“Reciprocity” means “the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country or organization to another.”
The Rocket League team formerly known as PSG were purchased by Team Reciprocity a few weeks ago, and after a successful offseason under the moniker, they’re looking like one of the teams to beat in Europe.
Thibault “Chausette45” Grzesiak has staked his claim as one of the five best players in the world. Emil “Fruity” Moselund is a very fast support player and Victor “Ferra” Francal is a bonafide finisher in front of net.
They had the second best offense in the high scoring Season 7 EU League Play to go along with the third best defense. Now they have a major LAN win under their belt (DreamHack: Valencia) and are flirting with the Season 8 World Championship. Is this their best chance yet?
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: 3rd place in EU (4-3, 16-14). Lost to Triple Trouble but beat Dignitas to make the World Championship. Lost to Vitality in Regional semi-finals. Finished second in Group A, then lost to G2 in five games in the quarterfinal.
Off-season Movement: None. Chausette45 went extra nuts at a LAN though.
Off-season Performance: 3rd DreamHack: Valencia Closed Qualifier, 13th-16th DreamHack: Dallas, 1st place DreamHack: Valencia, 2nd Rocket League Summit, 9-12th DreamHack: Montreal.
Team Stats: 2.10 GPG (2nd), 1.77 APG (2nd), 5.17 SAPG (T-2nd), 1.80 GAPG (3rd)
Team MVP: Chausette45
Realistic Team Goal: Make Grand Final of World Championship
Background and Team History
Reciprocity have joyfully taken part in the longest stretch of parity in Rocket League’s short history. Seven different teams have won the last seven majors, and in large part they’ve come from incredible pop offs and clutch moments.
Chausette45’s eruption while using the Fennec at DreamHack: Valencia was unreal. The Frenchman was nailing every decision while backing them up with the mechanical prowess to execute those choices. It was a performance for the ages, but strangely it was something that most Rocket League fans had seen coming for awhile now.
While he’s played at the highest level since Season 2, Chausette45 has been more of a juicy prospect who has flashed moments of brilliance than an established, world class, mechanical wunderkind. Hopefully his performance in Valencia and at the first Rocket League Summit were breakout performances that lead to consistent play.
He finished second in EU in SAPG in Season 7, and no player in NA or EU spent more time behind the ball than he did. Chausette45 spent the most time as last defender, the most time in his own half and the most time in his own third of the 48 RLCS players from the two major regions.
True to form, Chausette kept everything in front of him last season. That’s how he set up all his dribble plays and wave dash ceiling shots. His decisiveness in attack after minutes of patient defending unmatched.
Fruity uses his speed and high tier boost consumption to beat everyone to the ball. He’s a great passer (4th in EU in assists) and is always in a good position to get a challenge in. If an NBA glue guy like Shane Battier could reincarnate as an esports pro, then he would play a lot like Fruity.
Ferra continues to maintain his scoring output after five seasons in the RLCS. Like Fruity, Ferra doesn’t rely on fancy mechanical tricks to beat defenders. He takes efficient paths to the ball and generates a lot of power. He can have few spells were he’s hitting the crossbar often, but almost always finishes near the top of shooting percentage in EU.
So much parity yields itself to a lot of uncertainty, but Reciprocity have a lot of ping pong balls in the bingo basket. They’re ready to contend for the top of EU and maybe the top of the world.
Best Case Scenario:
There’s a pretty straightforward pathway that leads to Chausette45 out classing the likes of Kyle “Scrub Killa” Robertson and Yanis “Alpha54” Champenois in EU. He’s shown he has the ability, now he just needs the chance to prove he can carry it out over a five week season and three days worth of World Championship play.
Vitality may have the Cloud9 post-World-Championship hangover to deal with in the early going. Alpha54 is settling into a new team that struggled last season. Reciprocity are still chugging toward validation, and C45 is the engine.
There isn’t a more intimidating car on this planet than Chausette’s Fennec gliding behind the ball in transition. Fruity makes the tackles, Chausette jukes out the entire team before they get settled in defense and if he misses or needs to pass Ferra arrives to score. Seems like a pretty solid gameplan.
That’s something that can be difficult to recreate from week to week. The best teams in the world are also the most versatile. Sometimes you have to absorb pressure and then counter attack. In others a team needs to throw everyone forward to get an equalizer. These are the moments Reciprocity need to sort out to win the World Championship.
It’s not that C45 needs to carry them everywhere. Fruity and Ferra just need to step up when he can’t and Chausette needs to find other ways to contribute on defense or in his passing. If Chausette can popoff with greater consistency that makes things easier, but everyone needs to be ready to step to the plate.
Reciprocity are probably content with that. They don’t need to revamp their offensive scheme or try and bring a new player in. Just execute in key moments, make a ton of saves and finish series out. They’ll be in one hell of a position if they can carry those relatively simple tasks out.
Worst Case Scenario:
Sometimes Chausette doesn’t produce on offense and disappears at times. Sometimes those moments are turning points in the season. In those moments Fruity and Ferra haven’t been enough to push the team over the top in close series.
The margins of high level of Rocket League are so thin that things like 50/50 manipulation and demo spawn locations can swing the outcome of the game. Every player has to make a great play for goals to happen, and the tiniest misstep in recovery or positioning will cost you.
In terms of degree of difficulty, Chausette45 is on the highest end of the spectrum when beating opponents. He can make some plays that others simply can’t, but there’s a reason other players don’t go for those chances.
Trying to pull of difficult fakes or flip resets can throw your teammate off or put them in a tough defensive position. At times the chances Chausette creates don’t find the back of the net because his teammates aren’t confident that he’ll touch hard to reach balls. Who can blame them? No one else in the world has the mechanical capacity to hit those passes.
Fear of over-committing leads to moments of unlikely offensive brilliance petering out. That puts pressure on the last man back, which leads to goal explosions on their half.
Reciprocity can also be an easy opponent to pin in at times. Fruity and Ferra throw themselves into challenges and can bring the ball down, but don’t often skip pass players in the midfield to break the pressure.
Reciprocity aren’t in danger of relegation unless they completely implode after it’s revealed that Ferra has never used air roll. There’s a small chance they miss out on LAN, but are the most sure thing in the region outside of Vitality.
Anything short of the World Championship semi-final should feel disappointing. A World Championship isn’t out of reach but would require a superhuman effort much like they put on in Valencia. They’re between the third and fifth best team in the world right now and should finish the season at that level.
TL:DR: Reciprocity find themselves in a good position heading into Season 8. They’ve got the pieces in place to challenge for the World Championship, but need to draw consistency out of Chausette45’s boxy Fennec body.
Featured image courtesy of Stephanie “Vexanie” Lindgren for DreamHack.
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