With both OCE and SAM restarting their RLCS schedules this weekend, this week's Round-The-World Recap is more of a Preview.
With the holiday break now over for all four RLCS regions, the lengthy season restarts this weekend with every region other than North America back in action. South America returns with its first Prime Series of Phase 2, and Oceania's third Winter Regional follows this morning's return of RLO Masters. Let's break it all down in the return of the Round-The-World Recap. Well, Round-The-World Preview, I guess.
Upsets galore in the Masters
Although Oceania's top sides started off strongly in 2021's opening RLO Masters, things very quickly flew off the rails as none of the region's top four RLCS sides reached this week's semifinals. Cringe Society were the first to drop, falling in five games to both Dire Wolves and a Forbidden Gaming side playing with a new signing (and popular freestyler) "Evample" for the first time. Renegades and Ground Zero Gaming both cruised into the quarterfinals, dropping just two games between them during the group stage, whereas Mindfreak had a slightly tougher time when they were swept down to the lower bracket by Canberra Havoc. A narrow victory over Team Process meant that three of the top four made it to the playoffs. But all three would soon fall.
Solicit edged out Ground Zero with a reverse sweep, Team Fenrir held off Renegades in a five-game win, and Dire Wolves continued their hot streak with a four-game victory over Mindfreak as the upsets continued. After reaching the grand finals, Dire Wolves and Solicit played out an incredible three-minute game-seven overtime, which Dire Wolves would ultimately win to take home three games in a row, winning the tournament and $150.
Oceania's Regional 2: Will the top four fall again?
Having all fallen short once already this week, questions could be raised as to whether a shakeup at the top of OCE is finally occurring. With Dire Wolves, Solicit, Team Fenrir, and Canberra Havoc all securing invites (as well as Mindfreak, Cringe Society, Ground Zero, and Renegades) thanks to their RLCS performances last year, now could be the turning point for the Oceanic rankings to finally tighten up.
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SAM Circuit Phase 2: Could anyone catch up?
Right now, it seems an easy choice to predict True Neutral and Novus Aevi (the former Ellevens Esports roster) to secure South America's two World Championship spots. After all, the two sides meet in almost every grand final and are currently both at least 491 points ahead of third-placed Three Sins. The restart of play after the holiday period has come after an org split for Novus Aevi, as the Brazillian side departed the Gareth Bale-owned org. However, the question remains - can anyone dethrone the big two? The Three Sins, Chromax, Noble esports, and PDHM Gaming are the next four teams in the RLCS standings, but the gap seems too large to overcome, and it'll take a monumental collapse for either of the top two sides to lose their spots.
That's it for this week's Round-The-World Recap-Preview hybrid. We'll be back next week recapping every event that happens in the RLCS' two smaller regions - in the meantime, stay tuned to GGRecon for more RLCS X content!
Images via DreamHack