According to The Game Haus’ top 48 Rocket League players list, Renault Vitality have three of the five best players in the world. They are the defending World Champions and should be the favorites heading into Season 8.
Alexandre “Kaydop” Courant, Kyle “Scrub Killa” Robertson and Victor “Fairy Peak” Locquet play on the same team. The fanbase has grown numb to how ridiculous it is that these three mega talents play on one team, but it’s still staggering.
The Rocket League Championship Series is upon us. Vitality finally have their chance to defend the title. Let the games begin.
This is Best Case/Worst Case, a Game Haus preview series profiling each Rocket League Championship Series team. With the season just days away, now is the perfect time to project each team’s ceiling and floor looking ahead to Season 8.
Season 7 Results: 1st place in EU (6-1, 19-6). Beat PSG and FC Barcelona to win the Regional Championship. Finished second in Group B at World Championship. Beat NRG, Cloud9 and G2 to win the World Championship
Off-season Movement: None.
Off-season Performance: 1st DreamHack: Valencia Closed Qualifier, 9-12th DreamHack: Dallas, 5-8th place DreamHack: Valencia, 7-8th Rocket League Summit, 3-4th DreamHack: Montreal.
Team Stats: 2.76 GPG (1st), 2.32 APG (1st), 5.52 SAPG (1st), 1.36 GAPG (1st)
Team MVP: Scrub Killa
Realistic Team Goal: Win the World Championship.
Background and Team History
The parallels between Vitality and NRG are plentiful. Both teams dominated their regions in Season 7, both teams have a former member of the Dignitas dynasty, and both teams are the favorites heading into Season 8.
There is a beautiful rivalry sprouting between the two, and they keep meeting each other at majors. Vitality beat them at the World Championship, but at Rocket League Summit 1, DreamHack: Valencia and DreamHack: Dallas, NRG had the upper hand.
If both teams dominate League Play again, then the dream Grand Final scenario is seven games of intense action between the best two teams in the world. The road there is still pretty complicated, but in terms of talent no team can rival Vitality and NRG.
Fairy Peak would be the best player on 90% of RLCS teams, and they just stick him in the back to lock down their net. He has some of the best mechanics in the game and uses them to protect the backboard and prevent double taps. Everything starts with his defense.
From there Scrub Killa can get around anyone. He’s incredibly fast and aggressive, but is one of the best defenders in the world in his own right. Scrub collected more boost from the full boost canisters than any other player in EU last season. He moves quickly and can pull any mechanic out of his bag to score or pass.
Kaydop is Kaydop. Most consider him the best player of all time, and he refuses to take a step back alongside the other players of his generation. He’s likely the most accurate shooter in the game, and he has an incredible nose for positioning. No one finds themselves at the right place at the right time more than Kaydop does.
League Play and the Regional Championship aren’t adequate challenges for this team. Their success this season will be defined by how well they do at the World Championship, and if they can somehow manage to repeat. Only one team has won back to back World Championships. Kaydop was the leading scorer on that team.
Best Case Scenario:
The sky’s the limit for Renault Vitality. They could go 7-0 in League Play, dominate and win another Regional Championship and then take the Worlds trophy home unscathed. That’s a real possibility for this team.
One off LANs see much more variance in terms of high finishers, and Rocket League’s unprecedented run of parity has to come to an end eventually. Over the six week season and World Championship, Vitality have the best odds of outlasting the pack.
They’re in good form coming into Season 8 as well. The Peeps turned up all the sliders like they were playing NBA 2K and could not be stopped. Even then it took six games for The Peeps to eek past Vitality.
The odds of repeating are low, but the odds of combining three great talents and having them jell without missing a beat are even lower. This team is too great too fail, but there are so many other great teams. Everything comes down to Scrub Killa’s production.
If he can continue to skip past players and maintain the connection he has with Fairy and Kaydop in the passing game, then they will be very tough to stop. He’s the best player in the world at winning challenges and recovering quickly.
Composure will prove key. They need to stay grounded, focused and calm on their way back to the World Championship. Having Mike “Gregan” Ellis is a huge benefit as well. He’s one of the best coaches in the world.
The World Championship is Vitality’s to take.
Worst Case Scenario:
The Rocket League gods frowned upon NRG in Season 7. Despite winning Group A, they faced the best team in the world in the quarterfinal. That was NRG’s worst case scenario, and the second best offense in Rocket League history came screeching to a halt against Vitality. Now the reigning champs’ worst case scenario looks exactly like NRG’s did in Newark. Vitality are the safest bet of any region to make the World Championship. Europe has a bunch of interesting teams, but none are ready to unseat Vitality.
From there Vitality are at the mercy of the bracket. Avoiding NRG for as long as possible improves their chances of making the Grand Final, and thus of winning it all. That means staying focused in the group stage and the early knockout rounds.
Maybe the format will be tweaked slightly for Season 8’s World Championship. No matter the scenario, the team to beat will be NRG. Then it will come down to clutch moments and instincts.
That isn’t to say that Vitality might coast through League Play and finish 4-3 or something like that. There’s a possibility that happens, but they are way too talented to miss the World Championship. Cloud9 and NRG made their deepest World Championship runs after impressive League Plays in Seasons 5 and 6.
Worst case is that Vitality meet NRG or a red hot G2/Cloud9/Reciprocity squad in the quarterfinal. Any slip up can knock them off balance and send them packing early, but it seems unlikely. Kaydop doesn’t ever coast. He’s made the last four Grand Finals of the World Championship.
TL;DR: Vitality have a really good shot at repeating as World Championships. The Grand Final beckons, but dips in focus or an early meeting with NRG could end Vitality’s season in the quarterfinal.
Featured image courtesy of Stephanie “Vexanie” Lindgren for DreamHack.
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