With Cloud9 disbanding and Squishymuffinz joining NRG over Turbopolsa, the new meta of formations in RLCS is solidified.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will now have learned that Cloud9 have left Rocket League Esports, disbanding the longest-serving roster in RLCS history. With that, the Season 6 world champions have gone their separate ways, with Squishymuffinz joining NRG Esports, replacing four times World Champ, Turbopolsa. Now teaming up with Jstn and GarrettG, Squishy joins a roster of all-out offensive prowess, with all three players having the capability to pull off the impossible to clutch a game. ‘This is Rocket League’ springs to mind.
This comes as the change of structural formation that many feel has been Cloud9’s downfall in the past, and has been adopted by the best sides in the world, such as Renault Vitality.
Cloud9, during their demise, came under great scrutiny from the fanbase which expected so much from them after they took the world by storm. The Muffin Men fit the meta perfectly during their rise to fame, having Squishy and Gimmick being the flair and Torment being the anchor that allowed the other two to express themselves. This worked perfectly, and Torment went as arguably an unsung hero for Cloud9 as he complimented the eccentric flicks of his teammates with crucial positioning and cover, also adding to the goals himself. This formation was the foundation on which the World Champions were formed upon.
However, as the game developed, the pace increased and Torment was often isolated and some argued he struggled to keep up with the pace of Squishy and Gimmick. This was not the fault of Torment, but the pace of the game found faults in the positioning of the three, where they seldom covered themselves in glory. Nevertheless, they stuck with the formation and contradicting playing styles, and maintained their RLCS status, just never reaching the heights of what they had previously achieved. The pace passed them by as they fell from the best side in the world, to a mid-table NA side with little organisation.
At the same time as Cloud9 began to struggle, over in Europe, Renault Vitality was back on the rise. Season 7 saw some huge changes to the EU rosters, as Season 3 & 5 MVP, Kaydop, left previous World Championship finalists Dignitas to join Renault Vitality. Coming in for Paschy90 to join Fairy Peak and Scrub Killa, Kaydop joined an incredibly dynamic roster. All three players were known for their attacking instincts and clutch plays, rather than having an anchor-like midfielder, and this played right into their hands. During the regular season, Renault Vitality dropped just 6 games, winning 19, often simply dominating the ball and scoring with ease and seldom being caught slacking in defence. All three players rotated like cogs in a machine and obliterated most teams that stood in their way. This never-seen-before free-flowing formation took the world by storm as they lifted the Season 7 World Championships and changed the meta of the game.
Since then, sides like Dignitas have adopted similar rosters, with their Season 9 roster of Yukeo, AztraL and ViolentPanda showcasing their aerial dynamism and offensive creativity to be crowned champions of Europe.
Over in NA, NRG were dominating, with GarrettG and Jstn being the assailants in the side, and Turbo being the catalyst and overall dominant force complimenting the two, in a similar fashion as to how Torment functioned in the Season 6 C9 side. With back-to-back Championships (Season 7 NA & Season 8 worlds) NRG have stayed on top, and the best sides in the world move with the times.
When opportunity presents itself, the best sides in the world across every game/esport/sports must take the reins, and NRG are looking to cement themselves as the leading organisation in Rocket League Esports by taking full advantage of Cloud9’s disbandment. Squishy is regarded as one of the leading attacking players in the world, in the discussion alongside Jstn. NRG has made the bold move to remove the most decorated Rocket League player in the world, to adapt to the advancing meta of full-blown attack, just as Renault Vitality and Dignitas have in recent seasons.
With an array of Community Events in the pipeline before the new format of RLCS in Season 10, NRG has got a bundle of practice opportunities to get the three explosive players into a rotating flip resetting mechanism that balances perfect, and if done correctly, we could be looking at the most exciting team in the world who could dominate RLCS for the foreseeable future. The meta has changed, and NRG has moved with it. All eyes are on them in the coming weeks.
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