Rounding up Regional 3, and looking ahead toward the RLCS X Fall Split Major.
The first RLCS X split is nearly over. The inaugural season's introductory split has been what can only be considered as a huge success, despite slight teething difficulties. With consistent, high-quality action, the Fall Split has had us entertained for ten straight weeks, and it has all built up to this: the RLCS X Fall Split Major.
Looking back at the final regional event, we take a look at the key storylines that unfolded and then cast an eye towards the biggest Rocket League event of the year.
REVIEW - REGIONAL 3
In the final Regional Event of the split, teams would usually be competing for the five places on offer at the international LAN. Instead, there were fifteen places available for the Major this week. Despite the need to finish in the highest placing possible for qualification, the monetisation incentives were enough to make for some great spectacles. With $100,000 on the line, here's how the third Regional Event of the Fall Split panned out.
SAME OLD TOP FOUR BACK ON TOP?
NOW IT'S CRUNCH TIME WOULD WE SEE THE USUAL TOP FOUR BACK WHERE THEY BELONG?
Close enough. With NRG meeting Team envy in the quarterfinals, this wasn't quite possible, and up stepped Kansas City Pioneers. Their rapid rise to success has been nothing short of miraculous, considering their unorthodox off-season. The golden horses have galloped into beast mode to earn a seat at the table amongst the best in the region. Team Envy, G2 Esports, and Spacestation Gaming all showed their class again and proved why they're regarded as the top calibre of teams. Unfortunately, NRG was a tad squishy this week as Envy swept them 3-0, leaving them as a sea-bass out of water.
COULD CHARLOTTE PHOENIX BURST INTO FLAMES OR TAKE FLIGHT?
SAT OUTSIDE OF THE TOP 15, CHARLOTTE PHOENIX NEEDED SOME BIG RESULTS.
Well, this aged well. The Phoenix didn't burst into flames, nor take flight. The phoenix remained curled up in their nest for hibernation. Maybe they flew north with the other birds for winter? Charlotte didn't participate in third Regional, so not much more to elaborate on here, apart from this means we won't be seeing them in the major either.
WOULD VERSION1'S RECENT FORM MAKE UP FOR PREVIOUS MISTAKES?
VERISON1 NEEDED BETTER RESULTS THAN 72PC, PLOT TWIST, AND DOWN TWO EARTH (CONTINUUM) TO QUALIFY
Another prediction bites the dust in a tormented weekend for Version1. Two tough games in Stage 1 versus Team Envy and Susquehanna Soniqs saw them staring down the barrel of the gun heading into their decisive match versus Stromboli. The absence of a 'clutch' player is evident for V1, as they lost five games in a row by just one goal. They are just a slither away from being a successful team if they can just begin to arms wrestle over the edge. Stromboli swept V1 in the first stage 1-2, 0-1, and 2-3, to send them packing and out of the split in its entirety. The drawing board must be pretty full for Version1 at the moment, but back to it, they must go.
COULD THE UNDEAD REVIVE THE SCRAMBLED EGGS?
GHOST GAMING ARE BACK, WILL THEY BE ABLE TO BECOME ETERNAL VICTORS?
Here I must lay my whisk to rest as Omelette is a thing of the past. Thankfully, Ghost Gaming is a journalistic joy to behold, especially when they get buried by Kansas City Pioneers. The most pivotal result came versus Team Frontline in the opening fixture, where they were spooked by the aggressive and dysfunctional Beastaboniam. Losing the game five, Ghost lost the tie which made it a mountain to climb. It was ultimately KCP that was their final nail in the coffin, as they were sent to the graveyard.
REGIONAL 3 RESULTS
Mist was the showman, and Champions Field was his arena, as he conducted Team Envy to the championship. They become the third different Regional winner in as many tournaments, which is rather typical of North America. KCP was the surprise finalists, whose breakout has been widely anticipated. eUnited also continued their resurgence, gaining another top-eight finish.
PREVIEW - FALL SPLIT MAJOR
This is what we've been waiting for. The biggest Regional event of the year is upon us, and even though it's not the international LAN that we desired the stakes are still huge.
Here's what we expect to unfold...
FOUR TIMES KNOWS HOW TO STEP
WILL THE UNDISPUTED KING OF RLCS SHOW HIS CLASS IN THE MAJOR?
Turbo, alike many others over in Europe, has a bug of winning. It's etched into his DNA. No player has ever stepped up to the plate-like Turbopolsa, who has won half of the World Championships that have ever been available. Currently, it is his teammate who is at the wheel, with Mist being Envy's talisman, but when it comes to championships, nobody does it better than the Swede. When the competition reaches its climax, you can always count on him turning up. Whether the online factor will contribute is yet another debate, but it would take someone out of their mind to bet against them getting at least top four.
GYTHROW TO GYCHAMPO?
DO NOT SLEEP ON THE PEEPS
Gyro brandished himself as "Gythrow" after The Peeps' quarterfinal defeat in the third Regional Event. The Peeps have become a household name within North America as a second-tier team beneath the likes of Team Envy. With a couple of semifinals and a final appearance in The Grid Week 9, The Peeps have shown that they have what it takes to smash the door down and bully teams out of the competition. With Allushin playing arguably his best Rocket League ever, The Peeps could fly under the radar and become regional champions.
ROGUE SHOULDN'T GO ROGUE
FIRSTKILLER HOLDS THE KEY FOR A SHOCK SURGE FROM ROGUE, BUT UNITY IS WHERE THEY WILL SUCCEED.
Rogue is currently stagnant. They cannot find the consistency that they begun the season with. Firstkiller started RLCS X as one of the most exciting players that the league has to offer, and not many can even hold a candle to him when it comes to mechanics. However, the team compositions are often compromised when he goes rogue with his flamboyant plays, leaving either Kronovi or Turinturo exposed. If they can learn to rotate quickly and effectively, this may be beneficial, but the key really could be with him embedding some more passing into his game and complimenting his teammates. Using this, they could become much quicker, and spend less time on their backboard.
BEAST MODE ACTIVATED
KANSAS CITY PIONEERS HAVE SSG'S NUMBER, ARE THEY OUTSIDE FAVOURITES?
Everyone loves an underdog, and Kansas City is absolutely chomping at the bit to get back out and continue their formidable performances. Their teeth are growling, and it's going to take someone playing at their pinnacle to stop them being the first regional champions. Their form is unprecedented, and they've even spun Spacestation Gaming's helmets as their victories over SSG has disabled their arsenal. Their true challenge is being able to be consistent when the stakes are higher.
A FRESH BLAZE OF GLORY FOR GHOST?
CAN LUKE, FRESHNESS, AND LIONBLAZE BE THE SPECTRAL UNDERDOGS?
Looking down the rankings, Ghost Gaming look the most likely to be able to pull off some major upsets. The former Omelette roster didn't hit the ground running as they moved homes, but they could host a haunted house themselves and frighten the competition by taking the game aggressively. Instead of being wary of their opposition, they could find success by getting straight on the attack, as they boast the skill to make goals out of nothing. Ghost Gaming's manager, paco, will certainly be brewing up a masterplan for the young guns.
RLCS X FALL SPLIT NORTH AMERICA MAJOR PREDICTIONS
Surprisingly, I'm predicting a G2 Esports win in the Major. Overall they look more steady than other sides, with Chicago and Jknaps seldom outside the top ten performing players. Their recent dip in results is nothing to ignore, but their fate was already sealed, and they've shown for years that they can bounce back within a week off. Team Envy should be a force to reckoned with, and if the sides don't meet earlier, this game will go the distance. The Peeps are my outside dark horses, although Kansas City are equally as frightening. Unfortunately for Spacestation, I think they're destined for a quarterfinal exit as they seem to have peaked at the wrong time.