With many roster changes over the off-season, here's how they performed at Johnnyboi_i's FusionRL event Qualifiers.
As usual, the off-season has seen many teams look to swap and change their roster in an attempt to climb the RLCS table when it comes back around. With an unusual off-season due to the societal impact and no definite date for RLCS’ return, all eyes have been on JohnnyBoi_i’s Fusion event, with many notable changes to rosters. With some last-minute, albeit expected, changes before the roster submission deadlines, the Fusion Qualifiers were always going to have many interesting storylines. We take a look at how the roster changes panned out, and what we can expect in the main event.
Has Dignitas Made a Mistake With Joreuz?
Fifteen-year-old Joris ‘Joreuz’ Robben has quickly shot on to the scene, over the course of the last six months, and is one of the most sought-after rising stars of the game. His move to The Clappers put Joreuz in the limelight and attracted attention from the very best teams, such as EU RLCS S9 winners, Dignitas. Joreuz teamed up with Dignitas on a try-out basis for Fusion.
Dignitas struggled in the Fusion Qualifiers, scraping qualification to the finals through the losers’ round, with Joreuz winning two clutch 1v1’s in game 5’s vs Maadzz of Flying Nunchucks and Monkey Moon of BDS. Although impressing as a solo, there were clear problems for the reigning EU champions as they lost three consecutive 3v3s against much lesser opposition. Flying Nunchucks did the double over Dignitas in trios, without Dignitas getting on the scoresheet. Team BDS also won twice in 3v3 vs Dignitas, leaving Joreuz standing out like a sore thumb. Having large boots to fill, Joreuz struggled to embed with ViolentPanda and Yukeo and looks to be slightly out of his depth in the early stages of his career. It is too early to write him off as he has unlimited potential, however, Dignitas only registered wins over Canyons (in overtime), Momentum Shifters, and their first game against Stormtroopers, who then went on to comfortably beat the 4-0 in a rematch. There appears to be much to work on to incorporate Joreuz’s flair into a championship-winning aide.
AztraL Fitting in at Oxygen Esports
Joreuz joined Dignitas at the expense of AztraL, who had been sold to brand new side Oxygen Esports. Joined by Chausette and Ferra, the trio won all of their 3v3 encounters, but unconvincingly. With only one goal difference separating Oxygen from Flying Nunchucks and Veloce Esports, Oxygen struggled with finishing off the chances that they were creating, being marginally off in the passing and positioning going forward. However, as with new rosters, things seem positive for AztraL and Oxygen, as they secured their place in the final eight, and looked close to becoming a very effective trio.
The End of Arju at Mousesports?
Since Arju’s incredible display in RLCS, subbing in at Mousesports for Scrub Killa, his flame seems to be dwindling. After great speculation that teammates Speed and Kuxir97 weren’t fitting with Arju, they disappointed in the Spring Series, and their torrid form continued in Fusion. Losing both of their games, Mousesports was eliminated in Losers Round 1 by Triple Trouble. The final nail in the coffin came with a 4-0 defeat in 3v3, losing all their three games with a full team. Arju’s departure has been heavily discussed, with out-of-favour Oxygen Esports’ Fruity seemingly waiting in the wings. Arju, alike Joreuz has great potential, however, his time at Mousesports seems to be very limited.
A Mix of Emotions For Scrub Killa at Team Singularity.
Arju’s predecessor Scrub Killa had his tryout for Team Singularity, alongside noly and ThO. Qualifying through the Losers’ Round, Singularity had a mixed bag of performances. With constant fluctuations in quality, there remain many question marks as to whether this will be Scrub Killa's destination. The Scot himself had an inconsistent weekend, highlighted in his 1v1 performances, losing twice, before taking his frustration out vs Barcelona, putting 14 past Ronaky. Singularity was beaten twice by RLCS side Veloce Esports but managed to ease past Barcelona twice in 3v3, highlighting the strange weekend Singularity had. With Noly also being heavily linked with a transfer to Barcelona, Team Singularity has many questions to be answered and may look back towards Godsmilla to team up with Scrub Killa and ThO in the future.
Barca Feeling the Effect of Flakes’ Departure
Barcelona has turned their eyes towards noly as they felt the effect of Flakes’ departure heavily over the weekend. Playing with substitute Seeb alongside Ronaky and Deevo, FCB were relinquished by Sandrock Gaming in overtime and subsequently placed in the Losers Round. After scraping past Servette Geneva Esports in their 3v3, they were eliminated by Team Singularity in Round 3. Suffering a 4-0 defeat there was a distinct lack of cohesion between the three, with Seeb looking out of sorts. noly is due to have a try-out with FCB, which may settle their roster, which currently isn’t working.
Metsanauris Fitting in Well at Endpoint Despite Elimination.
Although eliminated from Fusion, Endpoint impressed in their 3v3 games, against some good competition, as they won every game that featured their full roster. Falling with the 1v1 and 2v2 games, Metsanauris appears to be settling into their roster with ease, showing great teamwork and cohesion, even if they lacked some flair.
Retals On Fire at Team Envy.
Team Envy acquired Retals in preparation for Fusion, which has paid dividends. Their only loss in 3v3 came to the hands of RLCS side Rogue, in overtime, after beating them 3-1 earlier in the series. Beating Fall, Affinity and Cloud9, Team Envy looked impressive, with Retals fitting into their side like a Cinderella and the glass slipper. Topping his day off with a shocking 10-2 victory vs 1v1 master Squishy, Retals seems to be on fire and enjoying his new home. They will face Vision in the 3v3 quarterfinals, and with progression, could set up a rematch with Rogue in the semis.
AlRaz Struggling to Make a Difference at Pittsburgh Knights
The Pittsburgh Knights handed a try out to Alex ‘AlRaz’ Raczynski of Stromboli, as he looks to make the step up from the RLRS. PK was eliminated in Losers Round 2, after some indifferent displays, especially struggling in 2v2’s and 1v1’s. With their full roster, however, they had a mixed day, losing to SUP (ranked 61st in Liquipedia’s Team Ratings), before sharing a game each against eUnited and doing the double over Vision. With their performances improving over the day, question marks remain as to whether AlRaz is the right man to replace Retals.
Stromboli Set to Cope With Life Without AlRaz
With AlRaz trying out for Pittsburgh Knights, Stromboli pulled in hec as a stand-in. Although hec joined Divine from Stromboli just over a month before Fusion, it was as if he never left. Easing past some tough competition such as NRG and eUnited, Stromboli cruised through the qualifiers to claim their spot in the final eight. It was also a first event for AlphaKep, who joined on May 13th, leaving scepticism over what their final roster may look like before the RLRS season comes back around. AlRaz could very well find himself without a place to come back to if his try-out is unsuccessful, with Stromboli looking seriously impressive without him.
The Fusion finals began with NA on May 25, be sure to stick around at GGRecon for a recap of the action.
Images via ZeeboDesigns & DreamHack