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 as a preview for what to expect during Season 7 for each team. Check out the rest of the previews here.
Today’s preview will feature the best collection of 1v1 players ever created: Renault Vitality.
Season 6 Results: 3-4 finish and fourth in League Play. Lost to PSG Esports in the first round of the Regional Championships.
Off-season Movement: Added perhaps the best player in the world Alexandre ‘Kaydop’ Courant (1.09 GPG, 0.60 APG, 1.63 SAPG) to replace Phillip “paschy90” Paschmeyer (0.77 GPG, 0.46 APG, 0.97 SAPG) who retired, er, joined Buzzer Beater to try and make a Rival Series run.
Off-season Performance: 2nd place at DreamHack Leipzig. 9th-12th place at the DreamHack Leipzig Closed Qualifiers. 4th place finish WSOE Qualifiers.
Team MVP: Victor “Fairy Peak” Locquet
Realistic Team Goal: RLCS Season 7 World Champions
Background and Team History
There was a lot of praise for Vitality after they acquired Kaydop, but they didn’t really have to do much to make it happen. One of the three best players in the world sort of fell into their laps because he likes Fairy Peak. When the move happened it made RV into an instant championship contender, and their performance in Leipzig only reaffirmed their standing.
Paschy90 was actually a really serviceable player last season, but Kaydop is an upgrade in every way. He was the EU Golden Striker last season and Regular Season MVP back in Season 5. He’s been at every LAN since Season 2 and won two World Championships with Dignitas. This move was monumental.
Vitality should have been at LAN last season, but were bested by PSG. Really, RV could have finished in the top two. They took easy sweeps over We Dem Girlz and PSG, but laid consecutive eggs against mousesports and Fnatic. Inconsistency plagued the team last season. Kaydop should help stabilize things.
Kyle “Scrub Killa” Robertson had a decent rookie season in a defensive role for RV. Scrub led the league in saves (2.17) and has a knack for good defensive positioning.
Despite Scrub’s efforts, Vitality still allowed more than two goals per game. They were caught out far too often, but Paschy90 was largely to blame for that. RV finished third in saves per game but third to last in EU in goals against. When the defense was set it was solid, but transition play hammered RV all season long.
Fairy and Scrub are the two best 1v1 players in the world. That can be a good thing and a bad thing. The team isn’t short on mechanical ability, and based on their showing in Leipzig, they may be one of the best teams in the world.
Renault Vitality’s Best Case Scenario
On paper this team should be really good. If you put three of the most skilled Rocket League players on the same team, they should win a lot based on talent alone. Vitality should win a bunch of games, but if they are to challenge for the crown this season they need to perfect their rotations and communication.
Fairy Peak led the league in double commits last season. He’s extremely capable mechanically, and he knew he could get to pretty much every ball. The problem was that just because you can hit something doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Vitality suffered from poor communication all season.
If RV is to reach their potential, they need to work together well. Miscommunication cost them against Dignitas in Leipzig. Look at this:
It hurts. It hurts to watch. These kinds of mistakes happen with any team, but could really cripple Vitality against world class opposition. Missing open nets because you can’t agree on who is going to take the shot is inexcusable. If Vitality is going to put it all together it starts here.
More improved rotations will lead to allowing less goals. Scrub won’t be on an island in defense so much and they’ll apply more offensive pressure. They’re talented enough to beat anyone. They just need to take care of the little things.
If they do, they’re championship contenders. Fairy Peak and Kaydop could emerge as top five players in the world, and the team could embrace a Dignitas-like level of play where every player fills up the stat sheet evenly. They’ll be fun to watch this season.
Renault Vitality’s Worst Case Scenario:
Having one player who isn’t on the same page as his teammates can turn a great team into a wreck (see: al0t, compLexity, Season 6). It can be especially dangerous when chemistry issues create divisions within the squad.
More teams are beginning to realize this and are hiring coaches/managers to help keep everyone on the same page. Vitality’s Michael “Gregan” Ellis will have an important role in keeping everyone involved happy and playing their best.
Kaydop and Fairy seem to be great friends and have played well together previously. Scrub Killa joined the team when Paschy was the captain but wasn’t expressly Fairy and Kaydop’s choice as a third. If things go
south or the team struggles, Scrub could be the scapegoat. Gregan can’t let that happen.
Renault Vitality’s worst case scenario is that after a few lackluster performances the team loses unity. If their disagreements manifest themselves on the field, they’re toast. Vitality is too talented to flop because other teams are simply better than them. The only reason they’d flop is because of internal issues, not because they’re being outplayed.
Scrub has a history of being easily frustrated and is still only 15 years-old. It’s hard to expect a person of his age to be a model of maturity, but he’s going to have to be. New rosters rarely mesh without hiccups. Vitality’s hiccups need to be minuscule.
They also need to stop double committing. Trust is a product of maturity, and these players are going to have to trust each other. It seems like an easy fix, and of all the problems to have, every team would take rotational issues over mechanical inabilities.
TL;DR: Vitality are really good. They’re talented enough to win the World Championship, but need to lock down rotation and camaraderie to reach their potential. Really high ceiling, fairly low floor.
Featured image courtesy of Renault Vitality.
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