The Peeps are poised to play at Worlds, and show what they’ve got on an international stage.
In the shadows of NRG, Team Envy, and Spacestation Gaming, stands one unsigned team. They’re The Peeps, and whoever picks them up has themselves a great deal. Not only do The Peeps have fans from all over the world, but they are also poised to play at Worlds, and show what they’ve got on an international stage.
Out of the top 15 North American teams in RLCS X, The Peeps are the only team without an esports organisation to support them. It speaks for their resilience and fighting power that Jirair "Gyro." Papazian, Austin "AYYJAYY" Aebi, Braxton "Allushin" Lagarec, and coach Julian "Moopy" Amador currently hold the fifth spot in the RLCS X rankings.
A Historic Beginning
The Peeps has always been Gyro.’s team. He formed the original squad in 2018, with Carter "Pirates" Tschumper and Tshaka "Arsenal" Lateef Taylor Jr. The biggest year for The Peeps was 2019, because it features one of the best underdog stories in Rocket League: DreamHack Montreal.
Without any prior qualifications, The Peeps used the open signups to get into the event. To win DreamHack Montreal, the teams first had to battle through group stages on the first two days, to make it to the Playoffs on the third day. The Peeps, consisting of Slater "retals" Thomas, Nick "mist" Costello, and Gyro. at the time, somehow got into the Playoffs. The three rookies were already playing better than expected at this point, but nobody was prepared for their performance on that final day. By beating Vitality and G2 Esports, and winning the whole event, they immediately put themselves on the radar for any North American organisation.
For some players, The Peeps was their springboard to move up in the competitive scene. Arsenal, retals, and mist are now signed with Spacestation Gaming and Team Envy, but they all got the ball rolling with The Peeps.
DreamHack Montreal was the breakthrough The Peeps were looking for. A month later, they signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Knights. The team had a lot of potential, and they could convert that into a second seed representing NA at the RLCS Season 8 world championships in Madrid. The top-six finish at Worlds was a nice ending to the season.
After Season 8, however, the Knights left a few too many gaps in their armour, and they fell off to seventh place in North America. Between Season 9 and RLCS X, they did well in the Spring Series, but not as great in Fusion, Codename: COVERT, and The Brawl 10K. The Pittsburgh Knights then dropped the roster, and picked up another NA team. Gyro. and co. went on as The Peeps again. Was it the right call from Pittsburgh Knights? While The Peeps are now in fifth place, the current Pittsburgh Knights roster is just in the top ten.
Never Sleep On The Peeps
For the longest time now, The Peeps have been the team to challenge the top dogs when they least expect it. The Peeps and their fans have popularised the phrase “Don’t sleep on The Peeps”, as they’re always a dangerous underdog, waiting to crush anyone who sleeps on them.
The Fall Split was a strong start for The Peeps. Top four standings for two Regional Events in a row, plus a top eight in the third Regional and the Major, is certainly something to write home about. It’s this consistency that is required to do well in the RLCS X format. Getting the RLCS points to qualify for Majors, and eventually for Worlds, is important for every team, but it’s even more crucial for a roster that’s actively looking to attract an organisation to represent.
As the RLCS Season X moved into the Winter Split, The Peeps needed some time to find their form. The changes to the format meant they had less room for mistakes, so they got caught out in the first Regional Event. But by the time the second Regional came around, they were back to consistently hitting the top six. It’s exactly what we’ve come to expect from them now, so the other teams aren’t sleeping on the Peeps anymore.
Expectations Are High
In their current form, and with their current consistency, they’re looking to end the Spring Split in the top six, which is what they need to make it to Worlds. That is, if nothing changes. We’re likely going to see a few roster changes here and there, ahead of the Spring Split. Whether that will affect The Peeps as well, is unclear. As per the latest leaks, G2 Esports is looking to replace Rizzo on their line-up, and wanted to sign AYYJAYY. However, AYYJAYY turned down the offer.
Who knows, maybe the squad will look completely different for the next Split. Or maybe The Peeps finally found an organisation that wants to #PickUpThePeeps. It’s not that easy as you might think. The big organisations don’t always want to risk their finances by paying large salaries, and the small orgs may not be able to provide the stability and support a team like The Peeps need. Whatever might happen, The Peeps have what it takes to get what they want in the RLCS.
Image via DreamHack