Dignitas topped the 32 field at DreamHack Pro Circuit: Leipzig on Sunday. The team won their first LAN tournament since the RLCS Season 5 finals in 2018.
The win comes over the largest collection of talent in Rocket League Esports history. Dignitas will bring home $50,000 of the $100,000 prize pool. Maurice ‘Yukeo’ Wiehs is the first Austrian and first keyboard and mouse player to win a major LAN tournament.
Dignitas Returns to Dominance at DreamHack Leipzig
Dignitas met Renault Vitality and former Dig star player Alexandre ‘Kaydop’ Courant in the final. Pierre ‘Turbopolsa’ Silfver and Jos ‘Violentpanda’ van Meurs led Dignitas to a 3-0 lead in the Grand Final. Renault Vitality mounted a comeback and won the next two games.
Game six went into overtime. Vitality had multiple chances to score but three minutes into the extra period Turbopolsa scored and the championship was theirs.
The win comes a return to form for Rocket League’s most dedicated roster. The team didn’t fall to a loser’s bracket throughout group play and looked the better team in each match. The pass heavy defensive stalwart from Season 5 was back in Leipzig.
Yukeo looked like a potential MVP candidate throughout the event. The Austrian never seemed to be out of position or cutting off a rotation. It will be much harder to criticize the team’s decision to replace Kaydop with Yukeo after Kaydop announced his departure in January.
Cinderellas and Stand Out Performers
DreamHack Leipzig’s talent pool was quite diverse. Players from all of the upper skill levels made their LAN debuts and the unique double elimination group format made for many upset chances.
Team Echo Zulu quickly developed into crowd favorites after they dispatched of Triple Trouble on their way to qualifying for Day 2. Then they swept Evil Geniuses in the first round of group play and needed one more series win to qualify for the Day 3 playoffs.
They lost an incredibly close series to Renault Vitality but swept Ghost Gaming in the loser’s bracket. Echo Zulu lost to eventual champions Dignitas in the playoffs, but shattered expectations with their top eight finish.
They earned $2,500 from their placement. That’s more than ten times what team captain Mitchell ‘Mittaen’ Driessen estimated his life time earnings were. Echo Zulu was the only non-RLCS team to advance to Day 3, and they fought valiantly against in their loss to Dignitas.
Savage! looked phenomenal once again. A week after winning the Renegade Cup the squad finished third/fourth and brought home $10,000 in prizes. The squad lost in overtime of game seven in the semifinal against a scrambling Dignitas squad.
David ‘Deevo’ Morrow locked down the defense and Dan ‘Bluey’ Bluett opened up the field with physical play. Yanis ‘Alpha54’ Champenois looks like a potential break out star a la JSTN before Season 5 of the RLCS. They’ll be tough to beat come Season 7.
Renault Vitality seemed to have finally lived up to expectations. Kaydop and Victor ‘Fairy Peak’ Locquet displayed flashes or brilliance all over the field. Kyle ‘Scrub Killa’ Robertson looked very comfortable in his defensive role and picked his moments to come forward wisely.
Mindset, mCon Esports and Tainted Minds should all be happy with their performance. Mindset managed to make Day 2 and forced Ghost to five games in the lower bracket. Tainted Minds had an unreal schedule. Their three losses came to NRG Espors, Cloud9 and Flipsid3 Tactics. An easy schedule might have led them to Day 3 qualification. Bubble squad mCon Esports pulled off the upset of the tournament and eliminated Team SoloMid on Day 1.
Step Sisters and Disappointing Performances
TSM were the only pre-invited team to miss out on Day 2. The European squad lost in five games to Evil Geniuses in the winner’s semifinal of their group and then were shocked by mCon in the loser’s finals.
The finish was worse than their WSOE showing where they wandered into the top eight. This is their second consecutive disappointing LAN performance since the squad won ELEAGUE in December 2018. They’re forming a nasty habit of letting series get away from them.
Triple Trouble started off their tournament very well with a resounding win over mousesports. That was their last win of the tournament. After the squad styled on mouse and intentionally own goaled to bring the score to the famous meme 7-1 Brazil score, they looked bad. Call it disappointment from the Rocket Gods or overconfidence, but TT couldn’t beat Echo Zulu to advance to Day 2.
Rogue seemed like real contenders after they trounced Savage! 3-0 in their first match. Cameron ‘Kronovi’ Bills slotted in beautifully with his new teammates and the team flashed its potential. They then ran into a brick wall named Cloud9 and lost in the loser’s finals to EU bubble squad Mindset. Rogue need to be more consistent in Season 7.
RLCS Season 7 champions Cloud9 finished outside the top four for the first time in their last nine LAN competitions. Their loss to Savage! in the winner’s finals on Day 2 cast them into an unfavorable first round match up with NRG in the playoffs.
Cloud9 probably could have outgunned any other team in the bracket, but NRG had their number. There’s no shame in losing to NRG, but their outstanding LAN success streak comes to an end.
Award Winners and Teams to Watch For
It’s hard to argue for anyone other than Turbopolsa as tournament MVP. Both of his teammates played incredible and Kaydop shined in the losing effort, but Turbo secured his legacy as Rocket League’s greatest all time player with yet another LAN victory.
Dignitas is undoubtedly the team to beat heading into Season 7. They put on a clinic on rotation and communication throughout the tournament and looked like the better team in each series they played.
Scrub Killa and Echo Zulu’s Ronald ‘Tahz’ Oosting tie for the goalkeeper of the tournament. Scrub Killa made huge saves in key moments throughout the playoffs. Tahz made highlight reel save after highlight reel save as Echo Zulu’s surprise run developed. He leads a very interesting potential Rival Series qualifier.
The army of bubble teams hoping to qualify for the EU Rival Series is deeper than ever before. Fringe teams like mCon, Echo Zulu and Mindset made huge strides toward RLRS qualification this weekend. Each of these teams beat RLCS quality opponents and has seen their ability to perform. They should ride that confidence into Rival Series qualification next month.
Savage!’s ferocious play style overwhelmed teams like Cloud9, Flipsid3 Tactics and Dignitas. Alpha54 looked like a star throughout the weekend. Can they maintain this level of attack over the long RLCS format? They proved that it’s possible.
Fairy Peak looked like one of the best players in the world again. Much criticism surrounded the team before the tournament, but they showed that they can be the best team in the world when everything is clicking.
The tournament delivered on its promise of being the most stacked Rocket League tournament ever. The drama of a Vitality vs. Dignitas final was the perfect ending to the event. Dignitas have a large target on their back and a lot more money in their wallets heading into Season 7.
Feature image courtesy of DreamHack.
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