I'm not sure a season has ever been more in doubt.

13:00, 01 Aug 2020

Another topsy turvy European off-season, with no real winners (maybe with the exception of Renault Vitality), has left me with plenty of questions for which the answer can only be found by watching this week’s Rocket League European Regional.

One To Watch: Oxygen Esports

Coin toss?

Prediction: First

Oxygen has now had a string of five major competitions where they’ve switched from being the best team in the world to RLRS level. Following that logic, they should go out after spectacularly throwing a 2-1 game in Swiss Stage 1. A 50/50 between placing in the top two or outside playoffs means they’re still the most likely to win the whole event though.

Dark Horse: Team Liquid

What’s your true form?

Prediction: Tied fifth

Liquid’s day to day performance is the most concerning of the Big Four: After dismantling their Summer Grand Prix group, they lost two consecutive series in playoffs. A similar performance could see kuxir and company go out as early as Swiss Stage 2, but crumbling in the playoffs seems more likely.

Renault Vitality

The bees are back, but can they hold on?

Prediction: Second

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, Vitality is the only team to maintain their form all the way through the off-season. That alone, however, is not enough to convince me that they can win the event. The team dropped two games on their Summer Grand Prix run and won a bracket reset that was balanced on a knife’s edge, if Oxygen continue as they ended the Summer Grand Prix, they are the team that could take down Renault Vitality.

FC Barcelona

Is Itachi here to stay?

Prediction: Tied third

Itachi made a statement at the Summer Grand Prix, where FCB placed third overall, but this is not a roster I see winning Regionals or The Grid. Barcelona is precisely the type of team I see knocking Team Liquid’s confidence, and on that basis alone, I think they can make the top four this event.

RLCS X

Team BDS

The honeymoon is over, but has the form gone too?

Prediction: Tied third

Consecutive high playoff placements have convinced me that BDS is part of the Big Four. Still, I am not confident enough after their loss to FC Barcelona that they can repeat their debut performance at The Eurocup. BDS will need to avoid giving away easy wins to their opposition to ensure they don’t get seeded into some top teams going forward.

Guild Esports

New org, new look, same form?

Prediction: Tied fifth

ThO, noly and Scrub Killa surprised everyone by topping Group B at the Summer Grand Prix, and although they suffered the same fate as Team Liquid, this was an overperformance in my point of view. I believe that the Guild can secure a playoffs spot, but I would not be surprised if they make it a little further.

Libertas

Is this the new face of Dutch Rocket League?

Prediction: Tied fifth

Rix_Ronday has maintained his form beautifully this off-season, and now Libertas is looking like the hottest team that will not automatically qualify to each Regional. One could be persuaded that this is the best team in the Netherlands, although some other teams might have something to say about that.

Dignitas

Hello, anyone home?

Prediction: Tied fifth

They’ve been trending downwards since Spring Series, but I have faith that Dignitas will be able to set aside at least some of their woes for Regional 1. A crucial factor in this new format is that Dignitas is not a team that is known for losing games against significantly worse teams; that alone should enable them to at least dominate Swiss Stage 1.

Vodafone Giants

Are the Giants still sleeping?

Prediction: Tied ninth (2-3 in Swiss Stage 2)

This was supposed to be the next big Spanish team in Rocket League, but there was something unsettling about the Vodafone Giants’ performance at the Summer Grand Prix. The roster was seeded seventh and should have had the most leisurely run to the main event, but instead, they placed tied eleventh, losing to minnows Monkeys in the lower bracket. This and a lack of any other convincing recent performances has led me to believe they will barely fail to make playoffs.

Chalked

Have the old dogs got enough new tricks?

Prediction: Tied twelfth (1-3 in Swiss Stage 2)

The tenacity of remkoe, Mognus and al0t is admirable, and a decent closed qualifier performance suggests that the oldest team in The Grid (averaging an age of 23) has at least a shot in Swiss Stage 2. Don’t expect too many upsets from Chalked though, and the trio have hardly made a dent in the off-season.

Triple Trouble

Will taking a chance on Calix prove costly?

Prediction: Tied twenty-third (1-3 in Swiss Stage 1)

I was stunned when Triple Trouble (TT) dropped Rix_Ronday after Season 9 of the RLRS; he was by far their best player. The only player I could see them trying to get was Kash in an attempt to create some sort of British behemoth. Instead, they trialled eekso and Calix and will be sticking with the latter going forward despite not even getting close to qualifying for The Eurocup. Sorry TT fans, but I can’t see this roster getting out of Swiss Stage 1.

Looking further down

Top Blokes, Solary, Endpoint, Fadeaway, Monkeys and Team Singularity, are the other teams I expect to survive Swiss Stage 1 this week, but there are fifteen teams eager to cause an upset which I haven’t even touched upon yet.
 

Don’t forget to watch Regional 1 all next week on the Rocket League official channel and the ELEAGUE stream. I’ll be back soon to tell you why my predictions are right, but in the meantime, stay tuned at GGRecon for more Rocket League esports news.
 

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