The Rocket League Championship Series is only a few weeks away. That leaves enough time for weekly team-by-team previews of the world’s best Rocket League teams. This series will act almost as previews for what to expect during Season 7 for each team. Check out the rest of the previews here.
Season 6 Results: Second place finish in League play after 6-1 record. Lost to NRG Esports 4-2 in Regional Championship Grand Final. Lost to Flipsid3 Tactics and PSG Esports in consecutive match ups to finish last at the World Championship.
Off-season Movement: Unceremoniously kicked Cameron “Kronovi” Bills (0.86 GPG, 0.43 APG, 1.43 SAPG) in favor of Evil Geniuses’ Reed “Chicago” Wilen ((0.70 GPG, 0.43 APG, 1.30 SAPG).
Off-season Performance: First place at WSOE 4 Qualifiers. 7-8th at DreamHack Leipzig Closed Qualifier. Semi-finalists at WSOE 4. 5th-8th at DreamHack Leipzig. Second place at Rival Esports 2019 Winter Open.
Team MVP: Jacob “JKnaps” Knapman
Realistic Team Goal: Top four finish at RLCS Season 7 World Championship.
Background and Team History
The team said goodbye to its most storied player in the offseason, but Kronovi likely won’t be missed. Chicago is a rising star who carried Evil Geniuses to another LAN berth last season. Chicago looked beyond capable in his rookie season and should slot in nicely alongside Dillon “Rizzo” Rizzo and JKnaps.
That being said, Kronovi was pretty solid last season. He finished 4th in NA in goals per game and had a solid season playing janitor in front of net. G2’s only loss in League Play came to Cloud9, and Kronovi had a lot to do with the team’s success. Few people would argue that Chicago isn’t an upgrade over Kro, which means that the team can only go up from their excellent Season 6 performance.
Kronovi had to move on because G2 were abysmal in Las Vegas at the World Championships. Both series went to five games, but the reality was that they were eliminated early and something had to change. Chicago’s performance in Vegas and at WSOE and DreamHack means the squad will be scary come LAN.
Rizzo will likely embrace the role that Kronovi played last season. He’ll clean up open looks in front of goal and play solid defense to allow his teammates to go forward. JKnaps and Chicago can both do a little bit of everything, but they both excel at putting the ball in the back of the net.
G2 only allowed 7.21 shots per game against them, the best in NA. The team’s rotations were tight, they provided pressure on the ball and still were able to get forward and score. Will Rizzo be able to captain the team to another successful season? On paper? Yes, G2 should do very well.
G2’s Best Case Scenario
Readers will have noticed that four teams (TSM, EG, Vitality and now G2) have been given the realistic goal of reaching top four at the World Championships next season. There are still four very good teams to be previewed (ex-Flipsid3, NRG, Dignitas and Cloud9). Mathematics experts will point out that it’s impossible for all eight teams to finish top four, but G2 need to get to that goal this season.
Kronovi hasn’t been the king of Rocket League he once was for awhile now, but he still had a huge fan base. Many fans were disappointed when it came out that he was being kicked. They will be disappointed if G2 bow out of the World Championships early.
Since Chicago is statistically a better player than his predecessor, G2’s ceiling rose when he arrived. It’s not unreasonable to say that G2 could win the whole shebang next season. It wasn’t unreasonable to say that last season either, but they still flopped. That can’t happen again.
G2 only need to prove they can beat world class opponents on the biggest stage. This team doesn’t have a visible weakest link or glaring chink in their armor. They’re talented and organized enough to beat anybody, now they just have to do it on the biggest stage. They sit in the same position Cloud9 were in last season.
Overall, that’s a pretty good place to be. They’ve played well in each of the tournaments they’ve appeared in this offseason. They’ve upgraded their roster, shown they have good chemistry, and now it comes down to performing when the lights come on. If they do, they’re good enough to lift the trophy come this summer. If they reach 80 percent of their potential they could challenge for top four.
G2’s Worst Case Scenario
The mathematicians from earlier will point out that it’s likely that G2 will miss out on top four because there are so many talented Rocket League teams right now. If G2 have a repeat of last season, they’ll be devastated. Anything short of Day 3 at the World Championships would be a disappointment.
Something would have to go catastrophically wrong for G2 to miss out on LAN. They have too much talent and tradition on their side to get muscled out of the top four. Anything can happen in this esport, but the rest of NA are still a step behind the Big 3 of NRG, G2 and C9,
With that in mind, they don’t have a single top five or top ten player in the world. It’s really hard to win in Rocket League. It takes a shocking collection of talent to win on the biggest stage. Cloud9 and Dignitas have won the last three World Championships between them, and it’s because they have a top flight player in every position.
Can G2 win with three above average to fringe stars or will they be outgunned by the likes Cloud9, NRG and Dignitas? They haven’t been able to thus far. Since the team formed in Season 3 their highest World Championship finish is fourth. It’s a tough predicament to be in.
It’s hard to find players in NA better than Rizzo or JKnaps, but they haven’t been able to prove that they can win at the game’s most important event. That’s not to say it can’t be done, but they haven’t been able to carry over their regular season success to a high placement at LAN. It will take a special effort and a bit of luck in their match ups to claim the crown.
TL;DR: G2 will be better than they were last season, which is scary considering how good they were throughout league play. The issue is they still might not have enough talent to reach the top of the esport.
Featured image courtesy of G2 Esports.
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