A quick, below-average result would be far less painful than realising that Team Liquid got reverse swept by Monkeys on Sunday morning.

17:30, 05 Aug 2020

While I make arrangements for a 1984 style rewriting of my Regional 1 predictions (a la newspeak), here’s a set of somewhat better-informed storylines as we head into Europe’s first week of The Grid.

FC Barcelona

What about the top teams?

Prediction: Tied third

Deevo, Ronaky and itachi tore through their Swiss group on Saturday night. Still, with only wins against former Rival Series or bubble teams, I don’t have any better a read on how Barcelona are going to perform on Thursday night. My best guess is that they will progress through the upper bracket of their group, win their first playoffs game against the likes of Guild Esports then fall to Oxygen Esports, Team BDS or Renault Vitality.

Dignitas

Welcome back?

Prediction: Tied fifth

Despite having nearly the same quality run as FC Barcelona, Dignitas’ performance has filled me with confidence that the Dutch team has a bright future in RLCS X. That being said, my gut says that Dignitas is not yet ready to take down the best teams in the region - first or second in their group but losing in round one in playoffs seems most likely.

Team Liquid

Can we not talk about this?

Prediction: Tied ninth

Please don’t get my hopes up again. A quick, below-average result would be far less painful than realising that Team Liquid was reverse swept by Monkeys on Sunday morning. More seriously, Team Liquid is slumping, something happened between the group stage and playoffs of the Summer Grand Prix and it’s going to take a coach some time before Liquid’s issues are resolved. I shouldn’t predict a top-eight finish given Liquid’s Regional One performance, and I'm not going to.

Oxygen Esports

What even is consistency?

Prediction: First

Oxygen has been up and down more often than your average see-saw, but I think I’ve spotted a pattern. Spring Series was a disaster, FUSION was strong (at least in 3v3), they hardly showed up to The Eurocup, reached second in the Summer Grand Prix and crashed out of Regional 1. This should be Oxygen’s time to shine, barring any interruptions from their fellow Frenchmen.

Renault Vitality

Is this good form or the Vitality norm?

Prediction: Second

Another week, another collection of match wins for the bees across both Regional One and The Field. Everyone has come to expect big things from Vitality, and top two is a low estimate based only on Oxygen Esports’ “trend”. A fall from grace is possible though and has been witnessed before in Cloud9.

Guild Esports

Will a poor Regional performance knock Guild’s confidence?

Prediction: Tied fifth

The team chemistry at Guild is strong, but overcoming painful losses to Team BDS and Giants Gaming, and almost choking a 2-0 start in Regional One will prove difficult. Gregan’s interview after Guild’s victory over Endpoint suggests the infrastructure is there, but reaching top four is going to take a Super-Saiyan performance from Scrub Killa and noly...

Top Blokes

If a monocle guarantees sweeps, where can I get one?

Prediction: Tied fifth

With Team Liquid and Libertas falling from grace, new teams should rise into the top eight for The Grid. One of the teams I expect to achieve this is the Top Blokes. They quickly dealt with all their rivals on Saturday night which puts them in good standing to escape a group with similarly ranked teams on Thursday.

Team BDS

Prediction: Tied third

Nothing indicative has really occurred for BDS since last week, a clean win over Guild Esports was good to see. Still, I’d need to see some wins over Team Vitality or Oxygen Esports before raising my expectations of this French roster.

Vodafone Giants

Could you do that again?

Prediction: Tied fifth

Nordavind DNB - bankrupted. Oxygen - condensed. Guild - disbanded. The Giants were playing the role of David frequently on Sunday night but won those three games on the bounce to finish the night 3-1. If only one team exceeds my predictions, it will be the Giants, but I’d need to see more wins against BDS, Vitality and Oxygen before putting a top-four prediction in writing.

This leaves Solary, Endpoint, Chalked, Monkeys, Libertas, Triple Trouble, Team Singularity and Team Liquid outside the top eight. As I said before, Team Liquid should win at least one game on Thursday, and I expect Endpoint, Team Singularity and Solary to do the same.

Chalked, Monkeys, Libertas and Triple Trouble should place in the bottom four. Libertas was disappointing at the weekend despite having a challenging route, Chalked seems to be playing for fun, Triple Trouble does not look convincing, and I don’t think Monkeys could take a series against one of the top 12 teams, perhaps with the exception of Libertas (and Liquid if you follow the weekend’s results literally).

The Grid EU kicks off at 6pm BST on Thursday 6th August with broadcasts from most teams, but until then, stick around for more Rocket League esports content at GGRecon.
 

Images via ZeeboDesigns

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