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Rocket League: Can OCE or SAM Make a Splash in New Jersey?

RLCS World Championship

The Rocket League Championship Series World Championship is mere days away, and the field is wide open. Each region is sending its best, and each region hopes to bring the title back home with them. Who has the best odds at making their region proud?

This three part mini-series will serve as a large scale preview for the RLCS Finals in Newark, New Jersey from June 21-23. Fans can expect team by team profiles, as well as their chances at winning it all in Jersey. Catch up on NA’s chances here and EU’s chances here.

South America is making their RLCS debut over in New Jersey this weekend. OCE are coming off their best ever RLCS finish after Chief’s Esports Club finished fourth at the Season 6 World Championship. Do either of these regions have a shot at claiming international glory at LAN? Here are SAM and OCE’s best chances in descending order.

RLCS World Championship Contender #4: INTZ Esports

Roster: Diogo “PJ” Sanches Ferme, Felipe “Repi” Pereira Chaves, Matheus “Matix” Rodrigues

RLCS Season 7 Results: 3rd place in Grand Series (5-2, 19-10). Lost to Lowkey in semifinal of Regional Championship, but beat Lotus and Erodium in the Loser’s Bracket to make LAN. Lost to Lowkey in Grand Final.

Group: A (NRG Esports, PSG Esports)

Previous Worlds Results: None.

Key Player: Repi

INTZ eSports surprised the South American scene all season long. The region was extremely top heavy in Season 7, and INTZ hung tough with preseason favorites Erodium and Lotus in League Play. They beat the eventual South American champions Lowkey Esports in Week 2 and announced they were a force to be reckoned with.

Before Season 7, Lotus and Erodium were the undisputed kings of Rocket League in South America. They consistently dominated the Grind Series and NiusCup, so when Psyonix announced SAM would be at worlds, it was a foregone conclusion that Lotus and Erodium would fill those spots. INTZ had something to say about that.

RLCS World Championship

Courtesy of INTZ eSports

In events leading up to Season 7 INTZ was consistently the third best team in SAM. Once the Grand Series began, they found a different level. Their run through the lower bracket of the Regional Championship is stuff of South American legend now. This unassuming team without any regular season players of the week or award winners dominated Lotus 4-1 and stood up to South America’s finest and beat Erodium 4-2. They defied expectations and reached LAN.

All that being said, INTZ probably have the toughest road to travel to win it all. OCE has struggled since its inclusion in Season 3, and the second place finisher from OCE has never won a series at LAN.  It can be difficult to adjust to the speed and quality of international play. INTZ has defied outside expectations all season long. They’ve proven that they can play well in big moments, and now they’ll have their chance to establish themselves as Rocket League stars.

Betway gives INTZ the best odds of the OCE/SAM squads to win it all at 34:1. Their group is very difficult though, and they’ll need to adjust quickly just to avoid being swept against NRG and PSG. If they can avoid nerves and find a rhythm they may be able to sneak out of their group. It’ll be tough though.

Chances of Winning the RLCS World Championship: Very slim. It would be a miracle if they even make it out of their group, especially in their first RLCS appearance.

RLCS World Championship Contender #3: GroundZero Gaming

Roster: Tom “Julz” Julienne, Cristopher “Siki” Magee, Alex “Decka” Decka

RLCS Season 7 Results: 3rd place in Gfinity Oceanic Masters (5-2, 17-9). Lost to ICON Esports in first round, beat 1Ne Esports in lower bracket, then beat ICON 4-3 to qualify for LAN. Lost to Renegades in Grand Final.

Group: B (Renault Vitality, G2 Esports)

Previous Worlds Results: Tom “Julz” Julienne played with Tainted Minds in Season 5 but lost in consecutive series. Siki and Decka will made their Worlds debuts.

Key Player: Decka

GroundZero (formerly Out of Order) finally unseated ICON Esports for the second OCE worlds spot. They had two epic battles in the OCE Regional Championship but ultimately GZ is the first new squad to reach LAN from OCE since Season 3. Tainted Minds/ICON and Chiefs/Renegades have had a monopoly on the region for so long, but Julz finally made his way back to LAN.

Julz had to build the team from scratch after Aidan “ZeN” Hui left for Renegades after Season 6. He snagged Decka from SYF (another top OCE contender) and Siki from Legacy Esports and they had an excellent Season 7. They started off slow with consecutive losses in Week 1, but bounced back with a vengeance and went on a 15-3 run through the league over the last four weeks of the season. They crushed Renegades by a

RLCS World Championship
Julz – Courtesy of @Julz_RL on Twitter

combined score of 11-2 in Week 4 and carry a lot of momentum heading into LAN.

Betway gives GroundZero a ridiculous 81:1 chance to GroundZero, by far the worst in the tournament. This is a really smart bet to throw ten dollars on as a casual fan. GZ have yet to play on the big stage, but they have bested the strongest teams in their region and could sneak up on some teams in New Jersey.

History is stacked against GroundZero though, and their group is unforgiving. Vitality and G2 both struggled at DreamHack Dallas, but will be heavy favorites to advance this weekend.

Chances of Winning RLCS World Championship: 81:1 odds is worth putting $5 on, but GroundZero Gaming winning the World Championship would be the greatest upset in Rocket League history.

RLCS World Championship Contender #2: Lowkey Esports

Roster: Gabriel “Caard” Vieira  Cardoso, Enzo “Tander” Toledo, Renan “renaN” Rossi  de Oliveira

RLCS Season 7 Results: 2nd place in Grand Series (6-1, 20-7). Beat INTZ 4-3, Erodium 4-3 and INTZ 4-1 to win South American Regional Championship.

Group: D (Cloud9, Triple Trouble)

Previous Worlds Results: None

Key Player: Caard

Caard burst onto the scene and solidified himself as the best player in the region in Season 7. Lowkey beat Lotus and Erodium in League Play and continued their high level of play at the Regional Championship. The Brazilian squad is well equipped to handle the pace of World Championship play, and they have the hopes of an entire region on their shoulders.

Lowkey represent a chance at validation for South America. They fought to be included in the RLCS for so long, and a good showing in New Jersey would be a huge win for the region. It would also be a massive development for other regions of the world who are hoping to compete like Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Lowkey offers the best chance for the rest of the world because of their consistency.

RLCS World Championship
Courtesy of Lowkey Esports

The last time Lowkey dropped an RLCS series was in Week 1 of League Play. That was on April 7. It’s been more than two full months since Lowkey saw defeat and they have a lot to prove on the world stage. Playing against South American competition is very different from playing the defending world champions. Lowkey need to come into the tournament with well-scouted game plans on how to slow Cloud9’s offense down and how to break out of defense against Triple Trouble. They are SAM’s best chance to advance, and they’ll need every advantage they can get.

Betway puts their odds at 51:1. Lowkey don’t need to worry about winning it all in their first LAN appearance. Advancing from their group would be a huge success. It’s nearly impossible for a squad to win it all in their LAN debut, and it’s even harder when the team is coming from an inferior region.

Chances at Winning RLCS World Championship: Slightly better than INTZ and GroundZero but still very slim. A series win against Triple Trouble is the dream outcome for this group.

Best Contender: Renegades

Roster: Daniel “Torsos” Parsons, Cameron “Kamii” Ingram, Aidan “ZeN” Hui

RLCS Season 7 Results: 1st place in Gfinity Oceanic Masters (6-1, 18-5). Beat 1Ne esSports, ICON Esports and Out of Order to win Regional Championship.

Group: C (FC Barcelona, Rogue)

Previous Worlds Results: 4th place RLCS Season 6, 5-6th place RLCS Season 5, 7th-8th place RLCS Season 4, 7th-8th place RLCS Season 3

Key Player: Torsos

Torsos is the last remaining member of the original Alpha Sydney/Chiefs dynasty that ruled the region for so long. This roster has progressively finished higher at World Championships, and if they hadn’t run into the Cloud9 buzzsaw they could have ended up in the top three in Season 6.

Matthew “Drippay” Den-Kaat was a very important part of that team. Drippay scored in countless big moments for Chiefs and his presence will be missed in New Jersey. ZeN will have to fill those shoes for Renegades and he’s a capable replacement. There’s a reason the best team in the region picked him as Drippay’s replacement. If he can maintain his composure on the LAN stage, he’ll have a breakout performance.

ZeN may be the most mechanically gifted player in the region, but Torsos is its most important. Much like Kyle “Torment” Storer for Cloud9, when Torsos is scoring with consistency, Renegades are at their best. They can play with speed, manage their rotations well and aren’t afraid to challenge the world’s best.

They represent the rest of OCE/SAM’s best chance to win it all because they’ve been on the big stage before. Rogue is the weakest NA/EU team at the tournament. A win against them basically guarantees Renegades a chance at the top eight. That’s easier said than done, but is completely reasonable. Renegades are the best team outside of EU and NA, and they’re not afraid to throw their weight around.

Torsos – Courtesy of @Torsos_RL on Twitter

As good as ZeN is, this team is slightly worse than its Season 6 group. If they can’t beat Rogue their tournament is over, and if they make the final eight they’ll be the underdogs against nearly every other team. That’s not to say they can’t make it work. If they beat Rogue and Triple Trouble or Lowkey pull of an upset and win Group D, then Renegades could be looking the semifinals straight in the face. It’s a long shot, but it’s in the cards.

Chances of Winning RLCS World Championship: Better than their cohorts, but still very low. Betway has them at 51:1 odds, and they could be worth putting $10 on, but realistically it will be very difficult. If they make top eight and push their opponent to five games, they should go home happy.

Feature image courtesy of Renegades.

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