The Rocket League Championship Series is only a few more 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 a movie trailers for what to expect during Season 7 for each team.
The fourth preview will discuss the Rocket League’s personified offensive assault, Savage!
Season 6 Results: 6-1 record and 1st place after qualifying for the Rival Series through the Play-In tournament. Beat compLexity, lost to Red Reserve, then beat Fnatic 4-1 to qualify for the RLCS.
Off-season Movement: None. Alpha54 should upgrade from a laptop to a powerful desktop with his DreamHack winnings though.
Off-season Performance: 3-4th DreamHack Leipzig Pro Cicuit. Winners of Renegade Cup EU Finals. 3rd place WSOE Qualifier (had to forfeit final match against PSG because Alpha54 had an exam the next morning), 17-24th DreamHack Closed Qualifier
Team MVP: Yanis ‘Alpha54’ Champeonis
Realistic Team Goal: Qualify for the LAN playoffs.
Background and Team History
Savage! is a combination of former RLCS stars Dan ‘Bluey’ Bluett and David ‘Deevo’ Morrow with a new star bursting onto the scene: Yanis “Alpha54” Champeonis. Bluey and Deevo found themselves without teams after underwhelming Season 5 performances. They decided to team up, look for a third and try and qualify for the Rival Series.
What a success that planned turned out to be, huh? In the two seasons since the top four qualification format began, Savage! are the only team to gain promotion in their first RLRS season. That achievement came mostly because Alpha54 played like an absolute madman. Bluey and Deevo also deserve credit for not giving up after being dropped from their old teams, PSG and Team Envy.
It’s so easy for a struggling player to call it a career or sub for another team instead of getting back on the grind. That’s exactly what Bluey and Deevo did, and one season later they’re back in Rocket League’s premier division. The English duo came up big in key moments and their experience was crucial.
A star wide receiver can prolong the career of an aging quarterback by accentuating his strengths. That’s exactly what Alpha54 did for his teammates in a constantly evolving meta game. He will continue to get better while Bluey and Deevo lock down the defense.
Deevo underwent an interesting transition in Season 6. He went from being one of the game’s mechanical gods around Season 2, to a top five saves and bottom five in goal participation player in Season 6. Sometimes changing roles is what you need to stay on the field. Deevo is a reliable third man back and displayed that at DreamHack Leipzig.
Bluey is playing a similar style to what he did with PSG, and it worked last season. His understanding of where the ball will be heading next is crucial in holding the midfield. He’s an excellent passer and has the mechanical prowess to catch a defense off guard. They have a solid three man dynamic that should transfer well to the RLCS.
Savage!’s Best Case Scenario
The Season 7 dream for Savage! looks like how they performed in their 3-0 series sweep against Cloud9 at DreamHack Leipzig. There are few teams that can beat Cloud9 by outspeeding them, but that’s exactly what Savage! did. They outscored the RLCS Season 6 Champions 8-1 over three games and handed them their second sweep since the Season 5 World Championships.
That’s really impressive, but it’s especially impressive given the rest of their offseason. Savage! didn’t lose a single match in the Renegade Cup, missed out on qualifying for WSOE because of a lack of foresight by tournament organizers and almost won the entire tournament in Leipzig. No team, other than maybe Dignitas, has as much momentum heading into Season 7 as Savage!.
Their best case scenario is that their aggressive style of play transitions smoothly to the higher level of competition. Alpha54 could emerge as one of the best five players in the world and carry Savage! to a top two finish and an automatic bid to LAN.
That would almost definitely lead to Savage! finding an org. There have been rumors of the team being picked up by FC Barcelona Esports, but making LAN would basically guarantee an org signing.
Bluey and Deevo could easily to develop into world class role players that stay in the RLCS for a long time like Miztik, Ferra and Klassux have managed to do. They’ve shown that they can keep pace with the evolution of the game, now they’ll have to prove that they can stay ahead of the curve.
Savage!’s Worst Case Scenario
The loaded nature of EU means that literally anyone can get relegated. The only way to avoid that is to have top tier talent and Savage! may be less than the sum of their parts.
There’s always buttery language surrounding why a team might move on from a player, but sometimes the fact of the matter is that the player just simply isn’t good enough. Bluey and Deevo played well last season, but there’s a reason why after PSG and Ex-Envy kicked the two their teams improved. Both of their teams qualified for LAN last season, and Ex-Envy (then We Dem Girlz) won Eleague AFTER Deevo joined Savage!
So the question arises, are they good enough now? Maybe they are, but their best case scenario is that they’re not up to snuff. Alpha54 looks like a special talent, but one player can’t carry their team at the highest level of Rocket League.
Mechanical ability is not the only characteristic in question. PSG and Envy moved on because Bluey and Deevo had lapses in concentration and it cost them. PSG won DreamHack Leipzig in 2018 with Bluey, then kicked him a season later. It likely wasn’t because of technical differences. They probably thought there was better talent elsewhere.
Their worst case is that Bluey and Deevo can’t hack it at the highest level anymore and Alpha54 is overwhelmed by a role he isn’t ready for yet. Their attacking style is easily shutdown by more organized teams and they finish bottom two. Maybe Bluey and Deevo move on and Alpha54 lands with another RLCS team. It doesn’t seem likely, but if Savage! crumbles, that’s what it will look like.
Maybe Bluey and Deevo have chips on their shoulders from being exiled. They’ll have to play like it if Savage! is to reach their full potential.
TL;DR: Savage! have enough talent and momentum to automatically qualify for LAN. To do so they’ll rely heavily on players who previously struggled in the RLCS and could struggle again. This team has the largest range of any in Europe. They could finish top two or bottom two and it wouldn’t be too surprising.
Featured image courtesy of Savage!
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