Here we discuss everything that happened The Grid Week 6 and Regional Stage 1, and look forward to the second Regional Event Playoffs.
Regionals finally return - and at the perfect time. Spacestation Gaming, who have been so consistent as of late, have shown their first signs of wobbling, with many hungry predators ready to fight for the iron throne. G2 and their army of Samurai are closing in from the west, NRG has the roaring dragon in Jstn. circling their prey from the south, Turbo and his envious crew are looming in the east, whilst JIRAIR (Gyro), the first of his name and king of the North awaits any slip-ups. What can Spacestation do to keep their iron throne and close the gates on Kings Landing?
REVIEW - THE GRID WEEK 6 / Regional 2 Stage 1
Now we've edged over the halfway mark, the significance of The Grid is becoming more apparent. Teams that have underperformed in the first Regional will be looking towards the second event, whilst still having to keep their foot to the pedal in The Grid. The points are becoming increasingly important, as teams begin to lock in their spots for the Fall Split Major. With the better teams being able to relax and solely concentrate on the Regional, could anyone capitalise and scrape together some extra The Grid points and earn themselves a spot in the major?
Looking back at our key talking points, here's what happened in Week 5 of The Grid, and the first stage of the second Regional Event in North America.
ANOTHER FLAWLESS RUN FOR SPACESTATION?
WINNING REGIONAL 1 WITHOUT DROPPING A GAME, CAN SSG REPEAT THEIR FEAT?
Are the rocks crumbling beneath their boots? Yes, they're only losing the odd game, but the best of the best remain consistent, especially when it comes to the games they should comfortably win. Look at BDS in EU, who are ruthless against the lower sides. Spacestation are by no means struggling, and I guess you cannot win every single game, but the losses to Charlotte Phoenix and Kansas City Pioneers will be an eye-opener for all teams, who may now begin to take the game to SSG, knowing that they can be beaten. Still, a semi-final appearance and a comfortable route into Stage 2 is nothing to be upset about.
NRG'S TIME TO SHOW UP?
START YOUR ENGINES, NRG HAVE A FULL TANK OF GAS
They're beginning to heat up, there's no doubt about it. The ignition is roaring as NRG smashed through Stage 1 with a flawless 9-0 match record. Soniqs must be sick of the sight of them, being swept in both The Grid and the Regional. The only slip up of the week came versus The Peeps, but most crucially, NRG bounced back quickly, something that had recently been their downfall. The final versus G2 was fiercely contested, and the game two overtime was the pivotal moment, as going down 2-0 was a mountain to climb. Even by fighting back to 2-2, the petrol in their engine ran out towards the end, as G2 proved too strong. Still, very promising from NRG who looked their flamboyant best.
FORGETTING YOUR INNER WOES
COULD EUNITED GET THEIR MINDFRAME ON POINT?
eUnited are in troubled water and it seems to be stemming from unsettlement in the camp. From the ruthless nature in which they dealt with Memory in the off-season, it is not hard to see why they cannot embed as a team and encapsulate what the monster organisation does in other esports. Whether its the org clamping down after weeks of poor results or simply the players cannot get along, changes have been made to the lineup. Somewhat harshly, they were pitted against Team Envy and NRG in the group stages on The Grid, with Version1 in the middle. Playing two of the top four was always going to be difficult, and they failed to cause an upset. The Regional was the final nail in the coffin though, as XSET pipped them to the post in the fifth game, and sent them packing. Hockser felt the full force of this, being made substitute for the upcoming weeks, and .trstn coming in.
COULD 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
Damn Charlotte, if ever there was a spanner in the works. Starting the week off, the Phoenix had fully ignited. Spacestation Gaming were their first opponents, as they seemed destined to head straight for the lower bracket of The Grid. However, they flapped their wings and flared their tails, slashing through the regional champions left, right, and centre. Toppling their prey, they defeated the kings 3-2, causing the biggest upset of the week. As they began to mantle their perch, it was as if they slipped and fell into an ice-cold ravine, extinguishing all of their skill and confidence. After beating the best team around, they suffered back to back sweeps in The Grid, to Alpine and Pittsburgh Knights, and crashed out of the Regional with a 3-1 record. If you listen closely enough you can hear the sizzle of flames meeting the water.
TY VERY MUCH
WERE 72PC THE BIGGEST UNDERDOGS CAPABLE OF CAUSING HUGE UPSETS?
Crucial losses to Omelette and Zaboomafoo saw 72PC staring down the barrel of despair, and the comeback wasn't strong enough. Ty, Wonder, and Jacob have a lot to work on before they feature again, with other bubble teams showing their capabilities. Team Frontline, Nefarious, Adept, and Jamal Jabary all progressed from their group, showing that the chances were there to progress. In Group A, Continuum pulled off a shock win over Plot Twist in the first round and continued to advance into the last 16, just the one non-grid team to do so.
THE GRID WEEK 5 RESULTS
After a ropey start versus Charlotte Phoenix, current champions, Spacestation Gaming fell again in the semi-finals, to a G2 side who showcased what consistency and stability can do. Going on to beat NRG in the final, G2 was crowned The Grid Week 6 champions.
Regional 2 Stage 1 Results
Sixteen teams head into the next stage, with some surprise inclusions. Nefarious shocked everybody with a 3-0 record in Group B, even beating Team Envy on the way. Group B also saw Adept make the top 16 for the first time, as Susquehanna Soniqs, Omelette, and 72PC all surprisingly missed out. Over in Group A, Kansas City Pioneers showed their true colours, beating Spacestaion and G2, whilst Plot Twist made the biggest shock result of the group. Beating Version1 in round five, they sent two former world champions out of the competition.
PREVIEW - THE GRID WEEK 7/ REGIONAL 2 PLAYOFFS
This is what we live for. Top of the range Rocket League esports action. Regional 2 playoffs are just around the corner, and the competition is in its healthiest state that it has been since RLCS X kicked off. A handful of teams look poised to take home the crown, and predictions might as well be thrown to the wind. Anything could happen, and I for one cannot wait.
Despite the air of uncertainty on what could happen, here are some key storylines to keep an eye on for The Grid Week 7 and the second Regional Playoffs.
BACK TO BACK?
CAN SPACESTATION DO WHAT BDS DID AND GO BACK TO BACK AS REGIONAL CHAMPIONS?
The fire will have been fuelled in their camp, watching BDS go back-to-back in Europe. Considered to be the best team in the world on current form, Spacestation will be raring to show the world why they are held in this regard. Typical Sypical will be gearing up with his arsenal of top-tier mechanics, whilst his partner will be focused on touching up his insane solo plays. Utilising retals will also be key for SSG, as passing plays are becoming increasingly difficult to defend.
HAVE NRG FOUND FORM JSTN TIME?
HAVING PLAYED THEIR BEST ROCKET LEAGUE SINCE FORMING, CAN NRG WIN THE REGIONAL?
It seems so, and it's typical of them to do so before the biggest event of the year so far. As teams are still finding their feet NRG have shifted gears and could very well be the spear that can be driven through the hearts of SSG. Many eyes will be on Squishy, as he has so far been a little inconsistent. He holds the key to success, and if he shows up like Jstn. has recently, NRG could be unstoppable.
KANSAS CITY TO RAPIDLY RELEASE THE BEAST?
THE PIONEERS WENT BEAST MODE LAST WEEK, ARE THEY OUTSIDE FAVOURITES?
They're on fire at the moment, beating both G2 and Spacestation. With a relatively rejuvenated roster, they come in on par with the likes of The Peeps, and even Rogue, all capable of pulling off an upset. Form and confidence can prove to be unrivalled, and they are drowning in both. BeastMode popped off in Stage 1, with the potential to score off every attack. Watch this space, they'll take some stopping.
IS THE SAMURAI SWORD TOO SHARP?
G2 CAN'T STOP WINNING, WILL THEY SLICE UP THE COMPETITION?
After surpassing Squishy and Gimmick as the longest-standing duo of Rocket League history, Rizzo and Jknaps would love to show why they have stuck by each other for so long. Consistently performing at the top of North American Rocket League, they have recently been untouchable, especially in The Grid Week 6. That winning feeling is contagious, and they come into Regional Playoffs as the team to beat.
THE MOST PREPARED UNDERDOGS EVER?
NEFARIOUS BLEW THE COMPETITION OUT OF THE WATER IN STAGE 1, ARE THEY IN PRIME POSITION FOR THE BIGGEST UPSET OF RLCS X?
Everyone loves an underdog, and Nefarious' success story is one that has a few more chapters. Coming out of nowhere to beat the likes of Pittsburgh Knights and Team Envy, their aura of being the unknown team could play right into their hands. Nobody will want to be beaten by the lowest-ranked team left in the competition, which puts the fear factor into their play. What a story that would be.
Regional 2 Playoff Predictions
NRG were impressive and ruthless in their recent performances, playing the best they have done since teaming with Squishy. Jstn looked scintillating whilst GarrettG oozed confidence. This week, I cannot look past them, with their mechanics looking in top condition. Nefarious' unknown qualities could also see them reach the top eight.
The Grid Week 7 Predictions
With Spacestation just slightly dipping in form, this could be the week that Team Envy finally beat them. Having lost multiple finals to the all-American roster, Turbo normally begins to heat up around the time of the bigger events, and you better believe he'll be on his best form this week.