Alpha Sydney were instrumental in Oceania's growth, and Sandrock Gaming can do just that for Asia.
NA and EU are the shining ornaments on the Rocket League mantelpiece, attracting viewers and fans from all around the globe. On the fireplace are OCE and SAM, not quite mantelpiece worthy but on the occasions when the fire is roaring, they certainly illuminate. However, tucked away in the back of the bookcase, the Asian region is gathering dust. If you listen closely though, there is one book causing quite a rattle, deserving a more prominent surface. Sandrock Gaming needs an RLCS, and they could very well be the Alpha Sydney of the Asian scene that will allow the region to radiate and cement themselves on the fireplace.
Jake ‘Jake’ Edwards, Matthew ‘Drippay’ Den-Kaat and Daniel ‘Torsos’ Parsons joined the Australian side Alpha Sydney on the 27th of October 2016, when the OCE scene had barely begun. Up to this date we had seen just one notable tournament in Australia, with a $4,500 prize pool for the official Rocket League Oceanic Championships Season 1 (and Season 1 was as far as it went). Immediately the trio clicked and began competing in any event that Australia would host, and in competitions such as the Sennheiser Classic, it was clear that they were instantly head and shoulders above their opponents. It was sides like Alpha Sydney that were excelling enough for Australia to host their first-ever LAN competition; the Throwdown: OCE finals were held in Sydney, with four teams competing for the $9,000 prize pool.
Beating Just a Minute Gaming 4-3 in the finals of the first Throwdown LAN event, Alpha Sydney were crowned champions and were solidified as the best team in Oceania.
“The throwdown LAN tournaments were a great way for us to improve as a team, as competing at a LAN is something you really can't practice at home. The many tournaments run early was great for the scene to compete and have high motivation to win.” – Jake ‘Jake' Edwards speaking to GGRecon.
Throwdown became an integral part of the growth of the Oceanic scene, and it was the first LAN event which encouraged Psyonix to create an RLCS for OCE, running alongside the NA and EU Season 3. Throwdown Series 2 became a league format, with the top four going head-to-head in the finals for two places in the World Finals. This was the motivation for Alpha Sydney to sustain themselves as the leading side in Oceania and put the region on the map.
Alpha Sydney would go on to finish 7th-8th place in the world, beating Denial Esports of North America in the process. It was their LAN experience and outstanding mechanics that were propelling them to household status within the Rocket League Esports globe.
“Competing overseas was an invaluable experience which made us as a team improve significantly. Having a goal of reaching RLCS certainly motivated us, so I'm sure it motivated the rest of the region” - Jake
Jake, Drippay and Torsos would soon end up leaving Alpha Sydney and be picked up by Chiefs Esports Club where they would go on to win back-to-back Throwdown events earning themselves a place in the Season 4 and 5 World finals, the latter being arguably Jake’s best achievement as a player. Beating Evil Geniuses and Team Envy, Chiefs Esports club finished 5th-6th in the World, earning $10,000. A happy ending in Jakes competitive career, retiring shortly after.
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Drippay and Torsos would proceed to pick up Kamii where the trio would advance to the semi-finals of the RLCS World Championships, only narrowly defeated by eventual champions Cloud9. Chiefs Esports team had grown from an online Australian side to world title contenders in stunning fashion, being able to beat the leading teams in the world, despite not competing against them consistently. RLCS OCE was a respected competition featuring a great side, which undoubtedly brought the best out of their Oceanic opponents.
Sandrock gaming could very well be the side to do this for the Asian region.
“I think OCE's chance to compete at RLCS early on was the main reason for the region’s growth. It's a shame to not see Asia at RLCS as there are some very skilled players in the region. Hopefully in the future they get the chance.” - Jake
The Sandrock Gaming roster, previously the Osh-Tekk Warriors, of Ahmad, oKhaliD and SENZO, first began competing in the Middle Eastern competitions, before entering the Asia Pro League in Season 3. The trio quickly became a success within the region, winning the Season 3 finals in April 2019. In more recent times, Sandrock has become the leading face of Asian Rocket League, competing in online events in EU, and proving their worth. Finishing second in the European Invitational and third in Fusion EU, Sandrock have put themselves in the limelight, especially with oKhaliD’s solo performances who coincidently is currently ranked number one in the world in 1’s.
Proving that they can mix with Europe’s top sides, they have yet to play in a LAN event. An introduction of this could only improve them, and the region as a whole, and could be the catalyst for an RLCS Asia. Sandrock has shown that they are good enough, and could Asia’s equivalent of Chief Esports.
“We were against SRG a couple of times. They became a new inspiration for us. I'm glad to see them active. I think we will [play] against them in the future at internationals.” - ReaLize speaking to GGRecon back in May.
As a team Sandrock Gaming has become an inspiration for other Asian teams, it can only be a matter of time before we see either Asian LAN events or an RLCS, if they continue pushing the boundaries as Chiefs Esports did.
Stay tuned at GGRecon for more Rocket League exclusives and news.
Image via World Showdown of Esports | Facebook