We’re back with some more eSports news, or what I’d like to call, “There is competitive Rocket League almost every single day right now and I love it!” so why don’t we start with that? Rocket League!
This past week saw a fair few big upsets in the RLCS X Winter Split. To begin with, a team that wasn’t Team BDS or Vitality won a regional for the first time this season! Top Blokes came into this regional high off of a win in the second week of The Grid, I can only assume this helped them massively as the momentum had them take the second regional event of the winter split in what was an insane 4-3 win against Team Queso. Top Blokes had a pretty solid run through the upper bracket, they got a bye in the first round facing Solary after they beat a much improved Team Liquid side 3-2, unfortunately for Solary they got swept 3-0 by Top Blokes getting sent to the lower bracket. Top Blokes carried on their good form by beating Galaxy Racer in a convincing 3-1 win.
The upper bracket semi-final saw Top Blokes face off against the team who would be coming back for vengeance in the Grand Finals, Team Queso, they won 4-2 to set up an upper bracket final against Team BDS, the team that everyone in Europe ALWAYS has as favorites for basically every tournament these days. However, that wasn’t to be the case as the two teams traded games in an intense 4-3 win for Top Blokes. Following the upper bracket final, Top Blokes had some time to reflect and watch out for who they would be playing in the Grand Final as Team Queso faced off against Team BDS in the lower bracket finals.
Unfortunately for Team BDS they just couldn’t keep up with the pace of Team Queso and crumble to a 4-2 defeat, They went into game 5 knowing their tournament life was on the line but ended up going to a rather lengthy 4 minute overtime period where they ended up losing and after that heads seemed to drop, big whiffs, double/triple commits and slow rotations reared their ugly heads in game 6. They somehow got to overtime again 1-1 only to crumble within the first 5 seconds to bow out of the tournament. Fortunately for Team BDS they can probably afford to take the rest of this split off and still somehow make worlds as they are FLYING right now, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
THE GRAND FINAL. Top Blokes Vs. Team Queso, who’d have thought that? Not me! My money was on Team BDS being in the grand finals for sure and the statistics show most people had their money on Team BDS, yes while most esports betting takes place on FPS games, people do in fact bet on Rocket League! But this is Rocket League! At the moment it is as unpredictable as ever. This final was an insane game, some super unlucky goals, some clutch moments, goals galore. Team Queso looked to make quite the upset here as they took game one 2-1 in overtime against the #3 seed but top blokes weren’t going to just lay down and take this.
It took them 1 minute and 30 seconds to romp to a 3 goal lead in game 2, 2 goals from Kassio and 1 from Archie saw them in a good position. They convincingly won game 2 4-2, Archie kicked off game 3 with a goal inside 15 seconds in a game they cruised to another 4-2 win. Top Blokes lead 2-1 in the series. Game 4 was crazy, both teams sort of edged their way into this one, but after 2 minutes Team Queso found themselves 2-0 up, that however, didn’t last! This one ended up 4-4 going into yet more over time, it took one intense back and forth minute for Queso to take the win and tie the game up! That wasn’t the case in game 5, Top Blokes were fired up, they smashed Queso 5-1, no mercy, no prisoners. Game 6 saw another goal-fest, both these teams fighting tooth and nail to claim that title and the $30,000 prize. We saw the game go into overtime at 3-3 whereafter, yet another 1 minute overtime, Queso came out on top. It was looking like Top Blokes were going to have to win game 7 in regulation as so far they’d lost all 3 games that went to overtime.
This game was very nervy, every player seemed to be on edge and understandably so, this will have been the biggest game of most of their careers. A few near misses and some big saves went by in the first 5 minutes before we went to overtime with the game tied at 0-0. Top Blokes couldn’t do it, could they? Well, they did! After turning it up a notch when the overtime kicked in, unfortunately for Queso, an uncharacteristic misplay on the line from Dmentza left the net wide open for Kassio to add the cherry on top of what was an insane grand finals performance from him. Top Blokes were your winners! As I said, this is the first time this season where a team not called Team BDS or Vitality has won a regional and after a few close calls, Top Blokes came out as much-deserved winners.
Shortly after their win, their coach Reece ‘Rams’ Mullins tweeted a gif of a man signing a contract, amid rumors they were in talks of signing with an organization finally! It isn’t clear who their organization is yet as there is no official announcement, but it’s getting pretty exciting for the boys, especially 15-year-old Archie who looks to have the world of Rocket League in the palm of his hands!
We’re currently in the midst of the second regional event for NA so keep your eyes peeled here for a recap of this event too! My eyes are on either NRG or Team Envy to take the crown, it would be interesting to see if Envy could take their second crown of the winter split! If you’re like me and you watch boatloads of eSports and want to chat, get in touch! Reach out to me on Twitter @Stubat_ where I talk all things eSports, tech and games! Or just rant about how disappointed I am with the current state of football (soccer).