As we enter a long off-season, it’s time to rank the best players in NA.
With the ninth season of RLCS well in our rearview mirror, Astronaut Star Circuit Finals & Spring Series establishing G2 as top dogs in the region, and Spacestation‘s success in The Brawl invitational, it’s fair to say the pecking order of NA has received quite the shakeup, not only among teams but how individual players compare as well.
Join us in counting down the ten best players in North American Rocket League Esports (as of May 7th 2020).
#10 - Shock - Susquehanna Soniqs
Never has a league play MVP been so difficult to place but Shock sure is. Don’t let this ranking be a discredit to his MVP status, fully warranted due to coming up in the clutch an absurd number of times with some of the lowest boost usage in the league. All he needs is an inch to cause damage visible for miles on end as the Soniqs went from expected relegation candidates to nearly coming 2nd in league play. However, league play is all there is to mention for Shock. His effective absence in the regional championship & Spring Series means his sole league play accolade can only carry so much weight, and while he’s still the win condition for Susquehanna, his relative cooling in recent events has him just at ten here.
#9 - AxB - Spacestation Gaming
AxB, like Shock had a league play showing that far exceeded anyone’s expectations, shooting out of his skin as he led the goalscoring for SSG’s run to topping RLCS league play. Now there’s no dancing around the fact they’d got crushed by G2 in the regional finals, but AxB was on hand to help secure a comfortable win over Ghost to at least make the regional finals. Spring Series & Astronauts weren’t the greatest showings, although he has seems fine returning to a playmaking role to let his teammates clean up goals like at the season eight finals in Madrid. In a time of parity for 2nd best in NA, AxB has been a dependable consistent asset in midfield and attack for an extended period of time, making him our number nine.
#8 - Firstkiller - Rogue
What a rapid rise up the ranks for Firstkiller. Expectations were high for the debut RLCS season of the “NA Scrubkilla”, and while he didn’t hit the ground running, he provided a much-needed presence in the backline, all while flexing his mechanical prowess to contribute on the attack, doing the most work when combining saves and goals. However, in recent events, he has come leaps and bounds, really living up to the hype. A byproduct of being behind the ball often is paired with 100 boost, he can make magic happen, air dribble and double taps off the ground make him a terror for opposing defenders to deal with, if Turinturo hasn’t scored already that is. Say what you will about his attitude, but Firstkiller is growing into a superstar calibre player that might just live up to the hype.
#7 - Mist - Envy
On track to become the next Torment, Mist is seldom a flashy or standout player but is the pillar of consistency for Envy’s new Rocket League roster. While he left Pittsburgh Knights to pursue more freedom on offence, if needs be, he can be trusted to bail Envy out on defence, all while beginning to show off his talents when it comes to scoring and creating goals. If he were to transition back to 3rd man, he’d be an upgrade for a majority of RLCS sides, NA or EU, however, even in his non-optimum role he seldom has a bad series, which on its own warrants credit more than many a player with great stats. Still only sixteen years old, Mist is set for a successful future.
#6 - Chicago - G2 Esports
Chicago’s ascent to the pinnacle of NA has been more gradual, yet he is now convincingly one of the top strikers in the region. The more he plays, the more accurate his shooting gets. We all know he can do his thing off the ceiling or above the crossbar, but an important facet of goalscoring is making little work of the easy shots, as sometimes the ugly goals prove most valuable, and its now something Chicago has no struggles with. Combined with his excellent communication and the ability to even be the star player on a team if Cloud2 is anything to go by, Chicago can now rightfully be called an elite player.
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#5 - Retals - Pittsburgh Knights
Any doubts that Retals was carried to a Dreamhack championship by the Explosiveness of Gyro, or the consistency of Mist have been laid to rest in the first half of 2020. Retals talks a big game off the pitch, and plays an even bigger one on it, it’s often overlooked he was 3rd in the MVP voting for RLCS season eight NA, only behind Jstn & Sypical. He’s probably the most aggressive minded player on this list, perhaps even a ballchaser, but who can blame him when he hits clips for fun. Even if AyyJayy or Gyro are having an off day, you can be guaranteed Slater is causing chaos with demos, stealing boost are just scoring goals by the bucketload.
#4 - Rizzo - G2 Esports
Calls of MVP Rizzo may have started as a joke, but the last few tournaments have seen a veteran of the scene hit career-best form. We all know how capable his teammates are at scoring goals, yet Rizzo still makes his presence known, no longer being rooted at the bottom of goal participation as he grows more and more into G2’s offensive rotation. As the player often last back, he has become someone dependable as the last line of defence, on hand to near always make the correct touch, all while being deceptively speedy to the ball. Rizzo is the dictionary definition of a support player in Rocket League right now and is legitimately one of NA’s finest in the game.
#3 - JSTN. - NRG Esports
NRG have had quite the hangover from the world championship success, Turbopolsa & GarrettG aren’t even featured on this list. Jstn has also for once, actually been in a slump, but we all know a slump for jstn is a terrifying amount of skill for anyone else. It is no exaggeration to say NRG would be royally screwed without him, as he still looks like a player that won a world title. While not as frequent as 2019, he still posses an ability to change the tone of a match at will. The quiet series have upped in frequency but he’s still putting up crazy numbers on the balance of things. Unlike his teammates, he still posses that fear factor that will make opponents back down from a challenge, which is why jstn still deserves to be talked about as one of the best in the world.
#2 - Jknaps - G2 Esports
For the longest time, Jknaps abilities were spoken about in the past tense. A player capable fo consistent good moments, but not greatness apart from a couple of brief returns to old form at the season seven world championship and the relegation tournament. Yet in 2020, its been nothing but high-level showings from Canada’s finest. Week in week out, Jknaps is arguably the most feared striker in Rocket League, and that’s not even the scariest part. Not only has he not needed to ascend to his famed LAN winning Knapsack level of play that rivals the highest peaks in all of Rocket League, in large part thanks to G2’s current level of play across the board, but he’s also now leading assists per games in RLCS, playing provider just as good as playing scorer. Overall, being thrice an MVP runner up and one of the greatest players to not have an RLCS championship even not at his peak makes Jknaps a worthy silver medalist.
#1 - Sypical - Spacestation Gaming
Since his entry into RLCS, Sypical has been in, around or on the top, winning league play MVP in only his second season in RLCS, with his transition to 3rd man in SSG’s rotation being the catalyst to make them and Sypical himself feared on the pitch. Since then, he has shown to be one of the most complete players in the game. Can he score goals? 0.77 goals per game over a seven month period from RLCS season eight to the recently concluded Spring Series would say so. Like Jknaps he can also play provider, taking a backseat to AxB’s standout striking season, only coming 2nd in that accolade to the aforementioned Jknaps. All the while, he’s led in saves per game for SSG at all events bar one, and was even close to a saviour of the season accolade.
Quite literally, while numbers aren’t everything, the only player to put such absurd numbers over such a long stretch in recent memory is Jstn, who by coincidence was the only player to out-perform Sypical stats-wise at the season eight finals in Madrid, proving Sypical isn’t just a lucky onliner. But while Jstn has somehow slowed down in recent months, Sypical has cranked it up in spite of underperforming teammates at times, leading in goals, assists AND saves for SSG in the Spring Series in what could only be described as a hard carry comparable to peak Jknaps. So combined with being gifted at every aspect of the game all while simultaneously being the most valuable player for any top-five team in the world right now, it is not bold to say that Sypical is now the best player in North America.
Images via ZeeboDesigns