The Rocket League Championship Series is only four days away. That leaves enough time for weekly team-by-team previews of the world’s best Rocket League teams. This series will act as a preview for what to expect during Season 7 for each team. Check out the rest of the previews here.
This series’ last preview features the defending champs, Cloud9.
Season 6 Results: 6-1 first place performance during Season 6 League Play. Third place finish in NA Regional Championships. First place RLCS World Championship. First NA team to win since Season 1.
Off-season Movement: None.
Off-season Performance: ELEAGUE Cup 2018 Runner-up. Semi-finalists WSOE 4. 5th-8th DreamHack Leipzig.
Team MVP: Jesus “Gimmick” Parra
Realistic Team Goal: RLCS Season 7 World Championship.
Background and Team History
Cloud9 took literally the longest route possible to the World Championship last season. They lost to We Dem Girlz in their first series and had to win seven consecutive series against the game’s best competition to take home the Season 6 crown. They uncorked one of the most impressive runs of play in Rocket League history and it culminated in the team’s first World Championship.
The victory was long-awaited and well-earned. Cloud9 proved they were one of the best teams in the world after their debut in Season 4. They won DreamHack Atlanta back in 2017 before Cloud9 came into the picture and since then the team has done nothing but win and place in top fours at major tournaments.
The one thing that had escaped Mariano “Squishy” Arruda, Kyle “Torment” Storer and Jesus “Gimmick” Parra’s grasp was the World Championship. After their victory in Las Vegas they checked off the final trophy on their list. Their death-defying run through the Loser’s Bracket will live on in Rocket League lore forever.
Mechanics have been the hallmark of this team since its inception. They have the clearest team identity in the history of the sport. Their mix of in-field passing, demolition plays, 1v1 prominence and iron clad defense is one of the most rock solid formulas in esports. They’re the safest bet to qualify for LAN and make a deep run in the game right now.
The question is, can they continue that run? Can they stay motivated and focused enough to repeat as champions? They’ve already reached their potential, but the great ones are those who can go break through their ceiling and set a new standard for their sport. Cloud9 has that ability.
Cloud9’s Best Case Scenario
Cloud9 has dynasty written all over it. They’re good enough to go on a Dignitas-style romp through their competition and repeat as champions. It will come down to staying focused and continuing to improve on their already outstanding ability to control the game.
Their best case scenario is a 7-0 regular season performance, a first place finish at the Regional Championship and then a waltz through the winner’s bracket at the postseason LAN. They’ve shown they’re good enough to beat anybody. Now it’s a question of carrying out their domination over their sport.
The boys in blue have always been on the forefront of the meta. They led the charge into the infield passing era, pioneered the displacement of goalies and continue to use flip resets and double taps to dance around opposing defenses. Now they need to continue pushing the meta forward.
Their biggest enemy this season will be complacency. They need to push through the temptation to coast to challenge Dignitas as the best Rocket League team of all time. That means locking in, playing hard every game and dominating the competition. It’s not out of the question for C9 to finish undefeated this season.
Squishy, Torment and Gimmick have played together since April 7, 2017. No roster has been together for longer. The team has developed great chemistry and mutual understanding. Roster continuity is a huge plus, especially given the wave of offseason roster moves before Season 7.
If they just stay the course they’ll cruise to a top four appearance at LAN. If they find another gear, they will be unstoppable and will bring back the crown easily.
Cloud9’s Worst Case Scenario
Cloud9 have been known to zone out at times during League Play and at the Regional Championships. FlyQuest pounded them 3-1 (even putting up six goals against them) in Week 4 last season. Counter Logic Gaming walloped C9 seven goals to two over their three game sweep during Season 5. Cloud9 finished 4-3 that season.
They’ve finished in third place at each of the last two Regional Championships. Sometimes they just do things like this for seemingly no reason:
Did Squishy and Gimmick need to go in and out there to make the save? Probably not. This was during the semi-final of the Regional Championship against G2. It’s not like this was a meaningless game. Was it a lack of focus or just the guys joking around? It doesn’t matter. These lapses show off the confidence that borders on arrogance that could cost the team.
Of all things that could hold a Rocket League team back, too much confidence is a pretty good problem to have. One really has to dig into the bottom of the barrel to criticize Cloud9, but they are susceptible to letting their confidence getting the best of them.
Cloud9 looked vulnerable throughout the offseason. Savage! trounced them 3-0 at DreamHack, NRG beat them later that tournament and Flipsid3 swept them at WSOE. LAN is a given for the team at this point, but placing well is important if they’re going to repeat as champs.
TL;DR: Cloud9 are in the business of legacy building. They have a chance to be one of the best teams ever. They need to stay focused and avoid complacency to make that happen.
Featured image courtesy of Cloud9.
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