We're well into the season and teams are finally being figured out, here's our updated RLCS9 Power Rankings.

19:00, 19 Feb 2020

Welcome back to the GGRecon RLCS Season Nine Power Rankings for North America. Some big upsets have had a big impact on our rankings, with some big movements both up and down not only the league table but our rankings too. So let’s present our expert committee’s updated power rankings at the 25% mark of this season’s RLCS.

THE GGRECON POWER RANKINGS COMMITTEE:

#=9 - Cloud9 - SquishyMuffinz, Gimmick, Torment (-2)

Not even three weeks ago, Cloud9 was considered a comfortable playoffs level team by the community, ourselves and the pro players. Yet here we are, ranking them 10th. A sweep at the hands of eUnited was not an ideal start to the campaign, but surely they wouldn’t fall to Rogue, our bottom-ranked team. Surely they could use this as a chance to rebound, right? Well, judging by where they currently stand now, that was not the case. Despite losing the series by a single golden goal, Cloud9 rarely looked threatening, more often than not it was Rogue’s ability to lose games that kept C9 with a fighting chance. However ultimately, a Kronovi brace would bury Cloud9 to the bottom of the RLCS and our rankings. 
Yes, there are still seven series to go, but things like truly dire for the former greats. Moments of brilliance from Cloud9 were before counted per game, now we struggle to list positives from an entire series on more than one hand. Vs Rogue, Squishy got a double-tap, Gimmick got a great assist game 5, Their passing was good in one single game. And that’s that, the reality is their losses have come to two teams barely considered playoffs material, and their positives pale in comparison to even the other winless team in RLCS. Forget a late Valentine’s date with the relegation tournament, C9 might very well be skipping bases en route to RLRS.

#=9 - Flight - rapid, Sea-Bass, Memory (-)

It’s hard to say something about Flight that hasn’t been said already. They played NRG, the best team in the world and got swept. The lack of any threatening offense isn’t ideal, they ultimately served as shooting practice for NRG for fifteen minutes. Their week one showing is what prevents them from being unanimously bottom, as compared to Cloud9 from what we’ve seen so far, Flight’s situation is far less dire, and with more unknown potential upside, as Memory scored his first RLCS goals for his new team this week. Simply put, if we were to knock teams down a peg for losing to NRG, well nearly everyone on this list does so it’s tough to be more cynical about Flight. Attention turns to their match vs Cloud9 next week, the loser of which will almost certainly become the favorite to demote out of RLCS.

#8 - Rogue - Wonder, Kronovi, firstkiller (+2)

A huge win for Rogue over Cloud9 sees them climbing big, and the upsides are not to be written off because of the quality of the opponent defeated. Rookie firstkiller looked well settled into RLCS life, having the measure of Cloud9, always challenging the ball and allowing little space for Cloud9 to make playoffs. Whatever plays C9 did get off were most likely read by firstkiller, and he always seemed to find space for a quality pass from Wonder and Kronovi. The latter stole the headlines, scoring the two decisive goals in game five to not only force overtime, but win the entire series. With it only taking two weeks for Rogue to find a win, it’s the earliest in a season Rogue has some momentum behind them. If they can maintain their aggression levels shown vs Cloud9, and not turtle up once in the lead, Rogue might finally find themselves some long-desired consistency

Rogue Kronovi

#7 - eUnited - Hockser, Roll Dizz, Ayjacks (-1)

While no one was surprised Flight put up no challenge to NRG, there was genuine hope and belief that eUnited could take it to Ghost. They didn’t. Sure Ghost looks like a team in contention to make the finals in Dallas, but it took eU eleven minutes to even score vs Ghost. It looked like the team that was expected to go winless last season. As weird as it sounds, sweeping Cloud9 isn’t a big enough win to elevate eUnited higher. And while seeding isn’t ideal, they’re one of two RLCS teams to have zero notable results in the Astronauts Star Circuit, hence their placement back outside the playoffs. eUnited can still challenge fellow RLCS squads, they’re historically a great annoyance for many players to play. However with others around them going above and beyond, it’s hard to rate eUnited higher than 7th.

#6 - Susquehanna Soniqs - Satthew, Shock, Dappur (+2)

Well the performance vs NRG wasn’t a fluke, the Soniqs are legit. Just when slight murmurings begin about Spacestation being the best NA team, in comes Shock and company, bulldozing their way past SSG, taking a remarkable 3-1 win. Shock’s form and player of the week accolade makes him the early frontrunner for MVP honors. All the while, Dappur & Satthew have returned to RLCS without skipping a beat. To enter the RLCS as the lowest-rated team among pros, the worst performers in scrims. To start the season with both NRG and SSG, and go 1-1 with a positive game differentia? It's a truly fantastic start for the Soniqs, It begs the question; How far can they go? Rogue next week presents a great chance to secure a hat trick of great performances but for now, the playoffs dream for Susquehanna is truly on.

#5 - Pittsburgh Knights - ExplosiveGyro, Retals, AyyJayy (-2)

A rough week in Peepsburgh. Some of the fears of a Knights roster post mist are beginning to be realized. For all of AyyJayy’s talent and offensive prowess, it's a complete roll mismatch. His suspect defense has led to him and Gyro constantly double committing, and his high boost usage has eaten into what would be Retals’ reserves, limiting their star player even more than he is already for being stuck back on his own after the aforementioned double commits. More puzzling is the complete abandonment of their demo-heavy uber physical playstyle that brought them to fame. Despite the undeniable talent this trio possesses, a shaky reverse sweep over Flight and being controlled by an inaccurate G2 is far from an ideal start. For a team that had their eyes set on being finalists domestically, just making worlds will now be a success for PK.

#4 - Ghost Gaming - Allushin, Atomic, mist (-)

A big 3-0 sweep over eUnited sees Ghost legitimize their Astronauts success and find themselves again in our top four. Taking on eUnited and coming out the other side basically untested shows progress from the roster that couldn’t even beat eUnited last season. Of course, the difference is the new addition in mist, and he had his way with eU, he is truly beginning to find his feet on Ghost, often leaving Atomic & Allushin with little to do. Given the manner of their sweep, it’s tough to demote Ghost behind other teams when there’s little to no negatives to speak of from this week, only ending up 0.25 behind G2 for the 3rd spot in our list. Attention turns to major series vs Pittsburgh Knights, where a victory would leave one of the biggest rivals on the outside looking in and have Ghost looking primed to finally make the world championship.

#3 - G2 Esports - Jknaps, Rizzo, Chicago (+2)

Are G2 back? Well, they’re off to the best possible start to right the wrongs of last season. While it might be jumping the gun to say they’ll challenge the S tier of North American teams, with a victory over Pittsburgh Knights, G2 leaps above them in the rankings and finds themselves very comfortably in our top four. It’s near impossible to levy criticism at anyone. Chicago had a stellar showing vs a top team, scoring the crucial goals to put G2 in the driver’s seat. Rizzo was a constant menace, locking down the midfield, intercepting any Knights pass before they could even develop any momentum. And if Jknaps is your least impactful player in a somewhat easy series victory, you’ve got yourself a team that currently tops the NA RLCS (albeit on game differential). The shooting accuracy still leaves a bit to be desired but seeing as this trio has often been touted as having the best offense on peak form, that shouldn’t be a major concern going forward

#2 - Spacestation Gaming - AxB, Sypical, Arsenal (-)

To get it out of the way, yes SSG is still second despite a loss, they’ve earned enough good karma to afford one loss that doesn’t completely wash away all their recent accomplishments. All of the praises that have been raved out about still stand. However, a 3-1 loss to Susquehanna isn’t good. Defensive mishaps were unusually high, including team bumps and flat out whiffs. The usually sublime team play from Spacestation was absent, passes just weren’t connecting. Arsenal & Sypical had an unnaturally quiet series. The sole shining light from this week was AxB, who continues to improve offensively, scoring a couple of goals even the elite golden strikers would be proud of. If he can continue to grow out of his underrated status and match his dynamic duo in Arsenal & Sypical, SSG will rebound from this loss just fine. Unfortunately, due to rescheduling, next week they play NRG, so odds are barring a change of the guard, Spacestation will start the season 1-2.

Spacestation Gaming

#1 - NRG Esports - GarrettG, Jstn, Turbopolsa (-)

And to the surprise of absolutely no one, NRG is still the best team in North America. If anything, with Spacestation losing, the gap between them at the mountain top and everyone else has grown. It must be emphasized that it was only Flight they beat, but they looked near flawless doing so. Everyone had a moment to shine. Jstn faking a flip reset only to ping the ball top corner. Turbopolsa flexing his guns, muscling the ball into the Flight net through a 50-50, and GarrettG getting a game-winning double-tap, because he scores when he wants. It was the NRG we’ve all come to expect over the years. However, they mustn’t let their guard down as next week’s clash with Spacestation Gaming promises to be a show-stealer. Vanquishing their toughest challenge would set up NRG to become four times consecutive North American champions.

 

HERE'S HOW THE COMMITTEE CAME TO THESE RANKINGS:

RLCS9 Rankings

Images via ZeeboDesigns.

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