The Rocket League Championship series is still two months away, but is it ever too early for a few predictions? Of course not!
The Season Seven announcement video has just short of 1.5 million views on YouTube. South America will be participating in its first ever RLCS, and there has been more roster movement this off-season than when LeBron decides to change teams.
So what’s going to happen? This article will contain bold, but not unreasonable predictions and since top five lists are in right now, here are five of them!
1. There Will Be Group Play at the LAN Finals
Adding South America means that the RLCS will have to mix up its format. That may not be such a bad thing. WSOE 4 supported a group play format, and overall things went well. The issue at WSOE was that the event was only two days long so they couldn’t show every match on stream. The full RLCS finals won’t struggle with time constraints.
Group play also provides the best teams with the best chances of advancing, but leaves enough room for a surprise team to make it into the knock out stages. It also eliminates the unlucky nature of seeding and gives every team an even playing field.
The only question is how do they make it work? There could be four groups of three teams where the top two advance. That would lead nicely into an eight team tournament, or only one team could advance to a top four style. Once the Asian region is included (maybe next season?), the format will jump to fourteen teams, muddling things up even more.
2. This Could Be Kronovi’s Last Season
Cameron “Kronovi” Bills is a Rocket League legend. He’s had a long and storied career and has even outlived cringy feature videos about him. As the meta has evolved and the talent pool has deepened Kronovi has kept pace. His move from G2 was the first time he’s ever joined a new team, and it’s the first time he’s had two new teammates since Season Three.
He joins the ex-FlyQuest roster of Austin “AyyJayy” Aebi and Nicholas “Wonder” Blackerby. FlyQuest finished fifth last season during league play but didn’t look overwhelming. the squad lost its first four series of the season before pulling it together and going on a three-series win streak to avoid relegation.
Every other team in NA has gotten better, and the two recently promoted squads, Bread and Splyce, could challenge to stay up in the RLCS yet again. NA’s top four teams (Cloud9, G2, NRG, and Evil Geniuses) look to be locks to avoid the relegation zone. Ghost Gaming will be better with the addition of Braxton ‘Allushin’ Lagarec.
Rogue could be a couple of bad bounces away from falling into the relegation zone, and if they do end up dropping to the Rival Series it would be hard to imagine that Kronovi would continue on. He could transition easily into an analyst position, coach or just keep with the content creation. If Rogue drops, Kronovi could very well drop too.
3. There Will Be a Huge Overhaul in Broadcasting
Alex “Axeltoss” Rodriguez and Kevin “FindableCarpet” Brown both announced that they will not return for RLCS season seven. Axeltoss and Carpet have been involved with the RLCS since Season One. Carpet evidently left on his own accord, but CloudFuel reported that Psyonix ended their relationship with Axeltoss.
Why would they let two of their original six broadcasters go? It could be because they just weren’t cutting it, but it’s probably because there are large scale changes to the entire broadcast incoming. Maybe Psyonix landed a more prestigious host or maybe there will be a rotating host each week.
Are the jobs of the other casters safe? Who’s to say? Much of the esport’s success has been built on the foundation of consistent broadcasting. That’s not to say that no one else could do it, but you usually don’t fix what isn’t broken. Psyonix must have something special up their sleeves.
4. Chiefs Will Miss LAN
The Chiefs Esports Club roster has been in the best in the Oceania region since the club’s formation in season three. Matthew “Drippay” Den-Kaat was their star player and he’s left for greener pastures with Evil Geniuses. So where does that leave the Chiefs?
Well, potentially on the outside looking in. Tainted Minds placed first at the Oceania qualifying tournament last season and are keeping their roster together for 2019. Cameron “CJCJ” Johns leads a powerful team that will be the favorite come Throwdown time. There are other up and coming squads like Order and SYF Gaming that will be looking to dethrone the New England Patriots of OCE.
Chiefs pulled a classic Bayern Munich move when they signed their opponent’s best player, Aidan “ZeN” Hui, from Order. Will their weakening of their top challenger be enough to force them through, or for the first time ever will we see Chiefs miss out on the grand finals?
It could very well be that they miss out. The squad looked dreadful at WSOE. They went from the fourth best team in the world to the worst team at a major tournament after one single roster move. They even lost to no-namers Afterthought.
5. Afterthought Is Going to Win the Rival Series
Speaking of Afterthought, they’ve got a puncher’s chance of qualifying for the RLCS this season. Their performance at WSOE was by no means shocking, but the roster had only been together two weeks before the tournament and one week before the open qualifier.
Nathan “Shock” Frommelt is a great player with loads of potential. The Rival Series will be wide open this season after former RLCS club Team Allegiance disbanded. Ex-Rogue and The Peeps will both be very strong contenders, but at this point it’s anyone’s game.
This prediction might be the boldest one of all given the RLRS format and the inexperience of the team, but these kids can play. The key will be to just make it through qualifiers. They’ve shown that despite their inexperience they can play with the game’s best. Afterthought beat Chiefs, forced eventual WSOE champ Flipsid3 Tactics to a game five and took a game off of RLCS season six champs Cloud9.
More importantly than anything else, these lads believe they can do it.
Bonus Round: Org Items Were A Sham
We’re all still waiting, Psyonix. There are teams in danger of losing orgs and really impressive young teams that already have. It’s time to get the revenue sharing bits figured out and start selling org items. It shouldn’t be too difficult.
It”ll probably work out though, right?
Feature image courtesy of WSOE.
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