Rocket League esports registered another week in the RLCS for Season 8, as NRG dominated once again and the Pittsburgh Knights continuing to be the silent assassins. Europe also continued to show a great deal of depth in the teams they have, even if the top teams aren't performing to the standard we expect.
Here's the round up of all the action from the past weekend of the RLCS from North America and Europe.
NRG establishes dominance; Pittsburgh Knights thrill
We all knew NRG would be good this season, but the super team have only dropped one map (one!!) through three series. I predicted the NRG vs. G2 Esports game to be full of offense and go five games, but G2 looked overmatched and massively underperformed against the best opponent they have faced all split. If NRG keeps this up, they might be able to break their curse at Worlds in Spain.
The Knights have quietly been one of the best teams in the league after an opening day loss to Ghost Gaming. Their reverse sweep of Cloud9 saw the Knights outscore C9 12-2 in the final three games of the series. The Knights are peaking at the very best time as weeks three and four will see them play G2 and NRG respectively which are going to be key games going into the playoffs. The Knights have shown an insane amount of skill and will be a dangerous team as we look toward who qualifies for Worlds.
Spooky SZN? Birds show life
Ghost Gaming. I did not think I would be putting them in the category for playoff contention, but here I am as the spooky boys sit second on the table due to the fact they beat the Knights head to head. Ghosts' loss to Cloud9 really makes me question whether they are a truly top-four team in the region, and we will see that tested as Ghost faces off the number one team (both in the region and the world) next week to take control of first place.
The Birds are definitely a bottom of the table team, but that does not mean they can't cause the occasional upset. The Birds showed they belong in the RLCS with a 3-1 victory over Spacestation Gaming. The convincing win gives The Birds a chance to avoid playing in relegation which would be a big win for the orgless team.
Mousesports reverse sweep Barca; Veloce disappoint
Mouz are not the first team to come to mind when you think, "elite European challenger" but the all new Mouz are 1-1 after back to back 3-2 series against TSM (loss) and FC Barcelona (win) respectively. Much like the rest of Europe, Mouz are a highly skilled team that currently possesses the best scorer in the league Linus "al0t" Mollergren, but the rest of their schedule is a gauntlet. Weeks 4 and 5 will see Mouz play two games each week and will show us what the team is truly made of.
Veloce started the season hot with a 2-0 scoreline week one, but their date with Vitality only lasted four maps. The games were fairly exciting, but Vitality showed that their can only be one French org at the top of the table. I would expect Veloce to take their drop off as they face REC in Week 3 and FC Barcelona/TSM in Week 4 which will be truly tough matches for the young lineup.
Europe shows depth despite lackluster starts from coL and Barca
The European RLCS has always made Sundays' more exciting, and this season has to be the best edition of the league to date. The EU RLCS has featured an extremely deep pool of talent which is why the upcoming expansion to 10 teams is crucial for the league's development.
While complexity has gone 0-3 in their first two weeks of matches, they have a very competitive 4-9 map record and have shown in prior LANs that they are very good offline. In competitive leagues, someone has to win and someone has to lose, but unfortunately for coL fans they have been on the worse end of that spectrum.
FC Barcelona was one of the hottest teams last split, but failures to bring home a trophy saw the organization make changes. Unfortunately, those changes have only brought forth a recent 3-0 win against TSM, and their playoff hopes are not looking great simply due to the vast amount of teams ahead of them at the moment. The fact that these two teams who have shown success in recent memory are at the bottom shows how competitive the EU RLCS is this year. Hopefully, the addition of more teams only adds to the chaos.