The Giants have already shown they dare to be creative on the field, with itachi as the perfect midfielder.
Every week, GGRecon highlights one team performing well in the past week, and gives context to their performance. This week, we look at the history, recent result, and expectations of Giants Gaming.
Giants Gaming is currently fourth in the European ranking for RLCS Season X, well within the top six necessary to qualify for Worlds. With a recent roster change, they’re hoping to stay near the top, or become more competitive than ever.
History: A Spanish Story
The Spanish synergy between Marc "Stake" Bosch and Samuel "Zamué" Cortés has been going strong since their days at RCD Espanyol, who acquired them their team called Yikers. They teamed up with the German player Damian "Tox" Schäfer, who also masters the Spanish language. The trio played through Season 9 of the Rival Series and finished the season in second place. When RCD Espanyol left the Rocket League esports scene, the players were orgless for a while. They played under Stonkers and Canyons before Stake, Zamué, Tox, substitute Ibrahim "Wolf." Ben, and coach Francisco "Arleyobi" González got picked up by Giants Gaming.
The roster was the perfect pickup for the Vodafone Giants. The Giants are a prominent organisation in the Spanish gaming scene, so the Spanish-speaking team fit well in their portfolio. The organisation saw the potential, and the team delivered. Even though big teams like BDS and Vitality sometimes took away the spotlight from the Giants, they kept showing up near the top. In the First Regional Event of the Fall Split, Giants Gaming fell in the quarterfinals to the eventual winners, BDS. They even managed to win two weeks of The Grid.
Recent Results: Introducing Itachi
For the Winter Split, Giants Gaming decided to mix things up. Issues around Tox meant he got kicked off the team. They needed a replacement of the same level, which came from another Spanish organisation: FC Barcelona. Barça had just dropped their roster, and the team was splitting up. The Giants got the youngest, perhaps most talented player from the ex-Barça squad by picking up Amine "itachi" Benayachi.
Itachi had already proven he was RLCS material in 2017, when his team managed to qualify for Season 3. However, itachi lived in Morocco then, which disqualified him and his team from the RLCS. That didn’t stop the young prodigy from improving and getting ready to shine in the RLCS. His time finally came earlier this year when he moved to France and played for Barça in Rocket Baguette’s Summer Gran Prix. A third-place there and plenty of top-eight and top-four finishes in the Fall Split cemented itachi’s place in the RLCS.
Expectations: Winning This Winter
It’s hard to say whether itachi coming in for Tox was an upgrade. Having played in only one Regional Event so far, itachi and the rest of Giants Gaming still have a lot to prove. The team wasn’t playing bad before - except for slipping up in the third Fall Regional. But the First Regional Event of the Winter Split showed significant synergy from the Giants, which resulted in a great run through the bracket.
A fresh team, now without Tox, can kickstart the new roster into a flourishing honeymoon period. The Giants have already shown they dare to be creative on the field, with itachi as the perfect midfielder. He brings more offensive depth to the Spanish team than before. It makes for exhilarating Rocket League matches to watch. The Giants showed what they’re capable of in the Losers’ Semifinals of the first Regional Event this winter versus Top Blokes. With high-quality offence and defence, an overtime of almost 8 minutes, and the series going all the way to game 7, this was one of the best series of the Regional - definitively the best series the Giants played with itachi. If you missed it, we recommend you watch it back.
With the renewed energy they demonstrated on the field, and by beating their rivals Top Blokes, the Giants are looking like a solid team in the top three of Europe. The Spanish community can be proud and excited about the future of Giants Gaming.
Images via Giants Gaming