New talent has defined RLCS X thus far, here are five breakout names.
We’re officially at the 30% mark of RLCS X, and holy hell, so much has happened already. Hundreds of matches, thousands of games, and countless hours of entertainment mean there’s a lot to reflect on before we do it all again for the Winter Split.
A new season inevitably means new players break out and make their name, and this has been aided by the general expansion of the RLesports space, with 32 rosters at any one time being in the RLCS in any region. Therefore, we’re here to shine a light on five breakout players from the Fall Split who really elevated their game and announced themselves to the world.
Marc_By_8 - Team BDS
While being brand new to the RLCS, and therefore RLCS rookies, it was not a huge surprise to expect BDS to be contending in or around the top of Europe, particularly after their triumph in the EuroCup 10K. However, all the talk regarding BDS was around their French players. Evan "M0nkey M00n" Rogez had broken the Rival Series, putting two of best statistical performances in a league play in back to back seasons to help BDS even promote to the RLCS, while former AS Monaco star Alex "Extra" Paoli had been the new piece that had propelled BDS from just in the RLCS, to a major player in the RLCS, But come the first European regional event, Marc "MaRc_By_8." Domingo was the name on everyone’s lips and at times has even been considered the star of BDS’ explosive Cerberus.
Arguably Spain’s top player now, Marc is one of, if not the finest midfield player in the game right now. More than just a speedy Spaniard, his touches are seldom without purpose, always setting himself and his companions up for success, all the while matching the blistering pace of his buddies that leaves the opposition in dust. His ability to both give and receive passes was the standout factor in BDS’ first regional title, and when that isn't working, Marc is still good for a double-tap or much more solo magic. Hardcore fans knew Marc_By_8 had potential before this split, but now everyone knows him as one of the best players in all of Europe.
BeastMode - Kansas City Pioneers
Onto a player who went way under the radar heading into the fall split, and with good reason. North America seemed primed to have a bunch of players from Rival Series rosters step up and take over, but it turned the RLRS side to make their name was one of the most disgraced RLCS sides in history with the help of a 15-year-old kid. Jalen "rapid" Parker and Michael "Memory" Moss, formerly of Flight infamy, picked up Landon "BeastMode" Konerman, someone who turned 15 just in time for the season to start. The first regional event resulted in a respectable 9th-11th placing, notably sweeping eUnited out of the bracket and giving the Pioneers a solid starting point. However, it was regional event number two that would announce the arrival of the Pioneers and especially BeastMode. In stage one, they would reverse sweep defending champions Spacestation Gaming and best G2 in four games, in back to back series, in large part down to Beastmode’s sheer mechanical brilliance.
While nerves have gotten to him in later stages, when he’s confident, there isn’t a ball he can’t go for or hit with some conviction. For someone with little prior major competitive experience, his read on the game is phenomenal, and with teammates who like to use a lot of boost, his efficiency allows him to still be very dangerous with little resources. KCP would get a third-fourth placing in the second regional event and go all the way to the Grand Finals in third, before falling in seven games to Team Envy, and this is only the beginning for BeastMode
Cavemanben - Mindfreak
Going down under, Oceania has historically been a region dominated by the same select players. Top rosters would always revolve around any combination of Drippay, Torsos, Kamii, with Ground Zero Gaming having multiple attempts at rising to the top thwarted by their rosters being gobbled up by the aforementioned top sides. However once the S9 MVP joined GZG, it meant there was a very clear top three in OCE, doubly so after each of Renegades, Cringe Society, and Ground Zero won a regional title. It seemed impossible this big three would be broken, but an unlikely Mindfreak side upset the odds and won the Oceanic Major. Requiem has been a veteran of OCE, and Fever was a hotshot rookie in season nine, only eclipsed by the aforementioned Amphis, but Benjamin "cavemanben" Bliss was not only new to Mindfreak, but new to the RLCS in general. He only first cracked OCE’s top eight during Spring Series, his first time in the top four came during the RLCS X regional events and heading into the major, neither he nor Mindfreak had a single victory of the Oceanic top three.
But an inspired championship Sunday saw MF best the mighty Renegades in seven games and then triumph over Ground Zero 4-1. All players played to a career-high, and while it was always considered somewhat possible for Requiem and Fever, Cavemanben having a star-making performance for the title was a surprise to even the most diehard OCE fan. To claim victory in one of the biggest OCE events ever in a rookie season, taking down the gatekeepers of your region warrants highlighting Cavemanben among some of NA and EU’s best.
Tcorrell - XSET Gaming
Infamous for inventing the so-called “tcorrell cycle”, Tristian "tcorrell" Correll, unfortunately, made a habit of being on many promising, if not top-seeded bubble sides, yet failing to make RLRS at each attempt, but not before seemingly “retiring” after each disappointment. As the fourth man or substitute for XSET heading into season X, it seemed tcorrell’s best chance had come and gone. But following a disappointing 23rd-28th finish in the first RLCS X regional event, AlRaz was benched, and tcorrell was brought into an unlikely spotlight. And against many’s expectations, the results took a serious upswing. A top-eight placing in the second regional event, notably only going out in a five-game series with eventual winners NRG, and a 9th-11th placing in the NA Major. Even though tcorrell has been swiftly replaced on XSET, if rumours are to be believed, his impressive showings have earned him a starting spot on the Susquehanna Soniqs for the Winter Split as he looked to propel another roster up the ranks.
Archie - Top Blokes
This past Spring, a roster called the Clappers re-emerged with a brand new look. Veteran Gian "Calix" Luca Bruder was flanked by two fresh 15-year-olds, Joris "Joreuz" Robben and Archie "archie" Pickthall. After impressing in the Spring Series, all three went their separate ways, Joreuz to Dignitas, Calix to Triple Trouble, but it is Archie who stood out the most among his former teammates. Replacing FreaKii on the former Veloce side, the offence he’s brought has made Top Blokes a more dynamic and overall threatening side, leaving them third in European points rankings after the Fall Split.
His debut event was a sight to behold, as Archie would effortlessly control and manipulate the ball at will. Confidence was dripping from the young Englishman who had a star-making performance en route to a grand finals appearance. While Top Blokes have become slightly dependent on Archie being in stellar form for success, more often than not he is indeed in very stellar form, and with players like Kassio and FlamE happy to play around him, Archie could be an even bigger force heading into the new year.
Images via Javier Bolivar