 in 5 to bounce back and managing to take a game against Sanrock are all good for SAM representation. They faltered when they got swept by Renegades, but this was a fully functioning RNG that looked like they were a top 8 team on the day, so can’t be too harsh on themselves. Obviously money is a motivator, but more importantly, they’re pushing towards guaranteeing a spot at the World Championships as they steam ahead of their South American brethren. Soon enough, I’m sure they’ll hit their stride and bag themselves a top 8 international finish.
Renegades - CJCJ, Kamii, Fever (11th overall, 2-3 in group stage)
I’m writing this piece whilst wearing a Renegades jersey, I love the org and the players. Fever was only 16 when he qualified for the major, and turned 17 the day it officially got started. Being so young and making such an impact is insane and he deserved so much praise. Kamii was an impact player too, being a massive contributing factor to their sweep over Furia, a comeback from their defeat in retals’ Sweden Skirmish. I’m of course saving CJCJ for last, who carried the content during the isolation the talent went through. He seemed to genuinely be enjoying his time more than anyone else, and it paid dividends. He was 0-6 in RLCS LAN series going into this major. He then proceeded to sweep Furia (as already mentioned) and beat Endpoint 3-1 in the first series he played, as well as taking a game off of FaZe. Although the team didn’t make top 8, it was a great showing and I have no doubt that it’s possible they make a playoffs this season (this is half a prediction, half a pipe dream)
Ground Zero Gaming - Torsos, Amphis, Express (T-9th overall, 2-3 in group stage)
Torsos still has a winning record against GarrettG, being 2-1. An unfortunate series 5 loss saw them sent home. After taking Envy to 5, and convingly sweeping both TVE and RNG, they looked in a good position to actually qualify for top 8, but combining the previously mentioned NRG with an insane Sandrock Gaming team, my OCE hopes were squandered quickly enough. They looked promising and being able to take down their regional rivals in Renegades provides hope for their future endeavours, but finishing with the same record as them means they’re no further ahead as they were going into this LAN. Their rivalry is looking to be even more interesting than I initially thought.
G2 Esports - JKnaps, Chicago, dreaz (T-9th overall, 2-3 in group stage)
Genuinely a disappointing finish for this team, losing to Furia is going to be a hit for them, and the style they fell to SRG in was bad too. Reverse sweeping the swiss stage is hard normally, and arguably nigh on impossible when surrounded by the teams they were. The Santa hat was a good attempt at salvaging a run, but alas, it’s back to the drawing board for them. They won’t be making a roster change, because if this entire regional was replayed next week they could make a top 4.
Dignitas - Joreuz, ApparentlyJack, Scrub Killa (5-8th overall, 3-0 in group stage)
Arguably the biggest surprise in this entire tournament was Dignitas. In two different ways. They managed to go 3-0 in swiss series and 9-0 in games, promptly followed by bombing out of the quarterfinals to SMPR, a team that they have played 5 times with both teams’ current rosters. The first 4 times, Dignitas were victorious, and this was the 5th, in which SMPR finally came out on top. This series just didn’t look good for them. Jack wasn’t playing his normal game and Scrub individually threw 2 games in a matter of seconds with dumb rotations. According to octane.gg ratings, Joreuz topped the entire major, Scrub was 3rd and Jack ranked 8th. Joreuz also recorded the best ever rated RLCS series with his performance against SMPR in the swiss stage (and all 3 Dignitas players got 1st, 2nd and 3rd for swiss, the most dominant performance ever). This is a rivalry I can’t wait to see develop.
Complexity - Shad, ajg, Reysbull (5-8th overall, 3-1 in group stage)
The shouts of VAMOS were rife this major, as SSG were denied a major spot to this team, who went on to show they thoroughly deserved it. The 5th NA seed out-placing both the 4th and 2nd, (personally beating the 4th in a game 5 OT) shows their scale for growth. My one criticism for them is their defence, but they’re fast and fan favourites, so they can either cover their backfield gaps with lightning fast rotations or the most effective copium available. They were a joy to watch and I can see them climbing even higher on the NA leaderboards (they’ve already overtaken Envy, now sitting comfortably at 4th).
Endpoint CeX - Seikoo, Metsanauris, RelatingWave (5-8th overall, 3-2 in group stage)
There were very high expectations on the shoulders of Endpoint, and although I don’t think that was their ultimate undoing, it definitely seemed like a factor. They were matched up against FaZe in the quarters, and as much as Endpoint have dominated EU, Metsanauris and RelatingWave don’t exactly have the same sort of fear factor as Firstkiller and AYYJAYY, no matter their recent glow up. Seikoo was the second highest rated player on octane.gg across the entire event, so there definitely weren’t any LAN jitters. Apart from their embarrassment with RNG, they beat Vitality, NRG and G2, as well as going to 5 against BDS. FaZe just outclassed them on the day, and I still can’t support them enough. High potential, great coach, amazing support from their org. Expecting nothing but great things from this team in the future.
Sandrock Gaming - Ahmad, Senzo [substitute], trk511 (5-8th overall, 3-1 in group stage)
Substitutes have a notoriously good record in RLCS, between OverZer0 and Turbopolsa winning RLCS as a sub, to Fireburner subbing in to score both goals in a game 5 reverse sweep during a season 9 C9 game, Mout even slamming a few home for Vitality during RLCS X. This was no different. Sweeping G2 and GZG, convingly taking down Furia and stealing a game from SMPR, Sandrock are most people’s second favourite team. Being led to a #3 playoff seed by their unofficial cheerleader SunlessKhan and official coach Mits, I think it’s safe to say that MENA is here to play
. Playing with oKhaliD next major (cause they’re definitely making that too) is gonna be amazing, and it’s only up from here.
Also as a side note, the jerseys/merch they have look amazing and I’ll be tryna get my hands on one if they ever become available.
Harry Maguire Esports SMPR Esports - archie, Kassio, Chausette45 (3-4th overall, 3-2 in group stage)
After nearly being reversed swept out of the swiss stage, they showed up when it mattered most. Having no one on the desk predict them to beat Dignitas and only 11% of the fan base, it looked truly dire. I would like to point out that I said Chausette playing with a fennec on LAN is practically undefeated. Their biggest catalyst wasn’t even archie, because he is consistent and it’s not like he’s going to underperform any time soon. My choice for their MVP and arguably one of the contenders for the entire tour was Kassio. The last time he was as effective as this was the last time he won a regional. It was mentioned that Top Blokes/SMPR were actually even on series and game differences against BDS. They were the only team in Europe that had managed this feat, showing how effective they were. I don’t think they’ve peaked, if anything, this is the consistent level they will be hitting. Top 4 globally and the 2nd best placing team is insane, but they’ll only be looking to reach higher than that. They are one of the most consistent teams in the world since picking up archie, and that level they consistently reach is increasing with the level of experience they have.
FaZe Clan - Allushin, AYYJAYY, Firstkiller (3-4th overall, 3-0 in group stage)
Performing better in the playoffs than their 3-0 counterparts Dignitas, beating Vitality, Renegades and finally BDS to qualify-all in nifty 3-1 bouts-they looked very dominant, and taking down Endpoint solidified that. FaZe with a coach and preparation are scary. The two biggest factors their fans can use to console themselves with their defeat are that they had to play an NRG that were (at that point) looking like the strongest team at the major, and they hadn’t had as much time with current coach AxB as they would have liked. This is an amazing performance from them, so it’s not like they should be annoyed with it. Yes, I’m sure a finals or even a win would have been the ultimately desired option, but they can’t say this is bad, especially given their shaky results after the first NA regional. Firstkiller was exactly like we expected him to be, AYYJAYY was also taking that up front role and owning it, and Allushin was arguably a top 3 catalyst player in the entire event. I’m sure we’ll see them back here again (yes I know I’m saying this about a lot of teams but they’re all so good)
The General NRG - jstn., GarrettG, SquishyMuffinz (2nd overall, 3-2 in group stage)
This team nearly didn’t qualify for the playoffs, but after Ground Zero so graciously stepped aside to allow the EU vs NA debate flourish (because that’s what it was, GZ let them win, and anyone saying otherwise is wrong). Dropping to both Endpoint and BDS in the swiss stage, it was difficult to envision them regaining to win the entire regional, as their fans so hoped they would. Convincing wins over Vitality, GZ and eRa Eternity gave them a relatively easy root into the playing, despite the fact that they didn’t do themselves any favours during their qualification. Their storyline was one of history, battling so many EU teams, with little effect, to ending the storyline of SRG (who I can’t sing the praises of enough, given the comeback they started to mount), finally surmounting in taking down FaZe for a spot to show their LAN prowess. This is the point at which it got… interesting. The first game of the grand finals went to them, but that’s the point at which it ended, and it all went downhill from there. I have to give NRG credit for the performance they put up, between fighting back in series 2, the faces they made and the sheer volume jstn imitated R2D2 at. They played chaotic, fun Rocket League, and they looked like they enjoyed it. The weirdest thing was actually Squishy showing human emotion, which sounds dumb but was genuinely shocking. He’s always so stoic, but instead showed up in multiple ways this LAN, from playing the best against BDS in the swiss stage, to looking like he was ecstatic even during losing. I don’t know what Sizz said, but they all seemed okay with their loss. Obviously I’m sure they would have preferred to take the win, but showing that they’re the best in North America and still able to be at the top. They’re about 250 points ahead of their NA counterparts, so their fans can’t complain too much. They gave us content and a great showing, and backing them to win the next major isn’t a bad idea either.
Team BDS - M0nkey M00n, Extra, Marc_by_8. (1st overall, 3-1 in group stage)
Aside from a small hiccup against FaZe in the swiss stage, an absolutely phenomenal performance from BDS. Coach Kael is the most underrated person in all of RLCS to me, or at the very least so close to the top of that list. We saw how determined they were to prove they weren’t just onliners and oh my, they showed that to be the case. The biggest things that BDS critiques bring up are their communication and their ability to win when the pressure is at its highest (the EU RLCS X Championships being their example for this). The expectations they put on themselves were the most contributing factor to their communication and team chemistry. To me, not being able to achieve the results they did last season put them in a position that meant they were searching for answers as to why this was the case, and the easiest thing was to assume it was Marc or Monkey (it wasn’t Extra, and anyone that ever says anything bad about him can fight me, he is the purest person in all of RL Esports). I assume they went into this event with the mindset of ‘no expectations’ and it seemed to do the trick, to put it lightly. The second issue I mentioned was the composure they supposedly lacked during high pressure moments. Yes, they lost champs, but they won 5 regionals, more than any other team. This includes the first ever RLCS event they partook in. Previous to Championships, they had played in 3 majors and won every single one. NRG had done the same, and yet, they fell victim to the French regime. In the simplest terms possible, I think we can all agree we can’t wait to see this team’s resurgence, because that’s what it is.
Also MENA had a higher win percentage than any other region, just saying.
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