Here we discuss everything that happened The Grid, Week 4, and look forward Week 5.
As the European teams headed into their second Regional Event of the Fall Split, North America went into the weekend with just The Grid on their minds. The fourth week of The Grid saw many teams look to unseat the reigning champions, Spacestation Gaming, and get their hands on a split of the $10k prize pool. With Week 5 of the Grid looming next week, we also look at what's set to come.
REVIEW - THE GRID WEEK 3 / REGIONAL PLAYOFFS
Week four had some teams itching to get back in action for different reasons. NRG were desperate to get back on the field as they attempted to bounce back from a poor result in the Regionals, and teams such as Susquehanna Soniqs were playing the best Rocket League of the careers, hopeful to continue their form.
Looking back at our key talking points, here's what happened in Week 4 of The Grid in North America.
HOW TO OVERCOME SPAIN WITHOUT THE 'S'
BACK-TO-BACK FINAL DEFEATS FOR NRG, WOULD THEY BE ABLE TO BOUNCE BACK?
NRG are a difficult team to summarise. It's a journalistic catastrophe attempting to figure out which NRG will show up, especially when they don't know themselves. So far, they have shown us some of the most scintillating Rocket League that RLCS X has to offer, then other weeks they're flat and crash out of tournaments by looking very ordinary. Not a phrase you'd often link with SquishyMuffinz and Jstn. Week four was average for NRG as they tried to bounce back. Maybe it was the lack of games ahead, with just The Grid on for the next two weeks, but they fell to both Team Envy and G2 Esports, lacking the clutch moments that could see them through. A decent building block though, with some close games.
SUPERSONIQS ARE HERE TO STAY
CONSISTENTLY PROVING PEOPLE WRONG, HAVE SONIQS HAVE FOUND CONSISTENCY?
Commentators' curse, I guess. After a convincing 3-0 win over XSET, Soniqs ran head first into G2 who palmed them off to advance into the Playoffs. Here they met Kansas City Pioneers, who came up with one of the biggest shock performances of the week, sinking the Soniqs 3-1, ending what had been a promising month for Satthew, jruss, and Shock. Consistency had been broken, and they failed to make the Playoffs.
HE'S BURNIN' THROUGH THE SKY, YEAH
PETITION FOR RETALS TO BE NICKNAMED MISTER FAHRENHEIT? DON'T STOP HIM NOW...
I really shouldn't predict things. Maybe if I start predicting that bad things will happen then I'll be met with unbridled joy. Spacestation were finally beat. Rather convincingly too. Going into the Quarterfinals versus Rogue, they started with a 1-0 lead by qualifying through the winners' bracket, only to lose four out of five matches to a Rogue side that finally showcased to the world that they are one of the best teams in North America. Only until their next game anyway. The question for Spacestation now, is how will they bounce back?
CAN MAJICBEAR BE THE DRIVING FORCE FOR ALPINE TO BUILD ON?
AFTER KNOCKING OUT ROGUE IN STAGE 2, HOW FAR COULD ALPINE GO IN WEEK 4?
The potential is there, but not right now. As majicbear continues to learn in the RLCS, Alpine look a better side, although it's not hard to look good against this XSET side at the moment. The previous RLRS side struggled against Pittsburgh Knights and created more questions than those they answered. With the second Regional Event entering people's mind frames, this is when we can really begin to judge Alpine.
COULD GYRO EXPLODE AGAIN?
THE PEEPS CAME CLOSEST TO UNSEATING SPACESTATION, COULD GYRO SPARK A FUSE AND BLOW THEM OUT OF THE WATER IN WEEK 4?
So close but yet so far. The fuze was sizzling away as they went back-to-back-to-back against Omelette, Rogue, and Pittsburgh Knights respectively, before a game 6 overtime dunked the firework in a bucket of water and drowned any dreams of making the final. One thing can be said though, is that they are finding consistent top four results, meaning their winning formulae is not far from fruition.
THE GRID - WEEK 4 RESULTS
Team Envy are your Week 4 The Grid champions. Only dropping two games all weekend, they ended with a record of 18-2 and looked truly unstoppable. Turbopolsa, mist and Atomic found the perfect rhythm and cruised to victory.
PREVIEW - THE GRID WEEK 5
Another week without a Regional Event, North America will have The Grid Week 5 to focus on this time around. Starting early in the week, they'll be looking to get their last competitive training in before Regional 2 next weekend. Here are some storylines to keep an eye on...
CAN G2 CAPITALISE ON OTHER TEAMS KNAPPING?
WITH ONLY THE GRID AGAIN THIS WEEK, WILL JKNAPS AND CO. BE ABLE TO CAPITALISE ON LACKLUSTER PERFORMANCES?
After coming so close in Week 4, just running out of steam in the final, G2 still haven't grabbed the region by its cojones and shown that their stable roster is the team to beat. Whilst they've been there or thereabouts, consistent final appearances may see them surpass Spacestation and Envy in peoples minds. Spacestation showed their vulnerability, and NRG have failed to set the world alight either, so this could be the perfect time for Jknaps, Chicago, and Rizzo to put their foot to the pedal and ascend to number one.
CAN VERSION1 OR SONIQS CAUSE AN UPSET IN THE GROUP OF DEATH?
PLACED IN GROUP A ALONGSIDE TEAM ENVY AND SPACESTATION GAMING, CAN EITHER CAUSE A HUGE UPSET?
Team Envy, Spacestation Gaming, Susquehanna Soniqs and Version1 all start in the same Group, with only two being able to make the final eight. One of the most intense groups that we have seen so far could result in both The Grid winners facing an early exit. Version1 will be the side looking to spice things up, as they continue to work on positioning and rotations. If you get to watch any group stage matches this week, tune in to Group A.
ROGUE RUNNING YOUNG AND WILD AND FREE IN GROUP B
WITH A MUCH WEAKER GROUP B, ARE ROGUE DESTINED FOR THE TOP THIS WEEK?
The groups certainly favour the likes of Rogue and NRG. Charlotte Phoenix and Alpine Esports lie in their way to the Playoffs, which appear to be comfortable victories. Depending on which Rogue team turns up, they could go all the way this week. It may be fatigue which hinders them, as they shown that the adrenaline of playing Spacestation was enough for them to comfortably beat the reigning champions, but then suffer a 4-0 defeat to Envy the game after. With two easier group stages games, they could come into the playoffs feeling fresh and cause even more upsets.
TWIST AND SHOUT
A FAVOURABLE PATH TO THE FINAL, CAN PLOT TWIST MAKE THEMSELVES HEARD BEFORE REGIONAL 2?
North America really is anybody's game. Not one team is an easy fixture, and the top eight are scarcely separable. This week, with another favourable group, it could be Plot Twist who pierce into the bubble and take the victory. sosa has often been the turn-to member of the team capable of reaching great heights, and if he warms up his lungs, it's possible that they could be shouting from the rooftops this week.
CAN XSET EXIST THIS WEEK?
YET TO SHOW UP, IS THIS THE WEEK WE SEE XSET KICK ON, OR WILL IS IT ANOTHER WEEK IN 16TH PLACE?
Since qualification into The Grid, XSET has become the rock-bottom side that each of the big sharks looks to eat for dinner. Many consider XSET an automatic by, or a warm-up for the better teams. XSET need to knuckle down and step up this week to avoid becoming a laughing stock and head into Regional 2 with torrid form.
THE GRID WEEK 5 PREDICTIONS
Spacestation seems to have slacked off a little after their rocket-fuelled start, and I'm predicting that they will find themselves outside of the top four again this week, with G2 and Rogue stepping up. It is, however, a complete minefield, as North America really is anybody's game.