Underdogs looked strong in NA, while an old friend in EU pulled off the impossible.

19:00, 18 Jan 2021

Well, that was quite the interesting weekend. Reader beware, however, that it would take a long time to watch all of these series. Game 7's everywhere, a bracket reset - this weekend had it all!

Let's look at the five best matches of the weekend.
 

5) North America The Grid Quarterfinals - G2 Esports vs The Peeps

The Peeps have been on the rise lately, but not many had them tagged to take home their first Grid trophy. After making the semi-finals last time around, they were finally able to pull it out and take home first place. Of course, that wouldn't have been possible if they weren't able to get by a dangerous G2 squad. G2 had just taken down EUnited with ease, and they took the first two games off The Peeps. Although it was a 2-0 deficit for the Peeps, the fact that they only lost the second game after five minutes was a sign of things to come.

Another two overtimes followed, but this time, it was The Peeps who took the victory. On the verge of the reverse sweep, The Peeps made a statement and kept a clean sheet. On their way to finals, The Peeps defence wouldn't keep a clean sheet very often, but it was timely when they did.

4) North America The Grid Semifinals - Team Envy vs Version1

Version1 have been much improved this split, as they are currently sitting four spots higher than their finish in the Fall Grid, and seven spots higher in Circuit points. It is this type of matchup against Envy that they wouldn't have had much of a chance in back in the Fall, but they have been forcing the teams in the top five to respect them more and more. 

It started off well for Version1 as they jumped out to a 2-1 lead over Envy, but the quality of Envy's defence would win out in the long run. Out of the seven games, Version1 only managed to score more than a single goal in two matches. In the sixth game, Envy were able to force a final game seven by winning 1-0 in overtime. The ability to pull out wins like that is so key in making finals runs. Your offence might not always be on fire, so being able to shut down the opponent is so important.

3) North America The Grid Semifinals - Rogue vs The Peeps

In their very next series after beating G2, The Peeps started hot by taking the first two games with score lines of 4-2 and 3-1. They looked a level above Rogue, but things got sketchy as Rogue kept The Peeps from scoring in three of the next four games. The Peeps were able to secure a spot in the finals when they won in Game 7 overtime after failing to score in the previous two matches. The Peep's trophy run might not have been clean, but it was certainly exciting. The wildest part of this series is that they were able to win despite failing to score in three of the seven games. It's crazy to think that Rogue didn't win a single game when they conceded. 

2) European Regional Loser's Semifinals - Oxygen Esports vs Dignitas

This felt like a throwback to a few seasons ago when Thibault "Chausette45" Grzesiak and PSG would compete against Jos "ViolentPanda" van Meurs' Dignitas squad. Under a new banner, now, Chaussete45 and crew brought back that same competition when PSG was considered one of the best in Europe. But Dignitas wouldn't let Oxygen off so easily as they outscored Oxygen by six goals to one over the first two games. 

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With Dignitas already establishing a firm lead, Oxygen would completely flip the tables. From being outscored 1-6, Oxygen would then stop Dignitas from scoring at all for over three full games. It might have taken Oxygen those first two games to figure it out, but it looked like they had Dignitas' number.

Games 6 and 7 came down to the wire, both ending 3-2 in Dignitas' favour. As exciting, and back and forth, as the series was, it came down to an overtime for both teams to come up clutch. It was Dignitas in the end, but Oxygen are another team that has improved their standing significantly this split.

1) European Regional Grand Finals - Giants Gaming vs Team BDS

This series felt like the "Avengers: Endgame" of Rocket League as these teams would push each other to a series lasting well over an hour. It would end up tying the longest series of all time as it went to thirteen games. Not only was the length of the series incredible, but Team BDS coming out with the bracket reset victory was the first since 2018. 

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The Giants added Amine "itachi" Benayachi for the Winter Split, and it has paid off as they have consistently put up strong results. They rank second in both the Winter Grid and Circuit Points for this split, and this matchup was the epitome of their rise to an elite team in EU. 

This series saw eight overtimes, which perfectly symbolises how close this series was. Out of thirteen games, only one game was decided by more than a one-goal difference. Team BDS was able to put up quality possession throughout the series, but the Giants were so dangerous with their chances, that it hardly mattered that they spent a little more time in their own half. As great as Team BDS is, it is obvious that the Giants are a threat. As other teams in the top five falter when trying to keep up with Team BDS' pace, it will be interesting to see if the Giants can put up another run in the major. 

 

Images via @TeamBDS | @RLEsports

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