Here’s what to look out for as the Fall Split reaches its conclusion.
After over two months of gripping Regional and Grid action, the first-ever split of the revamped RLCS is almost over. South America, Europe, and North America’s top eight sides are set to battle it out this weekend for crucial RLCS points and their share of $225,000. Following last weekend’s swiss stage, let’s take a look at Europe’s storylines for the playoffs of the Fall Major.
Will BDS reclaim their crown?
Team BDS were on top of the European RLCS. Having won two Regionals and two Grid titles, the French/Spanish trio was undoubtedly the best in the region. However, their dominance started to crumble when Renault Vitality recovered from some disappointing losses earlier in the split to take down their rivals in Regional 3, closing the gap at the top of the standings to 151 points. Vitality winning the Major will see them overtake the Rival Series promotees and cement their position back on top.
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But that won’t come easy. BDS cruised through the swiss stage last Saturday, beating Triple Trouble, FC Barcelona, and Vodafone Giants without losing a single game. Yes, that means they swept three of Europe’s best teams without breaking a sweat. In fact, BDS conceded just 1.33 goals per game, the second-lowest in the entire swiss stage, and earned 188 more points-per-game than their closest rivals Vitality. All three BDS players placed in the top five for points-per-game (MaRc_By_8. at #1, M0nkey M00n at #2, and Extra at #5). It was a dominant stat sheet for a dominant side that put the Swiss organisation on what looks like the easier side of the bracket. With Top Blokes, Vitality, and Giants all unplayable until the grand final, this could be BDS’ chance to secure a substantial lead at the top of Europe after just one split.
Can Top Blokes get their revenge?
Everything was looking so good for Top Blokes in the third Regional, with Kassio and co. cruising through the two swiss stages until a rampant Endpoint side crushed their dreams and handed them their worst finish out of the three events so far. The British organisation managed to shut down Top Blokes’ signature passing plays thanks to their 3.5 demolitions per game and a far-superior shooting percentage (27.59% compared to 14.81% for TB). The former Veloce Esports side now has a chance to get their revenge. With Vitality or Vodafone Giants waiting in the semis, another upset defeat would be devastating for a trio looking to prove that they belong in Europe’s all-important top six spots.
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Could Galaxy Racer pull off the upset run?
Monkeys started this season with a bit of a whimper. A couple of playoff runs in The Grid and barely missing out on top eight in both Regional events was pretty much where everyone expected the former Notorious Legion roster to be at this point in the calendar. However, dropping Tahz in favour of substitute arju and signing with Emirati organisation Galaxy Racer has catapulted Mittaen and eekso up the standings. Multiple deep Grid runs, and a top-eight finish in the third Regional has given fans of this roster hope that they have what it takes to conjure up another deep run. Much like BDS, Galaxy Racer like to sit behind the ball, with BDS and Vitality being the only teams to spend more time behind the ball in the swiss stage. But once they find an opportunity, you know they’re going to pounce. eekso’s strong 31% shooting percentage has pushed him up to be the region’s third-best goalscorer at 1.12 goals per game. Additionally, their defensive BDS-like approach has placed them at third-lowest for goals conceded despite their mid-table shots conceded ranking. Could they pull off the upset run? Absolutely. Galaxy Racer have proven that they’re a force to be reckoned with and should be doubted at their opponent's peril.
Saturday’s single elimination bracket is set to be a huge afternoon for European Rocket League. What could prove to be a crucial evening once the World Championship rolls around will have all eight teams scrambling to pick up as many points as possible.
Stay tuned to GGRecon for all of your RLCS X content needs ahead of what looks like it’ll be an incredible weekend of Rocket League.
Images via Zeebo