A landscape of OCE RL has been literally shifted upside down in recent times, here’s the lowdown.
The land down under has been a staple of the Rocket League Championship Series since early 2017, and despite low expectations, has been a constant threat at the RLCS world championship, most notably with Chiefs coming 4th at the RLCS season six finals. However since the turn of 2019 and particularly the summer, Oceanic rocket league has undergone some changes, with some new faces popping up, old ones returning, and a myriad of roster moves. If time zones have prevented you from keeping tabs with OCE, here’s the lowdown on the state of the region.
Drippay & Torsos - Alphas no more
There is an uncanny correlation between Drippay’s departure from OCE to the region’s underwhelming showing internationally. However, the inverse has failed to be true since his return. After a stint on NA side Evil Geniuses, which resulted in relegation out of the RLCS, and failure to land on a subsequent NA side for the following season, Drippay returned home to the new look Chiefs with CJCJ & Express. The side was expected to be a return to the world championship for all three players after being absent the previous season. Unfortunately, despite being superb in smaller events, the Chiefs would collapse in the regional playoffs, losing two game sevens to Renegades & Canberra Havoc as the trio missed out on worlds yet again.
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The OCE roster shuffle of Christmas 2019 had a lot of activity, and for an outsider looking in, the most notable move was Drippay & Torsos reuniting under the Cringe Society, the latter finally departing from what was lineage wise the original Alpha Sydney. The duo linked up with SPYDOGE and was expected to top OCE, however simply put they are not the players that were considered the OCE goats two years ago. While they’re still good enough to place highly and make finals, their fear factor has diminished and the placings have shown that. 4th in RLCS league play, 3rd in the regional championship, and even with new 3rd Decka for Spring Series, they would lose in the Grand Finals despite a one-game advantage from coming through the upper bracket. While respectable placings on their own, it's fair to say OCE’s most iconic duo has failed to recapture former glories.
Shocking the System - New Talent Rises
While it’s been a fairly slow and gradual process, the new generation of Oceanic Rocket League talent is slowly beginning to make their impact on the top end of Oceanic Rocket League. Starting with one of Rocket League’s biggest upset stories in recent history: Canberra Havoc. Originally the trio of Le Duck, SPYDOGE & eli had one of the worst RLCS seasons in history, 0-7 in series, 4-21 in games, so their new-look roster with Walcott in place of eli for RLCS season eight wasn’t expected to do any damage. However, they would start reeling off upset after upset, notably taking down both Renegades and the Chiefs to advance to the OCE playoffs. Having already defied expectations, there was no way they could qualify for the RLCS world finals right? Especially with OCE’s big three alongside them. Well after game seven wins over both Ground Zero and Chiefs on LAN, the winless minnows were headed to the world championship. While they haven’t lived up to that level of play since, SPYDOGE & Le Duck have kept up the solid placings, coming 2nd and 4th respectively in the Spring Series.
The new talent is not a one-off for one season, it has continued into 2020. While Requiem & Ghost are known names of the OCE scene, bringing on rookie Fever allowed them to reach 2nd in the most recent RLCS league play and secure some big upset wins along the way. But while they have fallen in recent events, FURY has only gone from strength to strength. The duo of Scarth & KennySalmon made their RLCS debuts in season eight, coming 6th & 7th respectively. This past season they have teamed up with another rookie, Amphis and the impact has been devastating. Any doubts that they were the undeserving beneficiaries of alleged match-fixing were quickly silenced as they secured a remarkable 2nd place the LPL Oceanic Championship, with Amphis winning MVP honours in his rookie season. They have carried the good form into other events, notably coming 3rd in the Rocket League Spring Series. The unlikely trio may have come so far, but they’re set on going even further.
Ground Zero - Right Place, Wrong Time
Since singing the “Out of Order” roster that beat Team ICON to make the RLCS finals nearly a year ago, its been mixed fortunes in the GZG camp. First up, their RLCS season seven LAN run. The roster of Julz, Decka & Siki, in hindsight probably the strongest iteration of this roster was in a three-team group with Renault Vitality & G2 Esports, the two sides that would go on to make the grand finals of that LAN. The fact they took games off both of those sides often gets overlooked, as in a different group or even a better format than three-team groups, GZG makes a run at top eight potentially, but officially they placed joint last. That didn’t deter them as at Dreamhack Valencia, they were the sole OCE side to progress to the top sixteen, and there was a case they were now OCE’s best. Therefore it was quite the blow to see Renegades swoop in and sign Siki, leaving a void in Ground Zero’s offence they would struggle to fill as with Requiem they would drop to 4th in OCE for RLCS season eight.
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The Oceanic roster shuffle of Christmas 2019 saw Express head on over to Ground Zero as him Julz & Decka looked to recapture a top two or top spot in OCE. The league play run had a couple of slip-ups to Team Esper & Renegades, but after seven weeks Ground Zero found themselves top of the table and 1st seed for the playoffs. In the semi-finals, their biggest threat in terms of name-value was vanquished as Cringe Society fell 4-2, and despite heroics from FURY to even be in the grand finals, Ground Zero would sweep them not once, but twice to emphatically secure the LPL Rocket league Championship, a career first for Julz & Decka. Unfortunately, this would be the season that there was no RLCS world championship. Doubly unfortunate was Decka leaving the regional champions immediately to team with Drippay & Torsos under Cringe Society. This has basically undone GZG’s progress as new 3rd SPYDOGE, while talented does not match up to the experience Decka poses. While they’ll still be competitive, an embarrassing 6th place at the OCE Rocket League Spring Series means its back to square one for Julz & Ground Zero.
Renegades - Still OCE Royalty
In spite of all the happenings of OCE, one thing remains constant: Renegades are the top dogs down under. Signing the Chiefs roster in early 2019, with Drippay departed for Evil Geniuses, Torsos, Kamii & new third ZeN would win the Gfinity Oceanic Masters in RLCS season seven, but despite a two-month bootcamp in North America, would yield zero international wins vs RLCS competition. The Summer would bring in Siki in place of ZeN as despite the return of Drippay and the unexpected rise of Canberra Havoc, Renegades would go back to back as RLCS regional champions. The world finals in Madrid would see the boys finally get their first international win of the year over Brazilians Lowkey Esports, something only them and them only have done from OCE to this day even.
However, after an infamous own goal to eliminate them from Madrid, Renegades felt the need to change again. Torsos departed and in came fan favourite CJCJ and while they now stand as OCE’s best again, their road there was shaky. Domination of RLOceania’s “The Gauntlet” set the expectation for a 3rd consecutive RLCS regional championship, but that didn’t happen, nor did they even make grand finals. Unceremoniously, Renegades came 5th in league play and missed the regional playoffs in a season of constant underperforming and losing to sides well below their pay-grade. But ultimately, their poor league play showing was just a blip. Clutching out the ANZAC invitational vs Ground Zero through the upper bracket, and coming from lower finals to best Cringe Society for the Rocket League Spring Series title despite a one-game deficit. Regardless of all the changes happening in Oceanic Rocket League, Renegades have persevered to remain the best side in the region.
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