Praise be to the hard carries of the Rocket League esports scene!
The Winter Split has arrived and for the next twelve weeks, I'm going to be tracking the nuttiest of plays and the top stats across the four regions of the RLCS.
This series of articles will put the spotlight on players who outperformed themselves and their teammates in each week that the Winter Split runs. It hasn’t been the easiest of choices this week, with Rogue’s Jason “Firstkiller” Corral barely missing the cut, and Euan “Tadpole” Ingram’s efforts for Triple Trouble going unrecognised because some of his peers had even stronger outings.
5. Reed “Chicago“ Wilen - G2 Esports
The Grid was G2 Esports’ first event back after the Fall Major and, as expected, they’ve re-established themselves as a tier-one team in North America. Both Chicago and Jacob “JKnaps” Knapman had brilliant performances but fell at the final hurdle against NRG Esports. A 29% shot to goal conversion rate was vital in their fight against a strong Team Envy side in the semifinals but securing one goal per game and placing fourth in terms of assists per game across the entire field were my main factors for inclusion in this weeks list.
4. Massimo “Atomic” Franceschi - Team Envy
If you thought Atomic was having a good time at WSOE, you were not ready for his performance in The Grid. He was first for goals per game (1.18) and was also a brilliant setup man (1.09 assists per game, second only to his teammate Turbopolsa).
It is also important to consider that this wasn’t against struggling teams by any means - Alpine Esports took a series off Spacestation Gaming in groups and the Kansas City Pioneers are fifth in our Power Rankings. Setting a high benchmark has cost Atomic in this list though, I’m looking for a strong relative performance, not somebody who can consistently perform with the backing of a consistent team!
3. Sergio “AtomiK” Pérez Cortés - Team Queso
When Magnifico decided to go for an all Spanish roster, I thought it was a sideways move with the only real benefit being faster communication. But when they reached the top six at the first Regional event of the split at the weekend, I was beyond impressed. AtomiK plays a key part in their ultra-aggressive style - for every ten shots the team took, four of them were AtomiK’s, and he scored well over a quarter of them (27%). Where his shots didn’t hit the mark or were deflected, they often generated enough pressure to open up opportunities for his teammates as well, he secured 0.73 assists per game and is certainly deserving of third place on my list.
2. Archie “Archie” Pickthall - Top Blokes
Just as it appeared that the Top Blokes were running out of steam, a new champion of the unsigned European team emerged, restoring them to fourth place in Regional 1. Archie’s top quality is being able to consistently pressure the other team, leading to an astronomical four shots per game. If the Regionals had awards in the same way past RLCS seasons did he would have been “Savior of the Regional”, with almost three saves per game on average. With a better setup, Archie could well have been in the top spot this week, but a poor shot to goal conversion rate (23%) means he will have to settle for second.
1. Justin “jstn” Morales - NRG Esports
Jstn was unquestionably the deciding factor in NRG’s “The Grid” victory. When the team we put second in our Power Rankings needed bailing out on defence, he was there - he was responsible for over 40% of his team’s saves and was the recipient of six “Savior” medals across his 21 games in the playoffs.
The youngest of NRG Esports’ starting trio has made leaps and bounds in other areas since WSOE Online as well, averaging one goal per game (up 0.15) and almost three and a half shots (up 0.48 from 3.00 at WSOE).
Congratulations jstn for becoming my first Standout Player of The Week!
Rocket League Championship Series action continues tomorrow night with The Grid EU Closed Qualifier, featuring AtomiK, the new FC Barcelona roster and others, from 5pm GMT.
For more RLCS X news, features and interviews, stay tuned at GGRecon!
Images via DreamHack | ZeeboDesigns