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RLCS Series Of The Year: Sandrock Gaming Vs G2 Esports

G2 Esports | Psyonix

Written by 

Jack Marsh

Posted 

14th Jan 2022 18:20

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For as long as Rocket League esports has existed, world dominance has been on a see-saw, tipping from Europe to North America without settling on either side. For minor regions, only Australia's Chief Esports team was able to rack up more than a single win on the World Stage in a miracle run back in Season 5. But now a new region is on the cards, and having been dubbed as the "best team to never play RLCS", their time had come to go up against the greatest, and Sandrock Gaming didn't disappoint.

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For the RLCS Game of the Year, Season X threw up some of the most hotly contested Grand Finals ever, with the likes of Team Envy and NRG going toe to toe for hours on end in NA, and Dignitas' early January form was nothing to forget in Europe.

But Sandrock's arrival on the main stage has redefined RLCS, and its importance is not to be underestimated.

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A Forgotten Region

Despite only making their first appearance on the main stage this season, Sandrock Gaming has been smashing the RLCS' door down for multiple seasons. The Middle Eastern trio of Ahmad "Ahmad" Abdullah, Ahmed "Senzo" Ayed, and Khalid "OKhaliD" Qasim became some of the most feared players on the globe, having smashed through the online ranked leaderboards despite playing on high regional ping. Together they joined Sandrock, an organisation tailored to just Middle Eastern Rocket League with an eye for glory.

Since forming in 2019, the mighty trio conquered their region, winning everything that it has to offer before setting their sights on Europe and the rest of the world, without the chances in RLCS. Having grafted a second-place at The European Invitation pre-season tournament, third place at Fusion - Europe, and won various show matches, Sandrock's omission from RLCS X was a bitter pill to swallow. However, Psyonix opened their arms in 2021, and the organisation has arrived. Albeit with Mohammed "trk511" Alotaibi in the lineup over OKhalid, Sandrock Gaming stepped onto the world stage for the first time ever, with a whole region behind them.

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A Day To Dreaz Of

For G2 Esports, LAN was nothing but expected, with the storied history of duo Jacob "Jknaps" Knapman and Reed "Chicago" Wilen. Together, the pair have attended more than a handful of live events, becoming part of the furniture alongside the scoreboard and monitors. 

But for Andres "Dreaz" Jordan, the young American had big boots to fill, having come in to replace the retired Dillon "Rizzo" Rizzo, often the X-factor player for G2 Esports on LAN, with his unnerving 'chasey' game style and silky on-stage antics, the rookie looked to make his offline debut by writing his own destiny.

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The Game

G2 Esports vs Sandrock Gaming at the RLCS 2021-22 Fall Major will go down in history as the day the Middle East arrived in Rocket League. With expectations lifted and freedom acquired, Sandrock Gaming let loose on G2, coming straight out of the starting blocks (even if their star man was left at home).

Limiting a hungry G2 Esports attack to nothing but a rare sighting at goal in the first game, Sandrock's nerves were non-existent. For a team stepping to the stage for the first time, Senzo's guidance and Ahmad's raw ability saw the MENA team net the only goal, starting as they mean to go on. 

If nerves were expected to crumble at some point, G2's undeniable quality shone in Game 2, pushing Sandrock to overtime - although that was as far as G2 could go. Once again, a slim winner from the exciting MENA side proved that they were to be taken seriously, storming on to a 2-0 game lead.

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Here, Sandrock stunned the world, and Ahmad's hype was to be believed. With the clock halted at 00:00, the game tied at a cagey 0-0, and the ball seemingly dying towards the G2 half, the jubilation of Ahmad's flabbergasting redirect was heard around the globe. 

Sandrock had shocked one of the favourites of the competition in a clean sweep and won the hearts of every Rocket League fan across the world. From a forgotten region to having the world behind them, Sandrock's win was the most important series in RLCS throughout 2021, possibly ever.

 

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RL

RLCS Player Of The Year: One Giant Leap For M0nkey M00n

Psyonix

Written by 

Jack Marsh

Posted 

14th Jan 2022 18:20

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