The Rocket League Championship Series concluded its seventh regular season this weekend. NRG Esports, G2 Esports, Renault Vitality and FC Barcelona earned automatic bids to the World Championship LAN in New Jersey after finishing in the top two in their respective regions.
Barcelona is the first former Rival Series team to ever qualify for LAN. The weekend’s action also determined the bottom two of each region as former LAN regulars Evil Geniuses and The Bricks face relegation along with preseason underdogs Splyce and mousesports.
G2 Outlast Cloud9, NRG Finish Undefeated in NA
Saturday’s action began with an intense series between Season 6 Rival Series conquerors Spacestation Gaming and Splyce. Spacestation emerged victorious 3-2 despite a valiant effort from Splyce. Splyce played well in the series and scored first in every game, but had trouble playing defense in the final minute. They allowed a goal with less than a minute remaining in all three of their losses. Spacestation earned a playoff spot with the victory.
NRG bested Cloud9 3-1 to punch their ticket to LAN. Cloud9 won in overtime in game one, but NRG bounced back with a vengeance and won the next three by a combined score of 12-3. Garrett “GarrettG” Gordon scored eight goals in the series. NRG were able to counteract C9’s aggressive style and kept the defending world champions on their heels through effective passing.
Rogue earned a spot in the playoffs with a 3-1 victory over Spacestation. Rogue had one win coming into the day, and desperately needed to beat SSG to avoid relegation. They did just that behind solid defense, holding Spacestation to four goals in four games. Nicholas “Wonder” Blackerby scored three goals and had three assists in the series.
Ghost Gaming qualified for the playoffs with a 3-1 victory over Evil Geniuses. Rogue’s victory over SSG meant this series was do-or-die. The winner advanced to the playoffs, and the loser finished in the bottom two. EG have struggled on offense all season long, and it showed against Ghost. They were shutout in two games, and only mustered three goals in the series to Ghost’s nine. Ghost, who started the season 0-4, ended the season on a three series win streak and finished fifth in NA.
NRG took down Rogue 3-2 in a series that didn’t have much more than bragging rights on the line. Both teams had their table positions secured, but Rogue almost played spoiler to NRG’s perfect season. The teams traded games until NRG exploded with a five goal game five and completed the second 7-0 season in North American RLCS history. The only other team to do it? NRG in Season 5.
Barcelona Join Vitality in Top 2, Dignitas Escape Relegation
Vitality put an end to mousesports’ season with a 3-1 victory. Mouz needed to beat Vitality to have a chance at the top six, but couldn’t slow down Vitality’s offense. Many teams have struggled to stop Vitality, especially when Alexandre “Kaydop” Courant is making plays like these:
— Rocket League Esports (@RLEsports) May 5, 2019
Vitality locked in first place in EU and Kaydop extended his streak as EU champion to four consecutive seasons.
The Bricks upset Team SoloMid 3-1 and picked up their second win of the season in Sunday’s second series. TSM had trouble stopping The Bricks’ offense as they put up a healthy nine goals in four games. Two games in the series went to overtime. The Bricks needed a good result to avoid relegation, and got exactly what they needed behind the solid play of Francesco “Kuxir97” Cinquemani and Jack “Speed” Packwood-Clarke.
FC Barcelona continued their quest to top two with a 3-1 victory over Triple Trouble. Barcelona came into the day ranked fourth, but just needed wins against their former Rival Series opponents and PSG to snag an automatic bid to LAN. They did just that and Yanis “Alpha54” Champenois earned player of the week for his performance. Their defense was solid to close out the series, and FCB shut out TT in the last two games of the series.
Next Dignitas outgunned TSM 3-1 in the fourth series of the day. After starting out the season 3-0, TSM dropped their last four series and ended up in sixth place in EU. The win was massive for Dignitas because it matched The Bricks’ result against TSM from earlier in the day. Their match would be an elimination series as the loser dropped to bottom two and the winner would finish fifth because of their wins against TSM.
FC Barcelona won the battle for top two with a 3-1 win against PSG Esports. Every one of Sunday’s series finished with a 3-1 scoreline. With the win Barcelona set some impressive precedents for Rival Series teams. They’re the first former Rival Series team to have a winning record (along with Triple Trouble), finish in the top two and qualify for LAN. PSG stole game one late, but Barcelona bounced back and won the next two. Game four went into a 6:28 overtime that ended with a goal by Dan “Bluey” Bluett, who formerly played for PSG.
Dignitas clinched their playoff appearance with a 3-1 victory over The Bricks. For the first time in seven seasons Rocket League legend Kuxir97 has finished in the bottom two and faces relegation. Dignitas found their rhythm early on and won the first two games. The Bricks then dominated game three with a 10-1 win before dropping game four 1-0. The goals only came in that one spurt for The Bricks. All of the goals they scored in the series came in game four. Dignitas won in convincing fashion, and grabbed the fifth seed for the playoffs, where they’ll rematch against TSM in the first round.
OCE finishes Penultimate week, Grand Series Concludes
Renegades (formerly known as Chiefs Esports Club) dropped their first series of the season in a 3-0 sweep against Out of Order. They were outscored 13-2 in the series, and have crucial matches against ICON Esports and Justice eSports next week. ICON took care of business with a 3-0 sweep against EmproX and Justice grabbed a comfortable 3-1 win versus EDGE.
Competition for the fourth and final playoff spot will be tight, as 1NE eSports sit at 4-2 but face ICON next week, and Out of Order sit at 3-2 with Justice and Emprox remaining on the schedule.
Erodium put the finishing touch on their 6-1 season with a 3-0 sweep over Lotus. Lotus took down INTZ eSports 3-2 earlier in the day and finished in fourth place. Lowkey eSports concluded their 6-1 season with a 3-1 win over Gfactor Galaxy.
All Week 5 action will be streamed on twitch.tv/rocketleague. Full standings, schedule and info are available on Liquipedia.
Featured image courtesy of DreamHack.
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