Missed Week 8 of the RLCS? Check out our recap.
Jubilation, relegation, upsets and another super-sub were the main talking points from the eighth week of RLCS action from North America. As league play has finally concluded for the Rocket League season, let’s recap all the action from the final set of regular-season matches.
NRG Esports vs Ghost Gaming
NRG was in the hunt for a top-two placement, Ghost sought victory to secure a playoffs spot, but it was NRG that started the series far superior. They gave Ghost little room to operate on the attack as NRG comfortably took the first game 2-0. Ghost quickly responded to start game two, mist netting a kickoff goal before a poor Atomic touch would give Jstn the easiest goal of his career. Jstn would double his tally thanks to a pass from Turbo off the backboard and it seemed all smooth sailing for NRG, until an Allushin pass allowed Atomic to redeem himself. Overtime would prove to be the downfall of NRG as Turbo, trying to claim the golden striker accolade would miss an open net, and Ghost’s speed on the counter-attack was too much, Allushin again setting up Atomic. This seemed to really stump NRG, as they could not generate any chances in game three, Turbo looked well out of sorts as a solitary goal from Atomic put Ghost Gaming on match point. Jstn would again come to NRG’s rescue in game four, scoring another brace along with Turbo finally getting on the board as NRG took it to game five. The decisive fifth game saw Atomic score another goal to open the scoring, but Jstn would dunk Allushin via air dribble to tie it up. Garrett would step up soon after, setting himself up off the corner to put NRG ahead, but a rare Jstn whiff let Atomic bring Ghost back into it. The action was back and forth, both sides getting great opportunities, however, Allushin would chase GarrettG, and in the NRG’s player’s attempts to avoid being bumped, mist would convert an open net. Turbopolsa would ultimately miss another glorious chance, and on the counter-attack, Atomic would seal his hat-trick, the series and playoffs for Ghost Gaming.
Spacestation Gaming vs eUnited
In a pre-match interview, Arsenal called his shots and said to expect SSG 1st and even a musty flick goal. Whether it was a premonition or confidence is up for debate, but the series vs eUnited belonged to him. He is the league leader in demolitions for a reason, and he made AxB’s & Sypical’s lives super easy if it wasn’t already, who themselves were connecting with some incredible passes. eUnited could only muster up one goal in the entire series as they got swept and condemned to the relegation tournament, while Arsenal would actually score a musty flick in RLCS to get the sole goal in game three, as Spacestation Gaming locked up a top-two spot in league play for the second consecutive season.
Cloud9 vs Pittsburgh Knights
After Ghost’s upset victory over NRG, it left Pittsburgh Knights needing to beat Cloud9 3-1 or better to leapfrog them into the playoffs. Cloud9 had other plans and would get two early goals to open the series. Star player Retals would respond to half the lead, but in the dying seconds, he could not punish a rare SquishyMuffinz whiff, banging an open net off the crossbar as Cloud9 edged closer to playoffs. This was the straw that finally broke the once un-tiltable Knights, as C9 would again go up by two. AyyJayy & Gyro would step up to plate and tie up the game, but Torment with some great car control dropped down the ball to SquishyMuffinz to secure the second game and playoffs for Cloud9. With nothing to play for on both sides, C9 would run away with game three, fending off early chances from PK as now Torment looked back in form, scoring the go-ahead goal and setting up Gimmick to seal the sweep for Cloud9.
G2 Esports vs Spacestation Gaming
SSG had already secured at least 2nd, but they wanted more and entered the G2 series with their eyes only looking at #1. However, it was G2 that came out the blocks faster. Rizzo would read a weird backboard bounce and Jknaps would punish SSG players bunched up in the corner to give G2 the advantage. G2 would get an early advantage in game two as well before Arsenal yet again sent a musty flick towards toe G2 net before Sypical would tie up the game. Jknaps would then get dunked by Arsenal before AxB added a pair of goals to give SSG the momentum. Jknaps would open the scoring in game three, but that was the last time G2 saw a lead in the series, their aggression was easy pickings to capitalize on, Rizzo could not stop the Spacestation attack on his own. That being said, he made some poor touches as 3rd man as SSG scored relatively simple goals to take game three, and quickly go up by two in game four. Jknaps would get a late flip reset goal but G2 could not only not break SSG’s defence, but could not stop their offence as Spacestation won 3-1, and locked up 1st place in league play.
Flight vs Rogue
In what was a literal do or die series for both sides, where the loser would demote to RLRS, it was Rogue who started out strong. Rogue would take game one 4-3, constantly going two goals ahead before Flight would respond with one. The gap between both sides would grow further as Rogue took the second game 3-0, everyone getting involved and bullying the Flight players, unable to muster a response. However, this would not be a routine 3-0 for Rogue, as with Wonder having connection issues, he was unable to play, leading to another substitute appearance in the RLCS. Now while Fireburner is one of the legends of the game, Garenn is an unfamiliar name to many, with little to no top-level experience. Regardless, Kronovi & Firstkiller made his life as easy as possible, setting him up for two easy yet important goals to cancel out a top corner shot from Sea-Bass. And after firstkiller score one more off the kickoff, Rogue was safe, Flight was dead and relegated to RLRS as Rogue won 3-0.
Susquehanna Soniqs vs G2 Esports
The final match of league play had a lot of stakes. The Soniqs, the expected last-place team only needed two individual games to secure 2nd in the league, while G2 needed a 3-1 or better win for that 2nd place. While the Soniqs have been the surprise story of the year, they, unfortunately, could not take it to G2. They couldn’t even take a game. In fact, they didn’t even get a goal, as G2 perfectly swept them, completely shutting out Susquehanna over three games, only the third time this has happened in RLCS history. There, unfortunately, isn’t much to note, the Soniqs dropped a donut when it mattered most, and G2 avoided a four-loss streak to end the season. The first two games were two-goal affairs, but the 3rd saw the floodgates open as G2 scores five early on, ending the match before it had even started, as G2 secured their 5th second-place finish in six seasons.
So with league play over, here is how the league standings look after eight weeks of action.
Images via Rocket League Flickr & Liquipedia