Ten teams joined the ranks of Rocket League’s second division this weekend. Six teams qualified for the North American Rival Series and four qualified in EU.
The two play-in tournaments feature 128 teams each, but were narrowed down to the elite competitors after the NA tournament on Saturday and the EU qualifier on Sunday.
Birds and the Beez Headline NA Qualifiers
The Birds and the Beez were the first NA team to secure their spot in the Rival Series via the play-in tournament. They were the second seeded team heading into Saturday and only dropped one game out of ten on their way to qualification. Colby “Hockser” James helped the Birds and the Beez top The Doods 3-1 in their section final for the team’s first ever RLRS appearance.
Hockser’s former teammate Nathan “Shock” Frommelt captained Afterthought to qualification. Afterthought overcame tournament favorites Sway eSports 3-2 in the section final. The ninth seeded squad pulled off a huge upset and sent Sway to the lower bracket. Hayden “Hato” Balsys put in a tremendous performance and was named tournament MVP.
Plot Twist were the third team to punch their ticket with a 3-0 sweep of Juiced in their section final. Carter “Pirates“ Tschumper, (who left current RLRS squad The Peeps in the off-season) led the fifth seeded team to a comfortable run through the winner’s bracket.
Upper 90 eSports completed their cinderella run with a 3-1 victory of the third seeded team, Onset. Upper 90 came into the day placed eleventh but pulled consecutive upsets over Triple Commit and Onset to advance through the upper bracket.
Defiant outlasted RBG Esports 3-1 to qualify via the loser’s bracket and claim the fifth available RLRS spot. The squad fell in the first round to Lethality but won six consecutive series to reserve their spot in the Rival Series. Defiant were seeded eighth before the tournament.
The D00ds were the last team to qualify with a 3-0 sweep of Avocado in the last match of the tournament. After falling to the Birds and the Beez in the winner’s section finals, The D00ds bounced back and swept Regalia before dismantling Avocado to reach the RLRS. This is the second time The D00ds have made the Rival Series. They went 4-3 in League Play after qualifying in Season 5.
Sway eSports headlined the group, but turned out to be on the outside looking in. The top seeded squad fell in the loser’s bracket to RBG Esports after their crushing loss to Afterthought in the winner’s finals. Star player tcorrell announced via his twitter account that he is leaving the team after missing out on the Rival Series for the second straight season.
Baguette Squad Earn Upset Bid
The Baguette Squad were the highest seeded team to qualify for the Rival Series from both NA and EU. The 19th seeded squad displayed great spacial awareness in their 3-2 victory over Nordavind in the upper finals. Alex “Extra” Paoli earned Player of the Tournament for his six goals in the series.
The Rightovers only dropped one game on their path to qualification. Former mousesports player Kevin “Skyline“ Carvalho showed the benefit of experience as his squad swept Dutch Bim Bam in the upper finals. The team was seeded ninth heading into the tournament.
Spanish squad ARG made an impressive run through the lower bracket to qualify. The fourth seeded team fell to Dutch Bim Bam in the upper finals but blew past the top seeded team May Contain Nuts and Full Yolo and Pray to face Nordavind in the final. The series went the distance but ARG proved the better team and claimed the seventh RLRS spot.
ZeNo Moon were the last team to qualify despite earning the second seed. Monarchy shocked them in the first round but the team won seven straight series to take the last available position in the Rival Series. They easily dispatched Dutch Bim Bam in the loser’s final 3-1.
With only four spots open in the European Rival Series, there are sure to be some disappointed teams that will have to try again next season. Top seed May Contain Nuts were chief among those teams, falling in the Loser’s Quarterfinals to ARG. DreamHack Leipzig phenoms Team Echo Zulu fell to MCN in the round prior and also missed out on qualification.
Full Rival Series Participants
- The Peeps (Arsenal, ExplosiveGyro, Retals, RLRS Season 6 3rd place)
- Continuum (Rapid, Astroh, Aeon, RLRS Season 6 4th place)
- Birds and the Beez (Mist, Hockser, Roll Dizz, play-in qualifier)
- Afterthought (Hato, Shock, TyNotTyler, play-in qualifier)
- Plot Twist (Pirates, Taroco, Mectos, play-in qualifier)
- Upper 90 eSports (Demokat, Radoko, Shadow play-in qualifier)
- Defiant (Sosa, Demo, Grills, play-in qualifier)
- The D00ds (Joefreshness, Ralph, Skills, play-in qualifier)
- Vikings (Maestro, MummiSnow, Pwndx, dropped from RLCS)
- CompLexity Gaming (Mognus, gReazymeister, Flakes, dropped from RLCS)
- Method (Rix Ronday, Borito B, Oscillon, RLRS Season 6 3rd place)
- Veloce Esports (FlamE, Freakii, Nielskoek, RLRS Season 6 4th place
- Baguette Squad (Extra, Rizual, SwoOpin, play-in qualifier)
- The Rightovers (Skyline, Bilbo, Calix, play-in qualifier)
- ARG (Marc_By_8, GCR710, ClayX, play-in qualifier)
- ZeNo Moon (Zensusz, Monkey Moon, Nolystic)
The Rival Series begins on April 12th in North America and April 13th in EU. The Rocket League Championship series begins this Saturday on twitch.tv/rocketleague.
Featured image courtesy of @CloudFuel on Twitter.
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