The Peeps are the only former Rival Series team to ever win a major. They’re also the only promoted squad to even make a Grand Final.
Their run at DreamHack: Montreal was fairly unprecedented outside of Mariano “Squishy” Arruda and crew’s DreamHack: Atlanta win as the Muffin Men. They were one of the best four teams in Rocket League before that tournament. Nobody knew it yet.
Are The Peeps the next big thing in Rocket League? Was their performance in Montreal a launching point for a top tier team, or was it a miracle occurrence that will never happen for them again?
Future speculation shouldn’t take away from their major win, but it should impact expectations surrounding the team. For one day they were the best Rocket League team in the world. Now it’s up to them to recreate that result.
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: 2nd place in NA Rival Series (5-2, 17-10). Beat Evil Geniuses and Birds and the Beez to win the Promotion Playoff.
Off-season Movement: Added Nick “mist” Costello (0.97 GPG, 0.59 APG, 1.62 SAPG in RLRS) in place of Tshaka “Arsenal” Taylor (0.70 GPG, 0.85 APG, 1.22 SAPG in RLRS)
Off-season Performance: DreamHack: Montreal Champions. Does anything else really matter?
Team Stats (Rival Series): 2.41 GPG (1st), 2.04 APG (1st), 4.11 SAPG (5th), 1.44 GAPG (2nd)
Team MVP: Slater “Retals” Thomas
Realistic Team Goal: Make LAN.
Background and Team History
Retals was probably the best player in the North American Rival Series last season. He led the league in goals, shots, hat tricks and points (assists plus goals) per game. No one really stood much of a chance against him when he was attacking the net.
The only player in the conversation for best RLRS player was his new teammate, mist. Mist finished second in goals, tied with Retals for most MVPs and had a higher shooting percentage than him, too. If Retals was #1, then mist was 1A.
Jirair “ExplosiveGyro” Papazian tied for second in NA in saves per game and was fifth in assists. He spends a lot of time on defense, but has the mechanical flare to pull off plays like these:
Everything came together for The Peeps in Montreal, and they were an unstoppable force on Day 3. Nothing could faze them. They outlasted the tournament’s best defensive team in Mousesports, scoring five goals to win Game 5. Then they came back from 2-1 down to beat the reigning world champions in six.
G2 were playing their best Rocket League in the Grand Final, and it didn’t matter. The Peeps scored, scored and then scored some more. Even when G2 bounced back to force Game 7, The Peeps didn’t flinch and put up four goals in what John “Johnnyboi_i” Macdonald described as a “bloodbath.”
Their charisma and energy could not be suppressed. Retals jumped up on the desk and nearly tripped on his keyboard. Mist and Gyro were in utter disbelief. Everything had been leading up to that moment, and their Cinderella run had reached its destiny.
But that’s all over now. The greater sample size of League Play is here to foil them and stop their momentum. Now the only question is whether they can continue to improve, or even just recreate that performance again.
No one is cheering in your headset in an online environment. All you have are your teammates and the drive to win. The Peeps need to prove that in the Rocket League Championship Series.
Note: The Peeps seem to have an org lined up for Season 8, but they took too long to announce things, so for the purpose of this article they will be referred to as The Peeps.
Just play like they did in DreamHack: Montreal. Win a bunch of kickoffs, rush the ball often and make insane mechanical plays with uncanny consistency. No big deal, right?
The Rocket League community has seen The Peeps at their best, and given their Montreal result, they can’t be ruled out as World Championship contenders. If they pop off like that again, can anyone beat them in a seven game series?
Maybe not. It’s not like Vitality and G2 were throwing their games away. The Peeps went out and beat both of Season 7’s Grand Finalists, and they did it on their terms. There was nothing lucky or random about it. They deserve that trophy.
Can they do that again or was it the kind of magical moment that only happens once in history. They were like a Butler University or George Washington University upsetting higher ranked teams in the NCAA tournament, but surprise runs are rarely recreated in the world of sports.
Underdogs are underestimated for a reason. Now The Peeps have proved themselves and will probably never sneak up on anyone again.
That’s fine. Retals and mist are impressive offensive talents, and Gyro does everything in between. Arsenal racked up the assists in Season 7, but all three players have the chops to outplay their opponents and create chances. Mist may embrace a David “Miztik” Lawrie-esque creator role, but they’re very fluid on offense.
If Triple Trouble got a major win before Season 7, they would have been talked about a lot like The Peeps are now. So much potential, but things change so quickly. The Peeps shouldn’t meander around the middle of the table for a season. They need to make an impact immediately.
The Peeps should be the favorites to claim the last LAN spot in North America. They probably aren’t ready to crack the Big Three, but can absolutely beat the other four teams in the region. They’re good enough to beat anyone in a series, and Cloud9 have lost to a non-Big Three opponent each of the last two seasons.
A third place finish isn’t out of reach, but the most likely best case is a fourth place finish and easy ride to Madrid for the World Championship. If DreamHack: Montreal was not a fluke, then making LAN is a must.
Relegation, that surly, old friend. He never calls ahead and never knocks before entering. He storms through the wall like the Kool-Aid man, but without the grandeur of sugary water dust.
Right now, relegation probably isn’t on The Peeps’ radar. They’re in that post-major haze, living life and gobbling up Twitch subs. Why shouldn’t they be? The Muffin Men were the only thing even close to their level of underdog comeuppance.
Still it exists, and despite FC Barcelona and Triple Trouble breaking the post-promotion mold in EU, making LAN in the first season after promotion has never been done in North America. The Peeps could be the first, but making history is never easy.
It’s more likely that they make LAN than get relegated, but if their DreamHack victory is any indication, anything can happen in Rocket League. The variance between how a team plays from week to week is massive and it’s tough to see lightning striking twice for The Peeps.
Overly aggressive play leads to easy goals, and the risky passes and double taps they scored in Montreal likely won’t yield the same results over five weeks of play. Teams have more game tape to watch on them and will be ready for their tricks.
As highlighted earlier, The Peeps were underdogs for a reason. One tournament is not an end-all indication of where a team is headed. Montreal may have been The Peeps’ ceiling, and they just hit it before anyone else was expecting them too.
They’ve reached a greater height than many decorated players who came before them. There’s no shame in winning a major and regressing to the mean. That is probably on the horizon for The Peeps.
Even if they don’t make LAN, winning DreamHack: Montreal was not a fluke. They will forever be Rocket League’s most unlikely champions. Now they have to dig deeper and establish themselves as one of the world’s elite. They’re on the right track, but they’ll have to continue to walk the path that the Muffin Men forged for them.
TL;DR: Just because they defied the odds, doesn’t mean The Peeps can’t outrun them forever. If winning in Montreal isn’t their ceiling, then one of the best teams in the world are taking their first steps toward dominance.
Featured image courtesy of Stephanie “Vexanie” Lindgren for DreamHack.
Follow me on Twitter: @connorssanders.
“From Our Haus to Yours”