Rev up your Octane, equip your Painted Top Hat and pledge your allegiance to Her Majesty The Queen because this weekend, the Rocket League Championship Series is coming to London. Ten teams have qualified (four EU, four NA, two OCE), but who’s favourite to get their hands on that sweet, sweet $100k top prize? Let’s look at them all, team by team, and make some destined-to-be-wrong-because-Rocket-League-is-unpredictable predictions!
DignitasKey player: Kaydop
Turbopolsa is going for his third RLCS victory in a row, and after blitzing through a stacked EU qualification there’s no reason his team can’t do it. Dignitas combine disciplined rotations with unpredictable moments of magic, turning by-the-numbers Rocket League into wondergoals with terrifying speed and unerring ruthlessness. This roster won Season 4 under the Gale Force Esports banner. In Season 5 they topped EU qualifying once again, Kaydop voted season MVP. At times they seem unbeatable, and they’ve proven time and time again that the pressure of being favourites doesn’t affect them.
NRG EsportsKey player: GarrettG
NRG achieved seven wins out of seven in the NA qualifiers, where key man GarrettG had the highest goals per game (1.25) and was voted season MVP. The man’s an absolute monster, and definitely one to keep an eye out on if you like rapid and aggressive Rocket League. The only question mark is over JSTN, who despite gaining the third highest assists per game in the online qualifiers has never been to a LAN. If he can cope with the pressure, there’s no reason NRG can’t go the whole way and win the entire tournament.
G2Key player: JKnaps
One of the deadliest players in his region, JKnaps averaged over a goal a game in the NA qualifiers (the second highest average behind GarrettG). He and Rizzo have formed a beautiful partnership, and with Kronovi providing solidity from the back G2 are a well-oiled, disciplined team that won’t be pleased with anything other than RLCS glory. Despite losses to NRG and Cloud 9 while qualifying for NARLI 2, G2 are known to step up in the LAN environment (2nd at DreamHack Leipzig; 1st in the ELEAGUE Cup). They play their best Rocket League when the pressure is high, and there’s no higher stakes than when there’s $100k on the line.
Renault VitalityKey player: Fairy Peak!
Vitality come to London off the back of a LAN victory. In truth, they won the Gfinity Elite Series in second gear, proving a step above their competition by comfortably beating EnVy’s second string in the final. Fairy Peak! is their star man, and the Batmobile user is one of the most gifted players in the world. He’ll relish the opportunity to prove he’s the best on the biggest stage of all. There are a few doubts over their form going into the final (they lost to the underwhelming exceL in NARLI 2, failing to qualify), but Vitality will be crowd favourites. If they can ride that wave - and Freakii and Paschy play up to Fairy Peak!’s high standards - they’re genuine contenders.
compLexityKey player: Mognus
compLexity are one of the more entertaining teams in the competition. They never fear breaking rotation and sending a man to their opponent’s backboard to patiently await a redirect. Keep an eye out for al0t, who’s well known for this tactic and usually manages to score from near-impossible angles. compLexity are an aggressive team that seek a pass with almost every hit. It seems they’ve been together forever, and at times the teamplay between playmakers Mognus and Metsanauris is almost telepathic. Last RLCS (when representing Method) they lost 4-0 to Gale Force Esports (now representing Dignitas) in the grand final. But this was their third best-of-seven series in a row, one after the other. A kinder bracket could see them going one better this season.
EnVyKey player: EyeIgnite
While EnVy do blow hot and cold, they’re still world class on their day. EyeIgnite will need to play the tournament of his life if his team are to make a deep run in the competition. He was instrumental as EnVy looked solid in the EU qualifiers, and recently made the finals of the Gfinity Elite Series in which he played alongside their sub roster. But EnVy are another team in poor form, failing to qualify for NARLI 2 and missing out on the grand finals of the Ballistix Brawl. Unless Londoner EyeIgnite pops off in front of his home crowd, EnVy may struggle.
Cloud9Key player: Squishy
Cloud9 are one of the most popular teams in NA, with Squishy up there with the best mechanical players in the world. C9 finished a respectable third last time out, with Squishy scoring the defining goal of the entire tournament with his delayed ceiling dodge. C9 look in danger of falling behind G2 and NRG in their region, losing 4-0 to G2 in the NA playoffs. They also won’t be used to competing at an event where the crowd is not overwhelmingly on their side. But Squishy is a wildcard that can produce a goal out of nothing. Maybe, just maybe, they can regain their mojo at the perfect time.
ChiefsKey player: Jake
Easily Oceania’s best hope of doing some damage in the RLCS. They utterly dominate their region, going 7 and 0 in qualifiers. The UK loves an underdog, so the London crowd will offer Chiefs amazing support, and if playmaker Jake and top scorer Drippay play out of their mind then Chiefs can cause some upsets.
Evil GeniusesKey player: Klassux
Up against Rogue as NA’s fourth team, EG won that battle to book their tickets to London. The step-up in competition will be tough though, and it’s difficult to see them doing too much damage to the more accomplished teams in the tournament. Klassux achieved the second highest assists per game in NA qualifiers, so all eyes on him if EG are to win any series at all.
Tainted MindsKey player: CJCJ
Tainted Minds battled through the OCE playoffs to earn their spot at LAN, despite only finishing 4th in league play. They begin with a series against CompLexity that’ll probably see them drop straight to the losers’ bracket. From there, the big question is whether they can dig deep and string some wins together.