I expect Vitality to take the crown this time, but since I’m predicting it, that means it won’t happen. Congratulations on the free win in advance, Giants!
There’s nothing quite like a double bill of events to watch in your home region - Europe saw Top Blokes win The Grid Week 4 last Thursday, and then the region gave us the clown fiesta that was the RLCS X Fall EU Regional 2, especially in Group B, where lots of big names have already crashed out of the competition.
As I mentioned in the last edition of European Storylines, the action continues in both The Grid and the Regional this week. The Grid takes place first, so here’s a brief summary of the potential outcomes for this week:
If the Vodafone Giants place in the top 2 they will secure their The Grid spot for the Winter split. If either Renault Vitality or Oxygen Esports win this week, they will also secure their The Grid spot for next split. The number of points required to guarantee a spot has fallen 8 points to 693, while the minimum number of points a team requires to stand a chance of getting a spot has risen 10 points to 220. That’s right, Chalked can still retain their spot despite not having won a series so far.
Most eyes, however, will be on the Regional. Teams such as BDS are looking to extend their lead at the front, and the likes of Team Liquid and Libertas need to redeem themselves for terrible Regional 1 placements. The Grid teams Team Singularity, Oxygen Esports, Triple Trouble, and Dignitas were eliminated in Stage 1, while Chalked were eliminated in the Closed Qualifier. The outsiders who reached Stage 2 in their place are Fadeaway, who went 3-0 in Group B, VENC Gaming, Magnifico, Barrage Esports, and the relatively unknown Spanish side S2V Esports who reverse swept the Group B Swiss bracket.
- Read More - Rocket League Tournaments Set For Huge Overhaul
As usual, I’ve got Renault Vitality and the Vodafone Giants placing in the top two, and both sides have been dominating the European circuit - they are the winning teams in The Field and The Grid respectively. I expect Vitality to take the crown this time, but since I’m predicting it, that means it won’t happen. Congratulations on the free win in advance, Giants!
Placement: Tied fifth (tied fifth)
Prediction: Tied third
BDS seem to be scarily consistent in Regionals - they dropped only one series in Regional 1 and went 3-0 in Group A last weekend. That being said, with Renault Vitality and Giants Gaming consistently beating them in The Grid, I can’t see BDS reaching the finals without some bracket draw luck this time around.
Placement: First (tied thirteenth)
Prediction: Tied third
A twist of fate saw Top Blokes win The Grid Week 4 despite not having won a series since Week 1, and now the British side has progressed to Stage 2 of the regional. I think they have a decent shot at making playoffs, and going even further if they stop choking easy games (sorry VENC Gaming). Hats off to the Top Blokes for surviving what on the surface looks like a difficult Swiss bracket run though.
Placement (from The Grid Week 4, and last week’s prediction): Tied third (tied fifth)
Prediction (for Regional 2): Tied fifth
A best of seven sweep over Team Liquid was a huge statement from an Endpoint side that seemed to have ground to a halt in recent weeks, and the roster seemed to bring this momentum into Regional 2, where they went 2-0 before the mistakes of old seemed to start creeping back in. Fadeaway pulled off the reverse sweep, and Endpoint, with confidence knocked, lost their round four match in game five too, this time against Solary. ThO and company recovered to sweep Team Singularity, but I am not confident that Endpoint can make a real dent this weekend.
- Read More - All Of The RLCS X Rosters
Team Liquid and Solary both progressed from Group B with a 3-1 record, but of those two, I only expect Liquid to survive what I expect will be a long Saturday evening. Fadeaway impressed in Stage 1, but is my third pick for getting first-rounded on Sunday night, but this is a massive improvement on getting reverse swept in the swiss bracket in Regional 1. Lastly, FC Barcelona didn’t make a meal of The Grid Week 4 or their Swiss group on Saturday night, and therefore are also a likely candidate for top eight. They dropped a series against BDS but beat Barrage, Magnifico, and Oxygen to progress.
I count eight teams so far, which means I’m condemning Solary, Guild Esports, Magnifico, Libertas, VENC Gaming, Monkeys, S2V Esports, and Barrage to an early exit - the last two are especially unlikely to progress due to their lack of top tier experience, and their first-round matches against the Giants and Vitality.
Want to see me proven wrong once again? Catch The Grid this Thursday on all the different team channels and Regional 2 on the official Rocket League and ELEAGUE Twitch channels. In the meantime, stay tuned at GGRecon for more news, interviews and features.
Images via DreamHack | Liquipedia