The Brazilian titans reclaimed their RLCS title with a stunning bracket reset victory over their arch rivals.
The Winter Majors of the RLCS' smaller regions have come to their conclusion with the epic finale of the South American Major this past weekend. There were great plays, there were forfeits, and most of all, there was Rocket League. Here to break it all down, it's time for this week's Round-the-World Recap!
RLO Masters - R!OT fight back
Before we get into the SAM Major, this morning's RLO Masters was a slightly anticlimactic affair, with several teams opting to forfeit their spots in this week's edition of RLOceania's flagship event. Nevertheless, there was still some incredibly entertaining Rocket League action to be found. With Ground Zero Gaming being knocked out by Solicit in the quarterfinals, the stage was set for Major runners-up R!OT Gaming to claim another weekly win (their second of the year).
Sweeps over Good and Useful, Wazooo, and Mindfreak easily saw the former Canberra Havoc side into the grand final, where they happily took down the aforementioned Solicit in a dominant five-game series. With one more week to go before the February finals, it'll be exciting to see who comes away from next week's action with a coveted spot.
SAM Major - Novus Aevi are back
Heading into the Winter Major, the big question was whether any of the teams outside of the top two would be able to start to close the gap between themselves and the runaway leaders of Novus Aevi and True Neutral. Once the weekend was done, it was clear - that's not happening. With the gap between third-placed Noble and second-placed Novus Aevi currently sitting at a whopping 812 points (just ten more than the prize for winning the Winter Major!), it's going to take a miracle for either of the top two to miss out on a spot at the World Championship.
The weekend nearly started off so poorly for the eventual winners, as Novus Aevi immediately went two games down to relative unknowns Catalyst. One reverse sweep and a 4-1 win over Noble later, and the fated matchup had finally come - True Neutral vs Novus Aevi. The Latin American side started strong, and that's how they continued, taking the series 4-2 and securing a top-two finish despite some late NVA momentum. Elsewhere in the bracket, Carnage Gaming, looking to regain momentum and propel themselves towards a worlds spot, had a disastrous showing, losing to Rebel and PDHM Gaming to go out in 7-8th (their only win was a forfeit win against Avidity Esports, who had internet issues).
Rebel and Noble esports, having lost to TN and NVA respectively in the upper bracket, fought in the lower bracket semifinal, with Rebel barely edging the series in an incredible finish on Neo Tokyo.
With Novus Aevi swatting Rebel aside in the lower bracket final, it was time for that fateful matchup once again. Who could've seen it coming, True Neutral vs Novus Aevi in the grand final! Novus Aevi started strong, picking up three games in a row despite losing the first. Goals on Neo Tokyo from Gabriel "caard" Vieira Cardoso and Enzo "tander" Toledo secured the crucial sixth game in the first series and sent the grand final into a bracket reset. There, True Neutral appeared to have the upper hand, taking three of the first four games to secure three championship points.
However, Novus Aevi fought back. Outscoring their opponents 8-5 in the final three games, they were able to mount an incredible comeback and become the second lower bracket team of the Winter Split to take home the grand final after Team BDS in the third European regional.
That's it for this week's Round-the-World Recap; as always, stay tuned to GGRecon for more RLCS X content, and we'll be back soon with more recaps out of the South American and Oceanic Rocket League scenes.
Image via Zeebo