Here we discuss everything that happened The Grid, Week 5, and look forward to the second Regional Event.
The finest teams in North America are back for their second Regional Event, as we saw The Grid Week 5 unfold. With the likes of Spacestation Gaming purring for revenge after they were unseated by Rogue in Week 4, The Grid is beginning to really heat up, especially with a place available at the Major. We take a look at the key storylines that were set to unfold and begin to look forward towards the second Regional Event.
REVIEW - THE GRID WEEK 5
It seems to be the same old stories unfolding in The Grid. Compared to Europe, the North American sides are showing much more consistency with the top six teams regularly making the quarterfinals unless they meet in a group of death. Thankfully, we tend to see teams try and break the mould, with teams such as Kansas City Pioneers and Pittsburgh Knights always being on the brink of causing an upset. This week was like every other, with four familiar faces planted firmly in the top four of The Grid.
Looking back at our key talking points, here's what happened in Week 4 of The Grid in North America.
COULD G2 CAPITALISE ON OTHER TEAMS KNAPPING?
COULD JKNAPS AND CO. BE ABLE TO CAPITALISE ON LACKLUSTER PERFORMANCES?
Another solid week for G2 saw them reach the semifinals of The Grid, after beating Omelette, Pittsburgh Knights, and Rogue. Sadly, it seems to be a recurring theme for the samurais, falling at the penultimate hurdle. They ran into a Spacestation Gaming side who were on an Apollo 13-styled mission where they were ripping through the competition to get their top spot back. Solace for G2 can be found in the fact that they are now consistently hitting the top-four, although they will now have to start trading blows with the best if they want to come out as the greatest in NA.
COULD VERSION1 OR SONIQS CAUSE AN UPSET IN THE GROUP OF DEATH?
PLACED IN GROUP A ALONGSIDE TEAM ENVY AND SPACESTATION GAMING, COULD EITHER CAUSE A HUGE UPSET?
Quite simply put, no. Soniqs left their controllers at home. Being swept out of the competition like the dust on the floor, the weekend couldn't have gone much worse for them. Version1, on the other hand, came agonisingly close to pulling off the spectacular versus Envy, taking them to game five. Losing the final tie by a single goal, they then went on to clean-sweep Soniqs and take Pittsburgh to another game five. Despite being 2-1 up in terms of games, Version1 choked on their own momentum, losing a game four overtime and the subsequent elimination match, dumping them from the competition. Much better from the ex-Cloud9 duo and AxB.
ROGUE RUNNING YOUNG AND WILD AND FREE IN GROUP B
WITH A MUCH WEAKER GROUP B, WERE ROGUE DESTINED FOR THE TOP THIS WEEK?
Running wild until they were poleaxed by G2's samurai sword. Wins over Charlotte Phoenix and XSET were followed by defeats to NRG and G2, the latter of whom were characteristically ruthless. Rogue were sliced up and eaten for dinner as they conceded 14 goals in three games. Back to the drawing board if they want to be taken as serious competitors in this split.
TWIST AND SHOUT
A FAVOURABLE PATH TO THE FINAL, COULD PLOT TWIST MAKE THEMSELVES HEARD BEFORE REGIONAL 2?
Maybe all the twisting got them dizzy? Plot Twist went nought for two in the group stages, to Kansas City Pioneers and XSET Gaming. On paper, these were two fixtures that Plot Twist should be winning, especially the latter. However, they looked dysfunctional all weekend long and failed to capitalise on a favourable group. From an outside chance of breaking into the top-six, Plot Twist is now starting to look like they're in deep trouble of becoming stagnated.
COULD XSET EXIST THIS WEEK?
YET TO SHOW UP, WAS THIS THE WEEK WE SAW XSET KICK ON, OR WAS IS IT ANOTHER WEEK IN 16TH PLACE?
Meh. They went one better than the last two weeks, actually knocking up a win over a Plot Twist side that didn't show up. In their other two games XSET were swept by The Peeps and Rogue, who shown their experience and quality. XSET looked frantic and not composed, and this will be detrimental if they want to begin to break into the quarterfinals and rack up some The Grid points.
THE GRID - WEEK 4 RESULTS
Spacestation Gaming is your Week 5 The Grid champions. Back on top for Sypical, Retals, and Arsenal, as they entered cruise mode, orbiting around their opponents. In a run which saw them beat Soniqs, Team Envy (twice), Kansas City Pioneers, and G2 Esports, SSG beat all of the teams that saw an opening after a blip in performance last week. Their outrageous mechanics and cohesive team plays are just out of this world.
PREVIEW - THE GRID WEEK 6/ REGIONAL 2 STAGE 1
This week, the second Regional Event is upon us, and the competition gets kicked up a notch. The main casters are back, prize pools increased, and longevity becomes key. The dynamics of the weekend shift dramatically from the previous two weeks, and the competition in NA is fiercer than ever.
Here are some key storylines looking forward to The Grid Week 6 and Regional 2 Stage 1.
ANOTHER FLAWLESS RUN FOR SPACESTATION?
WINNING REGIONAL 1 WITHOUT DROPPING A GAME, CAN SSG REPEAT THEIR FEAT?
They showed their Achilles heel in Week 4 but looked back to their best last weekend. Spacestation Gaming, so far, has looked untouchable, and I don't see anybody holding a flame to them this week either. With a win in the first round of Stage 1, SSG could easily cruise to Stage 2. It will be the first game which is key though. A surprise defeat to a young and unorthodox bubble team could spin their heads out of control.
NRG'S TIME TO SHOW UP?
START YOUR ENGINES, NRG HAVE A FULL TANK OF GAS
Their last regional performance saw them fall just short of becoming champions on North America. Both NRG and Envy boast players that turn up when the competition intensifies, and I can see Squishy and Jstn showing off their true capabilities this week. It should be plain sailing for a team of this calibre, although we have seen them flunk in previous The Grid weeks.
FORGETTING YOUR INNER WOES
CAN EUNITED GET THEIR MINDFRAME ON POINT?
In their defence, eUnited are battling many personal battles outside of Rocket League. It becomes difficult to flick the switch back into competition mode, although a Regional Event could be the key to this. They remain the one team that many people are itching to see in full flow, with so much potential. Hopefully, we get to see what they're made of this week.
CAN CHARLOTTE RISE FROM THE ASHES AND SHOW WHAT THEY'VE GOT?
KARMA'S A... AND THEY'VE GOT PLENTY OPPONENTS TO CAST THEIR REVENGE UPON
Charlotte Phoenix is almost dead and buried at this point. Constantly being beaten to a pulp in The Grid, you have to feel for Karma, Dappur, and Shadow. They did manage to make the top sixteen in comfortable fashion in Stage 1 but failed to continue their form. But typical of their namesake, they could be reborn from the ashes in which they reside, and dish out several dishes of karma.
TY VERY MUCH
ARE 72PC THE BIGGEST UNDERDOGS CAPABLE OF CAUSING HUGE UPSETS?
Regionals are always fun, predicting who can dump The Grid teams from the competition, or make up the additional four places available for Stage 2. Last time around I backed 72PC to make the top-sixteen, in which they did, and I can see a repeat this week, as their exciting style is a joy to watch. Depending on their fixtures luck, they could set themselves up for a top-eight finish too.
THE GRID WEEK 5 PREDICTIONS
It's hard to see past the same top four again. Although with the Regional looming, it is normally Envy and NRG who begin to heat up. This week I can see NRG becoming victorious as they find their winning form ready for the big games next week.