Evil Geniuses announced their acquisition of Australian player Matthew ‘Drippay’ Den-Kaat. For the first time in Rocket League esports history, a player has changed regions to join a new team.
Drippay will join teammates Gabriel “CorruptedG’ Vallozzi and Jason ‘Klassux’ Klass and leaves behind OCE’s stalwart Rocket League Championship Series contender, Chiefs Esports Club.
Rocket League’s First Ever Region Swap
Transfers like these are commonplace in the world of traditional sports and have become more prevalent in esports as well. Drippay leaving OCE for NA is another positive sign for the future of Rocket League Esports.
Drippay has been OCE’s best player since the RLCS added OCE competition back in season three. He carried Chiefs to a fourth place finish in season six’s World Championships and averaged .76 goals per game. The Chiefs made the deepest RLCS run for an OCE squad and beat his new squad Evil Geniuses.
Reed ‘Chicago’ Wilen’s departure to G2 was a curveball for EG. They were the up and coming team looking to make a leap to the top of NA on the back of a young star and the move significantly altered course for the squad.
The move is a smashing resolution to their dilemma. Drippay is better than any of the NA players that EG could reasonably have landed, and he brings with him an audience of fans much like Cameron ‘Kronovi’ Bills did when he moved to Rogue.
It’s also important to note that salaries in OCE are smaller than those given to NA players. It’s hard to blame Drippay for moving on.
“I believe that Drippay is one of the best players in the world,” CorruptedG said. “With this acquisition, Evil Geniuses will come back stronger and we are super motivated to prove people wrong once again.”
OCE Bids Farewell to Their Brightest Star
In the four seasons since OCE began participating at the World Championships the region is 7-16 in the LAN playoffs. Drippay was on the field for all seven of those series wins.
OCE’s second qualifying team has only won five games at the world championships, let alone a series. Drippay’s absence is crushing for a region desperate for respect and publicity on the game’s biggest stage. His level of play continued to elevate but the region could not match his improvement and he had to move on.
The region’s second best team over the last three seasons has been Tainted Minds led by Cameron ‘CJCJ’ Johns. The squad pushed EG to five games at the World Championships before being trounced by eventual champion Cloud9. They have a strong chance to continue their streak of LAN appearances going forward.
Chiefs may end up signing Order Esport’s Tom ‘Julz’ Jullienne or Aidan ‘ZeN’ Hu who finished among the region’s best goal scorers in season six.
The most interesting move actually involves CJCJ. CJCJ is the second best player in the region and he and the current Chiefs squad of Daniel ‘Torsos’ Parsons and Cameron ‘Kamii’ Ingram might be have a decent chance at making some noise at future World Championships. If CJCJ stays, Tainted Minds will continue to make LANs, but might not stay in the tournament for long.
One thing’s for sure: for the first time since season two, OCE will not be represented by Drippay.
Feature image courtesy of liquipedia.net.
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