Nobody expected them to pull off a win against a contender for best team in the world.

18:30, 24 Nov 2020

Every week, GGRecon highlights one team performing well, and gives context to their performance. This week, we look at the history, recent results, and expectations of Version1.

Version1 comes into the Winter Split with a fresh roster, consisting of Kyle "Torment" Storer, Jesus "gimmick" Parra, and Robert "Comm" Kyser. With a lot of experience behind them, they’re trying to improve as a team and show us what they’re capable of.

History: Cloud9 crashes

If you’ve followed NA Rocket League for a while now, you’ve certainly heard of the legendary roster of Cloud9. Mariano "SquishyMuffinz" Arruda, Torment, and Gimmick had just won Dreamhack Atlanta in July 2017 when one of the biggest esports organisations of North America picked them up. The next chance they had, in RLCS Season 4, they showed that their in at Dreamhack wasn’t a fluke. They won the Rocket League Invitational from Northern Arena and secured a third-place at Worlds that season.

They went on to be the crowd favourites at multiple North American LANs, and managed to make it into the top four at four RLCS World Championships in a row. For four consecutive seasons, Cloud9 was always a force to be reckoned with. Their peak came in Season 6. They lost the first match at the World Championships, but made the ultimate lower bracket run, all the way to the finals, where they beat the seemingly invincible Team Dignitas.

But all good things come to an end, and for the reign of Cloud9, that was in Season 8. They fell off harder than everyone expected. At the end of the season, they had to fight against demotion from the RLCS in the Promotion Tournament. They made it out of that tournament and into Season 9, but for the first time in forever, they weren’t at the top. Season 9 saw Cloud9 place sixth in NA. A lot better than the previous season, but it showed that the roster was no longer in their prime.

After Season 9, the organisation of Cloud 9 felt that Rocket League esports was no longer worth their time and money, and they released their roster on June 10. According to Cloud9, this didn’t have so much to do with the disappointing results from the team, but mainly with the lack of communication and cooperation from Psyonix, the developers of Rocket League who run the RLCS. As soon as the players got released, SquishyMuffinz replaced Pierre "Turbopolsa" Silfver on NRG, and Torment and Gimmick continue with Jayson "Fireburner" Nunez under the name Rat Enterprises. Fireburner was their coach on Cloud9, but and continued being their coach when Alexandre "AxB" Bellemare joined the roster, and the team gets a new organisation.

Recent Results: Slaying Spacestation

That new organisation was Version1. The fresh team of veterans got new chances in RLCS Season X, where they played in The Grid and every Regional Event during the Fall Split. Their results, however, probably weren’t what they had hoped for. A few top-eight performances and one top-four finish during The Grid was all they got. To be fair to Version1, the competition had just reached new heights, so it is harder than ever before to be a top team. Version1 ended the Fall Split in 18th place.

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With a roster chance before the Winter Split, they look to make a change that will help them improve. And from what we can see, it might have worked. AxB left Version1 during the trade window, and Comm gets a chance to play with one of the longest standing duos in Rocket League.

The first week of The Grid this winter wasn’t the start the team wanted, only winning one series against BoSF. But the first Regional Event is looking much better already. After sweeping Continuum in the first round, they had to beat Spacestation Gaming in the second round to stay in the upper bracket. Nobody expected them to pull off a win against a contender for best team in the world. But they took SSG to game 5 and beat them in overtime.

Expectations: Finally in form

Version1’s win versus Spacestation Gaming got them into the Winners’ Quarterfinals for this Regional Event, and their next team to beat is Rogue. By still being in the upper bracket, they can afford to lose once and still have a chance. It’s going to be tricky for a roster who have only been together for three weeks. Just one win over a top team isn’t nearly enough to say how far they can go, but it will give them the confidence to continue their run as far as they can.

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Image via Version1

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