Everyone reading this knows that very recently we had the RLCS Spring Major, and the upsets, storylines and people there made it arguably the best LAN of all time. Recency bias is a common thing in Rocket League, but I can assure you that out of every arena event (esports, irl sports, concert etc) both myself and everyone else I talked to has attended, this had the most hype attached to it by a considerable margin. My voice is gone and my head is still thumping, but I’ll be doing my best to give my read on the teams, players, takes and overall events of the 5 days of thrilling, although somewhat unexpected, gameplay.
Also if you disagree with anything I said I am more than open to discuss whatever you think I’ve gotten wrong or you believe to be true instead. I’m not saying that everything I say is exactly correct because it’s simply my opinion, and I wanna hear yours too!
I’ll be talking about BDS first up because if you take anything away from this writeup, it’s this: the Seikoo move was the best move possible, and they aren’t washed or failing in any way. Yes, I will in every way agree that they completely threw the Major, going 0-6, and losing in dominant sweeps to both Team Secret and Pioneers. Their opponents played very well, but they were favourites to win the entire competition, so to not win a single game and bomb out is quite frankly embarassing. They will fix their issues. They have to. They have the two highest performing players in EU throughout the season on their roster, and when your third player is Extra of all people on top of that, then you know you should be one of the greatest teams of all time, it’s just a matter of stringing results together and creating consistency. To those people that talk about how Marc was wronged and should’ve stayed on the main roster; I agree that Marc was hard done by, but to bring in Seikoo is in no way a bad move. If you think about the results they achieved with him, it’s the best they’ve ever done, and tied for the best to ever be achieved in Europe. With a new teammate in Seikoo, they bagged themself two 1st place results, and a 2nd too. The only other team in EU/NA to ever do that? Queso/Moist in the Winter Split. I also didn’t see any of the players around the venue at any point, which makes me speculate that they were holed up in their hotel room sulking.
This Endpoint never seemed to be a team that was particularly effective on LAN despite being one of the two EU teams to qualify for all of them. Their highlights for this LAN included the ‘MET-SA-NAU-RIS’ chant and Archie saying ‘bosh’ to me. They lost to Version1 in round one, where they were dispatched quite comfortably, and again by OpTic Gaming in the inaugural lower bracket round. Going 0-6 is quite disheartening, and they will definitely have a bit of an interesting start to Worlds, given they’ve already qualified for the main event, which means they won’t have any momentum from coming through the Swiss Stage, and may be caught out if they’re not too careful. Endpoint is definitely a team everyone likes, given Metsanauris is one of the greats, as well as the fact that they’ve signed Pickapixel as a content creator, and very recently branched out into the women’s scene with the acquisition of Slumpii, Kluey, Takara and Geecee. Having Takara walking around with an Endpoint jersey on at LAN is near enough the best promotion they could have wished for, given she’s an absolute giant at 194/195cm and one of the only people I saw that was close to me in height. Between these things, having new jerseys and merch regularly and Cole & Stumpy’s everlasting support, no doubt they’ll stay in the spotlight for a while, but I don’t think it’s very conceivable that they’ll reach the heights they did with Seikoo’s debut split.
If you know me, you’ll be well aware that I’m undeniably and proudly Aussie, meaning that I have allegiances to the entire region. It was cool to see Team Bliss jerseys in the crowd, but unfortunately we didn’t see any PWR action on the stage. They too had a bit of a struggle, matching up against FaZe Clan first, then Liquid in lowers, on paper they were expelled from the tournament by some of the best teams. Evidently neither made it extremely deep into the tournament, but both were strong enough to send PWR home. I met both Torsos and Express, and in the very brief exchange we had, they were very pleasant, to the extent that I felt even worse about their losses. The only time I saw Amphis was next to me in the toilet, and it didn’t seem like the right time to say ‘great accuracy from what I’ve seen mate- Rocket League is decent too I guess’. They’ll be kicking themselves at the fact that they just missed out on Worlds, but I truly believe that the best teams from OCE are going, as they’ve just been at that slightly subpar level this season, so hopefully they’re able to collect themselves, and depending on the format for majors next season, get themselves another shot at taking down some titans like their fellow countrymen.
As was predicted, the Gladiators headed home early too. Being matched up against G2 off the bat meant a speedrun into lowers, where they were given what would become the FaZe-destroying and top 6 team of Furia (side note: Furia is actually spelt FURIA, but I refuse to write it in caps every time for the reader’s benefit-you can thank me by following my twitter). The Gladiators team have switched between team name and org several times this season, and were a single regional away from mirroring the Falcon’s classic nine-peat, but apart from that small blip, they ruled APAC-S and in every way were deserving. Looking towards Worlds, they’ll probably go 1-3 in the Swiss, but representing an underrepresented region is something that I’m sure they’ll take in their stride and do very well. This team brought a lot of diversity into the major, with 5 different nationalities spanning 3 continents to make up the team and its support.
Well, the things of NA dethroned in the easiest way possible. Sweeping Gladiators was something that of course we knew they should do, but we also knew that they *should* be taking down Karmine Corp in a similarly convincing fashion, and look how that turned out. Instead, we saw the KC of top 4 calibre come out and reverse sweep them. Dropping to the lower bracket and seeing Liquid’s decisive victory over PWR, they will have realised that there was a challenge on their hands. Pushing out to a lead of 2 games would have made them confident, but Liquid had the resilience and ultimately the grit to secure the win. Their loss against Liquid-although disheartening-is nothing to look back on with too much shame. Everyone has bad tournaments or days, and it’s unfortunate that theirs fell where it did. We’ve seen them win both online and offline, with consistency, for years. The core work ethic of this team hasn’t changed and I think we can all agree that the JKnaps/Chicago duo is legendary and going down in history as one of the best duos ever (after TBates and undeniably wrong takes, of course). They are still favourites for Worlds, as they’ve reached those upper echelons of skill before, it’s just about finding the solution to whatever their problems may have been. Anything less than a top 4 will be disappointing for them, but we all know that they’re shooting for the stars and have a drive to win it all. The G2 and Rizzo chants were fantastic too, I’m pretty sure I even saw Orb, who is one of the biggest G2 supporters joining in with the crowd on a few of them, but that Who Is Rizzo video had me properly laughing, genuine props to the team that made it.
Yet again, there’s a tournament favourite losing out to a team that was playing out of their minds, then losing to a decisively lesser team. The matchup against Furia wasn’t bad, but both teams had scope to improve, it was simply because Furia eked it out that we got the opportunity to see them style out later on. I feel like FaZe mirrors the G2 CS:GO roster to an extent. It’s definitely built on friendships (such as the duo of FK and AYYJAYY winning Dreamhack 2s), and bringing in big money transfers with great individual talent, like Sypical, all in a bid to take down the top teams in the world. Building teams off of org money alone isn’t going to do it, and analysing multiple different aspects of potential moves is something that needs to be done a lot more often in the coming season/fortever. People are claiming that EU will start doing it, but I have no doubt FaZe will go through a reshuffle too, partially for results, partially because Firstkiller will complain his way into new and (supposedly, as according to plain stats on paper) better teammates. Again, for teams like this, it’s really an internal and most likely mindset issue, as you don’t go into a Major touted a top 5 team in the world and bomb out in the way they did without there being just a few things wrong behind the curtain. The way Firstkiller has talked about teammates ever since joining Rogue in Season 9 is as if he treats them as resources, not humans. Evidently he has a desire to win, but his sights are always on upgrading those on his roster, rather than improving the skill they have as a team. I ultimately think this will be his undoing, but he’ll be kept on the FaZe roster for a long time purely because of the recognition he generates and we all know that’s a large portion of what the org cares about.
Team Secret has probably just had the best result any of them will ever have. Sweeping BDS to kick off a Major is something I doubt any other team will ever do in a way that they did. Not only was it a sweep, but to do so with a +9 goal differential is otherworldly. I don’t know the exact stats but I doubt BDS has ever suffered a loss that bad, so you best believe they’ll return home as heroes and I will be thoroughly disappointed if they don’t brag about this forevermore. The rest of the tournament wasn’t as pretty for them, losing 1-3 to Spacestation (credit where credit is due, getting to overtime twice and winning a game against SSG is impressive) and a loss to OpTic sent them packing. I don’t think anyone (except the Shift discord server) was predicting Secret to win even a single series, so to do it against BDS of all teams is something they’ll remember forever. Looking at the team pool for Worlds, I can see Team Secret getting to round 5, where it’ll truly be do or die time. Aside from the Furia players, math qualified for every single Major, and has been integral to the region’s representation in the past too. It’s nice to see some longevity aside from the kings of that region. They’re clearly the 2nd best team in the region and are playing as such, with very few shock results going against them.
Looking at FaZe and G2 going out of the competition at the same time as Secret and KCP is absolutely fascinating, but I feel like it says more about the state of the minor region teams. Although KCP only managed to snag one series, it was a destruction of BDS. They also went to 5 against Spacestation, who we previously saw were very close to playing spoiler to both the 1st and 2nd team in the entire event. They played their hearts out and as such a young team it’s incredible to see the progress they’re all making under the guidance of Threes and Prof. They are the future of OCE, and all at only 16. By the end of next season, I’m adamant that they’ll be a top 3 minor region team. It was also very wholesome to see the support their mum’s were giving them, and when I got the opportunity to speak to both them and Catjeans (the manager) it’s evident how tight knit everyone at KCP is and how much these achievements mean to them all. In every way am I gushing about this team, because I’ve supported them for so long and to see their ability to win regionals after so many consecutive 2nd place finishes and now win series at LANs after multiple game 5 losses to tournament favourites (also their mum’s now follow me on twitter).
Part 1 concluded. Make sure to follow Aucksey on twitter - @aucksey. Part 2 of 'The greatest and most disorganized summary of the greatest and most disorganized LAN in Rocket League history' coming soon.