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RLCS Season 9 Week 2 North America Round-up

All the results, highlights and our MVPs from the North American action in Week 2 of the RLCS Season 9.
The second week of RLCS Season 9 had everything - upsets by promoted sides, wonderkids showing the old pros how it’s done, early top of the table clashes that could go a long way to deciding the league and even a couple of games so dull I may have forgotten to take notes (read: went to make a cup of tea / fell asleep).

But if you missed all of this have no fear! Every week we recap all the games from the RLCS getting you caught up with everything from the North American & European League Play.

Check back later for a round-up of all the action from Sunday's European matches.

Missed Week 1? Check out our recap of the opening week of the season.

 

RLCS Season 9 Week 2 North America Recap

 

Spacestation Gaming (1-1) 1-3 Susquehanna Soniqs (1-1) 

 

Saturday’s North American League Play kicked off with Spacestation Gamings match against Soniqs. There is high expectations for this SSG side, but they’ll have to tighten up their defence to meet them. They made countless defensive mistakes both individual, and as a team, with Tshaka “Arsenal” Lateef Taylor Jr and Alexandre “AxB” Bellemare particularly guilty, it was one such mistake that gifted Soniqs a Game 1 win.

 

 

 

The defensive side of the game is something their opponents, Soniq, have absolutely no problem with, Nathan “Shock” Frommelt impressed again with SSG’s lax defending allowing him to show his playmaking skills. 

 


This Soniq’s side looks the strongest of all promoted teams - across both regions - and if they can keep performing like this, they won’t have any problems going forward.


MVP: Shock

 

eUnited (1-1) 0-3 Ghost (1-1)

 

A result few had predicted - eUnited looked great in their defeat of Cloud9 last weekend but as the weeks go by that might say more about Cloud9 than anything else.

Here eUnited were poor, Jackson “ayjacks” Carter has been called inconsistent in the past, and he did little in this match to dispel that notion. 

The first game was close with little between the two sides before Ayyjacks failed to save a tame shot.

 

 

With a Game 1 in the bag, Ghost started taking control of the tie, with Massimo “Atomic” Francheschi’s playmaking and Nick “Mist” Costello’s clinical finishing helping the side complete the sweep.

 

 

And while Ayyjacks decided to show the positive sides of his play in Game 3, it was too little, too late for eUnited.

 

 

Rogue (1-1) 3-2 Cloud9 (0-2)

 

It was one of the most exciting series of the weekend, and it was because of one man, well boy - Rogue's Jason “firstkiller” Corral - who tormented (heh) Cloud9. 

The contrast in these two teams trajectories couldn't be any different. At one end you have, Cloud9, who again looked abject.

It’s never an easy to single out individual players as the source of a team's problems, but Kyle “Torment” Storer looks lost out there. Slow to that point of paralysis in defence, ineffectual in attack - you would say he is being carried if Cloud9 could actually win a game.

 

And on this performance, it’s no surprise that Cloud9 attempted to replace him in the off-season with eUnited’s Colby “hockser” James.

 

 

On the other side, you have G2 who in firstkiller they have an exciting young prospect who has the ability to dominate games.  Cameron “Kronovi” Bills seems to have found a new lease of life mentoring this young prodigy and his wing play, in particular, was outstanding. He put it on a plate for his teammates and Cloud9 was duly punished.

 

 

At the other end, Nicholas “Wonder” Blackerby was a rock at the back, and firstkiller proved he wasn’t just an attacking force with a number of smart defensive plays.

Cloud9 actually won Game 2 and 3 but never looked convincing. By Game 4 firstkiller had found his range and proceeded to score a hattrick on the way to a 5-0 win.

 

 

He did almost snatch them the win though, opening the scoring in Game 5. But ultimately two goals by Kronovi meant the best team won.

MVP: firstkiller

 

NRG (2-0) 3-0 Flight (0-2)

 

There isn’t much to say about this match. NRG showed why they are the best team in the world - with measured passing, excellent positioning and innate understanding of their teammate’s strengths and weaknesses. Pierre “Turbopolsa” Silfver pulled the strings in midfield (when doesn’t he?) and it all just too much for Flight.

 

 

It was relentless pressure with Flight largely camped in their own half, unable to get the boost needed to attack effectively.

You’d think the tie being so one-sided would make it boring, but there is something strangely hypnotic about NRG’s pixel-perfect rotations. There was also a cheeky late goal in Game 3 from Garret “GarretG” Gordon that was a joy to behold.

 

 

MVP: Turbopolsa

 

G2 (2-0) 3-1 (1-1) Pittsburgh Knights
 

The last game of the day was one of the best. Pittsburgh were lucky to win Game 1, their goals from Jirair “Gyro” Papazian and Austin “Ayyjay” Aebi highlighted Pittsburgh at their best - from defence to attack at maximum speed.

 

 

But the Game 1 result didn't tell the full story G2 finished the game with 11 shots but no goals but their passing play was exemplary. Jacob “JKnaps” Knapman, Reed “Chicago” Wilen and Dillon “Rizzo” Rizzo were finding each other with ease and there is only so much attacking pressure you can withstand before the goals start flying in. 

 

 

By Game 3 Pittsburgh - starved of their back boosts - were on the ropes.

 

 

An early goal for Ayyjacks in Game 4 gave Pittsburgh a glimmer of hope, but they weren’t able to capitalise, with goals from Rizzo and Chicago giving G2 the win.

 

 

MVP: Rizzo

 

Feature image courtesy of Psyonix.