Afterthought won the North American Renegade Cup Finals on Sunday with a 4-3 victory over Sway eSports. The team took home $6,000 prize after their first ever major tournament victory.
It also marked the end of a long saga of roster discomfort between Afterthought players Nathan ‘Shock’ Frommelt and Colby ‘Hockser’ James. Off-field issues led Hockser to leave Afterthought to form Birds and the Beez.
Afterthought Wins in One Last Go Around
Before the event began there was noise that Shock wouldn’t even participate. Now he sits as Renegade Cup champion after three days of excellent Rocket League.
The team landed at the Grand Finals after an impressive run through the winner’s bracket. They won in the first round against The Boyzzz after a strange turn of events that forced the team to play down a man for most of the match. Boyzzz player Normal Times couldn’t join the match and AFT went up 3-0 before he was allowed to join.
Afterthought moved on to sweep The D00ds and then beat Sway eSports 3-1 in the semifinal. Sway won in the loser’s bracket and forced a rematch in the Grand Finals. The series swung back and forth but AFT took the game seven, 2-1.
Zoli ‘zolhay’ Digness played very well for the team and played a solid complimentary style with Hockser and Shock. The Shock/Hockser combo was unstoppable all tournament long, but especially in the final. The players carry plenty of momentum and a story line to follow as the RLRS Qualifiers approach.
Many teams had impact performances this weekend but chief among them was Sway eSports. The team of Austin ‘AlphaKep’ Kepner, Tristian ‘tcorrell’ Correll and Anthony ‘ZPS’ Perez managed to knock off RLCS squad Splyce as well as RLRS squad The Peeps. They had a chance to reset the bracket in
game seven but fell just short. They will be a team to watch come RLRS Qualifiers.
The Peeps third place performance was about par for the course. They finished second in the RLRS last season and reaffirmed their position as promotion favorites heading into Season 7. They dropped to the loser’s bracket after having to forfeit due to a scheduling conflict in the first round. From there they swept Triple Commit, Regalia and The D00ds and edged out Upper90 eSports before falling to Sway.
Speaking of Upper90, they had an unexpected run through the lower bracket and finished in fourth. They bounced back after losing to Triple Commit in the first round to beat The Boyzz, Lights Out! and Splyce before falling to the Peeps. It’s hard to beat Splyce in any format, so the sweep should give them confidence as they look toward RLRS Qualifiers.
Renegade Cup Disappointments
Many expected Splyce to recreate the performance that Savage! gave at the EU Renegade Cup Finals. Savage! didn’t drop a single game there, but Splyce barely managed to win one series. They swept Triple Commit and then dropped to Sway and got crushed by Upper90.
Normally a poor performance in an off-season tournament wouldn’t be too alarming, but Splyce make their RLCS debut in a six weeks. If they can’t keep Upper90 off the board, how will they defend the likes of Cloud9 and NRG esports?
Bread also seemed disinterested in the tournament. They waltzed past a weak Regalia side but got crushed against The D00ds and didn’t even want to play in the loser’s bracket. They forfeited their match against Lights Out! and called it a day. Bread will be fine, but they better perform better come RLCS time.
The rest of the tournament featured a good run here or there but was largely predictable. Most of the teams that qualified for the Renegade Cup finals on points looked over matched and need to regroup before RLRS qualifiers. There are six spots available for RLRS Season 7, and many of the teams that participated this weekend will qualify for those spots.
Feature image courtesy of Psyonix.
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