The first RLCS X NA regional came and went over the weekend and with the jam-packed Spring Split format that’s in place, we had quite the action to cover.
From upsets to last dances, the tournament was filled with organisation, roster or even player-centric storylines.
Yes, FaZe Clan entered the Rocket League scene and, yes, Dillon “Rizzo” Rizzo is retiring from competitive play -- but we wanted to dig deeper and give you scoops you might’ve missed once the event was all said and done.
So without further ado, here are five things we learned after the first NA Spring regional, the Verizon 5G Ultra Cup.
1. Rogue reborn in RLCS X
The Verizon 5G Ultra Cup was the first-ever RLCS X North American Grand Finals that did not feature either Team Envy or NRG in them -- it instead had Rogue playing for the second regional in a row.
Shaking the region by the shoulders, the team composed of Alexandre Reis “Taroco” Pedrogam, Leonardo “Turinturo” Wilson and star player Jason “Firstkiller” Corral is inching closer and closer to North American supremacy.
While the top two seeds still hold a secure enough lead over the rest of the region, similar regional or major performances like the one we just witnessed from them can lead us to see Rogue atop come the RLCS X World Championship.
2. The Spring Split format is better
On that same note, Rocket League veterans Garrett “GarrettG” Gordon and Pierre “Turbopolsa” Silfver from NRG and Team Envy respectively took to Twitter, the former pointing out the format’s advantage and the latter mocking the original tweet after being eliminated.
The Spring Split format is a three-phase tournament with a group stage round-robin, a double-elimination knockout gauntlet and a single-elimination Championship Sunday and the bottom line of the four-day event is that it rewards consistency.
Four out of the five teams in each group go through to the next round with the top two making an upper bracket placement and the remaining two a lower bracket run, ultimately being rewarded for their records.
Their round-robin performance directly affects their double-elimination bracket placement which ultimately leads to Championship Sunday playoffs where the previous days “don’t matter anymore".
In perspective, a four-day double-elimination tournament is the fairest, but the Spring Split three-phase format is definitely far more entertaining. Keep the jokes coming, Turbo.
3. G2 performed better "having fun"
Rizzo’s retirement was announced right before the Verizon 5G Ultra Cup kicked off which led to many dank memes and heartfelt moments during the team's tournament run.
Whilst Rizzo’s reason to leave competitive play was that he didn’t “have the fire anymore”, G2 Esports placed top four during the regional event, tying their best finish since the start of the revamped RLCS X.
Going on a 4-0 run during the round-robin stage and running through runner-up Kansas City Pioneers and Version1 in consecutive series, G2 ultimately fell to eventual-regional champions, Rogue.
When the announcement was made, the roster made it very clear their focus was to, A, win and, B, have fun as this is a transitional split for the American organisation.
If this is truly it for the Rizz, though, he really gave us one more for the boys before leaving the scene for good.
4. Oxygen’s problematic performance
The North American organisation recently moved from Europe to compete in RLCS X with a home-field advantage.
Not only did Oxygen Esports drop an RLCS X World Championship contender roster to move regions but they also dropped several spots and, consequently, the ball during the Verizon 5G Ultra Cup.
Barely surviving the group stage with a 1-3 series record only winning their match against the bottom team and being immediately eliminated during the Knockout Gauntlet by Ghost Gaming in sweep-fashion, Oxygen was utterly outplayed this weekend.
The move has yielded the organisation $1,500 and 110 RLCS points with their top 16 placement -- not a great start or move in hindsight compared to Solary’s success after basically switching rosters.
5. The big four is no more
When the RLCS Season X kicked off with the Fall Split, the four governing teams of NRG, Team Envy, Spacestation Gaming and G2 were no surprise -- but this Spring breeze feels different.
With a G2 Esports struggling to find their longterm third-man and a handicapped SSG as Tshaka "Arsenal" Lateef Taylor Jr had to sit days two and three out due to connection issues has given the region a little more leeway from the split's get-go.
The Peeps-turned-FaZe Clan has silently but surely made their way into a safe top six World Qualification spot whereas G2 is very close to falling off the grid altogether.
With back-to-back regional championships for Rogue and the second RLCS X Grand Finals for 7th place Kansas City Pioneers, the top of the North American food chain might be changing very soon.