The North American RLCS is taking shape as we get to the latter end of the season.

13:00, 11 Mar 2020

Eleven matches played, three straight days of RLCS action, matchdays five and six have passed by and there is a lot to digest so here’s what happened in the NA region.

Saturday

Flight vs eUnited

eUnited started their doubleheader day in the worst fashion possible, dropping to Flight and giving the minnows their first win in RLCS. Defensively a somewhat poor showing on both sides, eUnited would often straight whiff the ball, but Flight would make a basic blunder of their own to always keep eU within striking distance. Hockser was again the star for eU, doing a great job to find Ayjacks in space for shots more often than not, however that paled in comparison to Memory’s performance. The doctor surgically dismantled eU, being given the freedom and boost to lead Flight to victory. He would quite literally dunk on eUnited for multiple goals like he was playing Hoops against the Knicks as Flight took advantage of a poor eUnited to take the series 3-1.

Rogue vs Ghost

A series that upon rewatching, how on earth was this close. Ghost was the superior squad from the off, especially after scoring five goals in the first game. Rogue would bounce back the second and third games, with Wonder leading the offensive charge. They seemed primed to go up 2-1 until Ghost got a couple of last gasp goals to force the overtime. Despite the comeback, Rogue would take the OT as a poor 50/50 allowed Kronovi to get the clutch go-ahead goal. Ghost would again be comfortable in the fourth game, Allushin getting a nice no boost ceiling shot. The awesome plays continued into game five but Wonder was always there to respond. It took an Atomic flip reset to set up an Allushin double-tap tp scrape past Rogue with fifteen seconds left to hand Ghost the victory, barely over Rogue 3-2.

Pittsburgh Knights vs Susquehanna Soniqs

The battle for top four seemed to be a foregone conclusion after the first game, despite the small 1-0 scoreline, PK outshot Soniqs 16-2. The Soniqs would take the 2nd game easily in their own right, Dappur in particular rolling back the years with a lights-out performance, although again the final scoreline was close as PK found a zero-second goal but it was too late.  The third game saw AyyJayy continue to flex his offensive talents, doinking the ball into the net and threatening an air dribble that made 2 SQ players challenge, leaving Retals an open net. The Soniqs have seemingly taken a page out of the former Peeps playbook, being absurdly clutch, as not only did they tie the game, but win it off a zero second goal from Satthew. Gyro awoke from his slumber game four, scoring a brace as we entered champion’s field. Two early goals from either side canceled each other out, both sides looking on form as they entered overtime, however as PK bunched up in the corner, it left Ayyjayy alone in goal to be bumped by Dappur as Shock yet again scored a series-winning goal in game five overtime.

G2 Esports vs eUnited

It seemed the loss to Flight woke eUnited up, as they really upped their game for G2, never letting G2 get too far out of reach. The first game was only a loss by a sole goal, as G2 were forced to get physical to best eU. The second game was all Ayjacks, as he got a spectacular brace complemented by Hockser staying in quality form as eU tied the series. The third game was a thrilling encounter, glorious chances on both sides, yet eUnited looked likely to take the game. Hockser was a unit on defense, not even the highly touted G2 attack could break him, all the while he created a majority of eU’s goal scoring opportunities. However, come overtime, Jknaps would air dribble and pinch a 50/50 past two eUnited goalkeepers to put G2 up. eU came out all guns blazing, but after Hockser rattled the crossbar and Roll Dizz capped off a disappointing day by missing the rebound, G2 had the easiest open net to take the lead, and had eUnited controlled until the ball touched the ground at zero seconds.

Cloud9 vs Spacestation Gaming

A squad near the top of the table played a squad near the bottom, and the former won, and with some ease. Sure Squishymuffinz got a double tap to start proceedings, but Sypical with a pair of assists and AxB with a pair of goals gave SSG the first game win. To start game two, AxB outdide Squishy with a double-tap of his own, he’d later double his goal tally and despite a Torment consolation,SSG were up two. Spacestation really should have swept, but C9 showed some life, battling from two goals down to take the third game in overtime. However come game four, one booming clear over the C9 defense from Sypical gave SSG the series as their defense held strong to defeat C9 3-1.

Pittsburgh Knights vs NRG Esports

Pittsburgh Knights sought to avenge their loss to the Soniqs, but started off poorly vs NRG, or rather, NRG played like they usually do, immaculate. Jstn quite literally freestyled on PK game one as NRG scored five. It seemed all over as more flip resets had NRG winning the second game, yet PK woke up, and three goals into the upper ninety saw Knights tie up the match. NRG’s response was to again pile on the goals, comfortably winning the game despite AyyJayy getting a fancy pre-flip goal. The Knights would channel their inner Peeps as they themselves won the 4th game 3-1, truly putting NRG on the ropes. However in the fifth and final game, Jstn got the sole goal, an incredible double tap was the sole decider as NRG kept the Knights contained in their own half and took the series 3-2.

Monday

Flight vs Spacestation Gaming

Another routine win for SSG, their first sweep of the season. However Flight made it somewhat close, forcing a couple of overtimes. The first two games were a competition between Sypical’s playmaking ability & AxB’s finishing. Sypical was on the ball to mix up going for Physical plays are effective 50-50s, however Sea-Bass would cancel out AxB’s game two hat-trick with one of his own thanks to some quality service from rapid. Ultimately Axb 7 Sypical would swap roles, as Sypical scores the game two winner and effectively killed the series, as SSG would take the third game 4-0, thanks to Arsenal getting a hat trick of his own after having little to do otherwise.

Susquehanna Soniqs vs eUnited

Forget top four, the Soniqs might be a top-two team in NA. His name gets mentioned everywhere but Shock is on another level, fast in the air and capable of scoring from any angle, he should have scored a hat-trick the first game but an open ent miss let Dappur get on the board. eUnited like in Saturday’s matches could not convert glorious chances as they hit the crossbar twice & Shock punished them for it. Hockser would reply to tie up the game but Shock & Dappur linked up for an excellent passing play, and there was no doubt Shock would not bury the game-winner bottom corner. After a small delay, the Soniqs returned and dominated the third game. A ton of demolitions gave all of the Soniqs a chance to get on the scoreboard as Susquehanna got their first sweep of the season.

Ghost Gaming vs G2 Esports

G2 faced the first of the other sides considered the top five in the league. Many have hyped up G2 highly for their undefeated run, but it has come vs the bottom sides in the league. Inversely, Ghost had shown a tendency to somehow not win the big one. All of that changed as Ghost finally lived up to the potential, ending G2’s undefeated start with a 3-1 win. Atomic found mist for the sole goal in the first game, and all members were to play defense as G2’s attack wasn’t a major threat despite the number of chances. The quantity eventually broke Ghost as Jknaps faked a double touch to allow Rizzo to score the solitary goal in the second game, as both sides played a very fast series. Allushin started the third game very fast to the air, dropping the ball straight down for Atomic to bury. G2 would up the amount of passes to try beat the ever sturdy mist, however Ghost would be highly physical as a retaliation. Jknaps would eventually tie up the game with seven seconds left, but that was all G2 had left in them for the series. Mist’s miraculous defensive stops kept G2 at bay and when the going got fast, he wasn’t missing as Ghost went up 2-1. Ths speed was eventually too much for G2, as whiffs and slow challenges from all three G2 individuals gave mist a pair of goals to take the 4th game, and the series 3-1.

Pittsburgh Knights vs Rogue

Rogue finally played to their potential, and just vs a relegation candidate, but the Pittsburgh Knights of all teams. Wonder continued his great showing in the enemy third, scoring and getting a great pass off the ceiling to assist Kronovi. The entire roster looked great as firstkiller was getting double tap’s to set up Kronovi, but PK couldn’t be kept silent, as AyyJayy & Retals combined on offense to tie up the match for PK. game three was smooth sailing for PK, everyone scoring once as they advanced to matchpoint, but despite going up in the 4th game, Wonder found Kronovi to tie up the game, and kept the pressure all the way to overtime. And in overtime, Wonder faked former teammate AyyJayy to force game five. Third time would not be the charm for PK on Champion’s Field this weekend, as a firstkiller shot went pas AyyJayy who had struggled on defense all series. And unfortunately for Knights, any pressure they forced was cleared far downfield by Rogue as they won the series 3-2.

NRG Esports vs Cloud9

The one you’ve all been waiting for. The first matchup in RLCS history between two rosters that had won a world championship, on paper looked the be blowout. It was, just not in the way anyone expected. Cloud9 started the first game fast and speedy, beating NRG to most touched, creating a majority of the good chances, and got the overtime winner thanks to SquishyMuffinz getting another double-tap. Cloud would go own to dominate the second game 4-0, and while C9 looked like they were reliving the big three era, NRG were woeful, arguably the worst showing for all three players ever. Jstn didn’t even break 100 points in the second game and Garrett was a whiff machine. The third game saw NRG at least muster up a goal, but it paled in comparison to C9, as if Squishy wasn’t getting an air dribble, Turbopolsa was flat out missing clears. Jstn got a late response, but it was to now avail as Cloud9 swept NRG 3-0 in a titanic upset.


Here's the standings after week 6:

RLCS NA Standings
Image via Liquipedia

Main image via ZeeboDesigns.

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