Rocket League's radical summer continues with the RLCS World Championship, which takes place at the Prudential Centre in Newark, this weekend. After a long and hard-fought season, twelve teams will fight for the lion’s share of the $529,500 prize pool, as well as the World Championship title.
Here’s a preview of what to expect heading into one of the most exciting events in the Rocket League calendar.
Due to the introduction of South American teams into the RLCS, Psyonix has opted to part ways with the traditional Double Elimination format, instead choosing to go with groups into single elimination playoffs - with four small groups of just three teams many are left wondering how likely it is that at least one group will be decided on tiebreakers.
The top two teams from each group will qualify into the quarter finals, from where a standard single elimination bracket will play out.
Group A: NRG Esports, PSG Esports, INTZ eSports
The first group looks to be NRG’s to lose as they come into the World Championship after an undefeated season in North America; they lost just six games across nine series. Despite this, Justin “jstn” Morales’ illness issues led to the team bombing out of DreamHack Dallas in the quarter finals, raising questions over not only jstn, but also Fireburner and GarrettG’s prowess at international LANs.
They are joined by a PSG side, who also struggled in Dallas, failing to even make the quarter finals after being swept by Complexity Gaming and ICON Esports. The experienced trio of Ferra, Chaussette and Fruity will be looking to do better than last year’s World Championship - they finished 7-8th after losing in Game 5 against Evil Geniuses (a situation they are all too familiar with).
Finally, we have the South American underdogs INTZ, they shocked the world by taking down Brazillian favourites Erodium in the Regional Championship. However, with a tough group placed before them, it appears unlikely that Repi, PJ and Matix will be able to pull off another huge upset.
1st - NRG Esports2nd - PSG Esports3rd - INTZ eSports
Group B: Renault Vitality, G2 Esports, Ground Zero Gaming
The second group looks to be the story of the French favourites (Vitality) against fan favourites as Fairy Peak, Scrub and Kaydop look to leave their mark on Newark after Dallas raised doubts over their ability to perform on the world stage.
Fighting to take down Vitality are fan favourites G2 Esports, who looked impressive at DreamHack earlier this month, before losing two close series against Cloud9 and Evil Geniuses. This side has always struggled at the World Championship (last year they lost all four series they played in both London and Las Vegas). However, the addition of Reed “Chicago” Wilen in favour of long-time star Cameron “Kronovi” Bills appears to have resulted in an upturn in form. Despite all this, JKnaps and Rizzo will also need to step up their level of play in order for G2 to make a deep run this weekend.
Oceania’s second seed, Ground Zero Gaming, joins these two legendary sides after a shocking upset in Gfinity Australia’s Rocket League Oceanic Masters, where they took down ICON Esports. However Decka, Julz and Siki will need another huge upset to go their way in order to have any hopes of reaching the quarter-finals.
1st - Renault Vitality2nd - G2 Esports3rd - Ground Zero Gaming
Group C: Renegades, FC Barcelona, Rogue
Arguably the most stacked group, starts off with Renegades facing off against FC Barcelona. Renegades barely edged their way into the World Championship, after reverse sweeping ICON Esports. However, Aidan “ZeN” Hui has been improving throughout the season and his teammates Kamii and Torsos will look to build on their 4th place performance back in Vegas.
Barcelona look to live up to their name and start the tournament off strong. Despite some strong backing behind them, they’ll be up against two strong opponents; Bluey, Deevo and Alpha54 will need to come out strong in order to top this group.
After being dropped from G2 by his longtime teammates, Kronovi joined forces with Ayyjayy and Wonder on Rogue. After a shaky offseason, the team managed to qualify for the World Championship by sweeping SpaceStation Gaming in the playoffs. Despite this, they also had a disappointing event at Dallas as they lost to PSG, G2 and Mousesports. Although they have been an inconsistent side throughout the season, if they can find their groove in Newark, we could be in for a tight race for the two qualifying spots.
1st - FC Barcelona2nd - Renegades3rd - Rogue
Group D: Lowkey Esports, Cloud9, Triple Trouble
Lowkey Esports are the South American top seed, many expected this honour to go to the Erodium, but Tander, caard and renaN narrowly made it into the World Championship. Expect to see fast and aggressive play from the Brazilians, but their shaky defence could come back to haunt them.
Reigning champions Cloud9 come into the weekend on an upturn in form, after they took out TSM to win in Dallas; they showed that they are still the team to beat. Expect to see Squishy, Torment and Gimmick cruise into the playoffs, however their poor record against NRG could be their undoing in the end.
The final team from Europe is Triple Trouble. Their lack of organisation meant that we didn’t see them in Dallas. Ronaky, Tadpole and Kassio are an explosive trio, who can beat just about anybody on their day. The team’s lack of LAN practice leading up to the event is worrying, but they certainly have the capability to cause some damage in Newark.
1st - Cloud92nd - Triple Trouble3rd - Lowkey Esports
The Favourites: Renault Vitality
Despite their poor Dallas showing, the former Elite Series champions are still one of the scariest Rocket League rosters ever assembled. The addition of Alexandre “Kaydop” Courant has clearly working out for the most part. Vitality’s team plays have vastly improved since January, leading to a fearsome offence as well as tight defence; ensuring that their goal is well-kept throughout a series. However, the competition this season looks as close as it’s ever been, so expect to see some of the most thrilling matchups we’ve ever seen.
Where To Watch
The action kicks off on the Rocket League Twitch channel at the following times throughout the weekend:
Friday June 21st, 5pm BST - Group Stage Day 1Saturday June 22nd, 5pm BST - Group Stage Day 2Sunday June 23rd, 5pm BST - Playoffs
Who do you think will win the RLCS World Championship? Tweet us!
Written ByBen Hurst@notblondemonkey