From superstars to GOATs, everyone talks about the worlds best, but they'd be nothing without the underappreciated cogs of RLCS

21:00, 27 Jun 2020

As fans of any sport, physical or virtual, we love to go on and on about the players who run the show, defy what’s probable and pull off the incredible with relative ease. The Sypicals, Jstns & Aztrals of the world will never be in short supply of praise and adoration for fans, while all-time greats like Turbopolsa, Kaydop & ViolentPanda will always have past success to give them much deserved kudos.

But what about those who go under the radar. Sure some players have broken out of their “underrated” status like ViolentPanda & Ferra, but there’s many more who haven’t. So we’re here to sing the praises of a few players who really deserve it and explain why you should as well.

Arsenal

Spacestation Gaming’s rise to the upper echelon of Rocket League has been well documented. In large part, it has coincided with Sypical becoming one of, if not the best player in the world. SSG’s brief stint as the top-ranked NA side in RLCS S9 came when AxB was having an incredible goal-scoring season. But what about their third. When Spacestation secured 2nd place in RLCS S8 for NA league play, Arsenal was getting plaudits, but that was simply for being the guy who was an upgrade over Satthew. In reality, Arsenal has brought a consistently high level of play that’s worthy of being on one of the best teams in the game.

Like many newer NA players, Arsenal is highly mechanical, particularly with his ability air dribble the ball across the field, often beating one or two opponents to give Sypical or AxB an easy goal. While capable of scoring from a variety of angles, Arsenal is by far the most physical of the SSG trio, often topping the demolitions leaderboards, again making life easy for his teammates with a temporary 2v3. All in all, Spacestation has been the most consistent NA side for over half a year now, seldom dropping outside of domestic top two or three, and all members, including Arsenal deserve high praise for this.

Kassio

Across the pond we go, and it has taken less than 400 words for a French player to be featured. Such is the strength of that nation at Rocket League. Kassio has been a regular fixture to the RLCS level for just over a year now yet seldom ranks highly when compared to his fellow professionals. However, over a short career, Kassio has proved to be the unlikely piece to many a teams’ peak. The infamous duo of Rix Ronday & Borito B may have reached the promotion tournament a year later due to an expanding RLCS, but without a doubt their strongest roster came with Kassio as the third. Only ever falling to Savage and Triple Trouble, they displayed a level of play that was worthy of RLCS.

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Image via ZeeboDesigns

Despite failing to promote, Kassio made a great impact and when a spot opened up on Triple Trouble due to Speed’s departure. Kassio was there to fill it, and he helped elevate the newly-promoted side to unlikely heights. Triple Trouble would qualify for the RLCS world championship in New Jersey and make the top eight. After that, Kassio would elevate a side that technically never even qualified for RLCS all the way to top six in the world, as with FreaKii & FlamE under Veloce, all three men achieved career highs at the world championship in Madrid. With Kassio being the common denominator in many a quality side, what he brings on the pitch deserves respect.

Tander

When your teammates are literally dubbed “The Great 1” & “The King”, it’s always going to be tough for Tander to stand out on the dominant force of South American Rocket League. But he doesn’t need to. Caio and card have broken stats as we know it in Ellevens’ domestic dominance, scoring goals by the bucketload, but Tander is the Torment to his Squishy & Gimmick, providing solid defence and consistent rotations to help facilitate his aggressive teammates.

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Image via ZeeboDesigns

Like what was Cloud9, their absolute peak comes when everyone is involved in the attack. Just as how Torment put in an MVP calibre performance to win the season six finals in Las Vegas, Ellevens are at their best when Tander is suitably pushed up and cleaning up on chances generated by caard & Caio. He has helped his side to the joint best RLCS league play record in history, as well as the first South American win on the RLCS stage vs Veloce. Such progress in a little over a year since their first exposure to international play means it won’t be long before the entire South American region is highly touted, with Tander and company leading the charge.

Allushin

Allushin has the unfortunate distinction of being among the first group of players to be relegated from RLCS twice. Many would have let this sunk them but Allushin has been integral to helping reinvigorate what was Ghost Gaming into the top half of the NA scene. A rare case of a decent performing supportive element in a time NA only had three good teams, his inspired turn of form towards the back half of RLCS season seven saved Ghost Gaming from demotion. And then with Atomic joining the fray in season eight, he held the backline as Ghost came within inches of qualifying for the world championship.

While Atomic & Memory were the clear stand-outs of that roster, Allu had his role to play, and this increased tenfold when Mist replaced Memory for RLCS season nine. Mist being renowned for his world-class positioning and defensive play was joining to play a more aggressive role, meaning Allushin had to perform considering someone else on his team could theoretically play his role but better. And he succeeded. A few hiccups from Atomic aside, Allushin was on hand to enable his two-star teammates to a 3rd-4th finish in RLCS season nine NA, all while scoring a couple of bangers himself. And despite being benched in favour of Turbopolsa for Envy, when called up in Codename: COVERT, he led in goal-scoring for Envy. Should he be available, he’s a no brainer for any side looking to improve.

Ronaky

And finally, Ronaky, a person who’s had the tough job of replacing Alpha54 and then having to adjust to a new third every season since. Often overshadowed by the spectacular Bluey or Flakes, or even his legendary teammate in Deevo, Ronaky has received a lot of flak. Whether it’s for how he went about joining FCB, or infamous moments like his botched kickoff vs Veloce in RLCS. But when push comes to shove, you can count on Ronaky to be a reliable goal-scorer.

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Image via DreamHack

EU Golden Striker in his first season with FCB, and 2nd in goals in his 2nd season (including the regional championship), he regularly converts over 25% of his shots, well above average for pro play and has a deceptively dangerous peak. With Deevo playing a more reserved role, it gives the Dane freedom to dominate up front, making him one of Europe’s scariest to play against. The individual accolades haven’t come rolling in yet, but rest assured its a case of when, not if.

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Image via ZeeboDesigns

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