Welcome to Rocket Launching, a midweek RLCS column that discusses the happenings from the past week’s Rocket League action. Here are some of my favorite observations from the second week of RLCS Season 7.
Everybody in the scene knows that there is some cataclysmic stuff going on with Dignitas. It’s too soon to rule them out, but a 0-3 start is pretty devastating. Losses to FC Barcelona and Vitality are tough to swallow, but getting outgunned by PSG? That’s pretty damning and I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but Dignitas might miss out on LAN.
In my season preview for the team I said that “Dignitas could qualify for LAN in their sleep with Gibbs as their third.” I called Dignitas the New York Yankees of Rocket League and they are not living up to that bar. There’s something off with Pierre “Turbopolsa” Silfver and Jos “Violentpanda” van Meurs. The crisp rotation and passing that defined this team evidently left the room with Alexandre “Kaydop” Courant in the offseason.
Caster James “Jamesbot” Villar called the Kaydop transfer the biggest move in RL history on last week’s broadcast, and that was spot on. I remember thinking that the power had shifted in EU when Kaydop moved, but I assumed Dig would be fine. Maurice “Yukeo” Weihs is a fine player who flashed his potential last season, but his performance has been disappointing.
Violentpanda hasn’t scored a goal yet this season. Let that sink in.
All that being said, don’t give up quite yet on Dignitas. They’ve played two of EU’s best three teams so far and there’s still four series left before LAN. It’s not inconceivable to think they could run the table against mousesports, Triple Trouble, The Bricks and TSM to finish out the season.
No RLCS team has started 0-3 and qualified for LAN and only three teams with losing records ever have (Denial in S3, Envy in S4 and PSG in S5). They’ll have to defy the odds, but Dignitas are used to making history.
Esports Shop is here, and you know what? It’s pretty sweet. You can see a lot of the org items on this reddit thread. The items look great and only using the Octane and Dominus bodies for decals is excusable. The price is mostly reasonable as well. A decal will run you three dollars and banners are as little as one dollar. The rotating catalog is a novel idea, but it means you may have to wait a while to grab something you really want.
The items look really good though. I don’t root for any particular team but I had to grab the NRG decal and a Cloud9 dominus just because they look so clean. This is a great way to feed the orgs some money and bring in casual players into the esports realm. 11 out of 16 teams participated and only three orgs aren’t represented. FC Barcelona and PSG Esports are massive brands with heavy copyright restrictions and Spacestation only picked up a roster two weeks ago. Even an org like Ghost that is actively looking to move on from Rocket League has some pretty sweet items. Psyonix knocked this out of the park.
Relegation Scrum (NA)
As a serial browser of tankathon.com, I love to watch teams flounder. NA has three really good teams (Cloud9, NRG, G2) and then five, solid to not so great teams. There are two spots up for grabs and right now Ghost and Rogue are the front runners to play in the Promotion Tournament.
Ghost sit at an unhappy 0-3 and have lost to NRG, C9 and Splyce. With G2, Spacestation, Rogue and Evil Geniuses left to play, Ghost could narrowly avoid relegation. They’ve finished mere goals out of the bottom two each of the last two seasons. It seems that fate has finally caught up with them. They could fall to 0-4 against G2 on Saturday. Mopey Treyven “Lethamyr” Robitaille tweets aside, Ghost’s decision to add Braxton “Allushin” Lagarec may have cost them their RLCS spot.
Rogue have played well in both of their series, and there’s no shame in losing to EG and G2. They face Splyce and C9 this weekend and need to pick up a win to stay above the red line. Their roster is solid and all three players have played well, but not spectacularly. Their defense still isn’t great, but there’s hope for them to turn things around over the next five games.
Splyce are in a tough position. They picked up a nice win over Ghost but still have to play some really good teams. They’ve just gained their footing in the RLCS and may have to fall back into the Rival Series. They’re 1-2 right now, but they’ll likely need at least three wins to stay up. Their match with Rogue this weekend has huge implications.
Spacestation and EG are probably fine, but you never know. EG can look like two drastically different teams within the same series. Their lone win came against Rogue and they still have NRG and C9 on the schedule. Spacestation have a better chance at LAN than relegation. If they handle their business against Ghost, Rogue and Splyce, they’ll be in New Jersey come June.
Relegation Scrum (EU)
We’ve already discussed Dignitas. They’re 0-3, but they have matches against Mouz, Triple Trouble and The Bricks next. It wouldn’t surprise me if they’re back to 3-3 two weeks from now. If they drop any of those series they can kiss LAN goodbye and if they drop two they might be in the promotion tournament.
Triple Trouble need to settle down. They looked wonderful against The Bricks in week one but have struggled since. Mouz beat them 3-1 and then TSM swept them just by never leaving the net open. Scoring at the highest level and it shows for TT. They’re scoring just 1.5 goals per game and are allowing 2.33. Yikes.
Who would have thought Mouz would be the RLCS’ highest scoring team? Mouz are tied with Vitality and EG with 28 goals scored through Week 2. Now, they’ve played three more games than RV and one more than EG, but still that’s a big surprise. Mouz have exceeded my expectations in every way, but their remaining schedule is tough. They have Dignitas on Sunday, Barcelona and PSG next week and then end their season against Vitality in week five. That’s tough sledding, and they’re already 1-2.
The Bricks, Barcelona and PSG are also within relegation range, but have had good enough performances in their wins that I don’t doubt them too much. Except for PSG. they got lucky to play Dignitas when they did, and will struggle the rest of the season.
RIP the Batmobile
The Batmobile used to be one of the premier cars back in the day, but alas, has passed away. Not one RLCS player has used it this season. Turbo used the Delorean before someone used the Batmobile. Oof.
Legendary Batmobile users Francesco “Kuxir97” Cinquemani, Victor “Fairy Peak” Locquet and Kyle “Scrub Killa” Robertson have all moved on from the flat car. It’s not customizable and the hit box is awful for 50/50s, so nobody uses it anymore. RIP in Peace, old friend.
Paschy90, the Real MVP
Reddit user u/zer0w0rries beat me to the punch on this, but I had thought of it watching Kaydop smash Scrub Killa passes this weekend. Former Vitality captain Phillip “Paschy90” Paschmeyer was one hell of a talent scout and general manager. He landed Fairy Peak and Scrub to Vitality and his retirement opened up the door for the world’s best player.
I think Paschy saw the writing on the wall and retired instead of being kicked. Even then, it’s evident that he knew Fairy and Scrub were special players when he signed them. He just wasn’t the right third for the job. This is like Sam Hinkie being fired from the 76ers after all those years of losing. He finally sets the team up to win, and they let him go.
Thanks for creating a super team, Paschy. Even if it wasn’t meant to be on the field, you were a part of something special.
Caden “Sypical” Pellegin was on another level this weekend. He scored 1013 points as an attacker in fantasy and scored 10 goals in three games against EG. Gabriel “CorruptedG” Vallozi may have gifted him one of those, but Sypical was everywhere.
Matthew “Satthew” Ackermann and Alexandre “AxB” Bellemare know right were to put the ball for Sypical to score. Sypical seems to have a telepathic connection with them and can perfectly anticipate their passes. We may have seen a true breakout performance for a relatively unknown player on Saturday.
No RLRS team has ever made LAN, and Sypical may lead Spacestation to that goal. He’s right behind Kyle “Torment” Storer for the Golden Striker award in NA and could surpass him if Mariano “Squishy” Arruda or Jesus “Gimmick” Parra begin to score for C9.
It’s great watching Sypical keep the ball close to himself and burn defenders in the midfield. He opens up the wings for Satthew and AxB and finishes the chances they create for him. Spacestation have great chemistry and loads of confidence. They’re fun to watch.
Hey, wanna see a dead body?
It’s evident that David “Miztik” Lawrie has no regard for human life. I mean look at this:
This is such a smart play. I love watching Miztik’s little moments of brilliance.
Is Torment the Best Player in the World?
Torment leads NA in both goals and assists per game. He won the MVP at the Season 6 World Championships and has been a consistent force since he played for Vendetta in Season 2. He is the most consistent player on the world’s best team and has adapted to a more prominent attacking role.
To me, Kaydop is clearly the best player in the world right now, but Torment deserves mention. Torment used to man down the defense and let Squishy and Gimmick take care of the offense. Now he’s an offensive powerhouse who is last in the league in saves per game.
Squishy and Gimmick set up some really straightforward chances for him, but Torment is a great finisher that can really strike the ball. I don’t think this is like saying Draymond Green is the best player in the world because he gets easy looks from his All-Star teammates on the Golden State Warriors. I really think you could put Torment on any team and he would have similar output.
He’s rock solid in every aspect of the game. He can defend, boss the midfield, knows where to be at all times and is even a good passer. Put some respect on his name. He’s not just a janitor in front of net.
Satthew and the Art of the Calculated Whiff
Is Satthew trying to hit the ball and missing or just throwing off the defense with a fake? It’s impossible to say, but Satthew has a good habit of missing at opportune times.
I’m sure it’s a mixture of faking and just missing, but it’s funny that sometimes missing the ball completely is the best thing you can do. The second one is definitely a miss, but I’ll give Satthew the benefit of the doubt. May the fakes continue.
Featured image courtesy of Dignitas.
“From Our Haus to Yours”