Here we discuss everything that happened The Grid Week 7 and the Regional 2 Playoffs, and look forward to the next week.
Another jam-packed weekend of Rocket League resulting in some of the most outrageous plays we've seen so far. Whether it was Squishy and Jstn teaming up for bumps and musty flicks, or Sypical and AyyJayy locking bumpers in the most cinematic rule one encounter we've seen yet, this weekend of North American Rocket League was one to remember. The weight of the Regional Events is beginning to become apparent, with much more significance at stake than The Grid, and places at the major were up for grabs. Looking back at the weekend just gone, we review our choice storylines, whilst keeping one eye on next weeks' The Grid Week 8.
REVIEW - THE GRID WEEK 7 / REGIONAL 2 Playoffs
Rocket League esports has changed. Completely changed. Week upon week teams compete to be the best and over in North America, it's literally anyone's game to win. Whilst Spacestation had been dominant beforehand, NRG, G2, and Team Envy were chomping at their heels, and even the likes of The Peeps and Rogue have been making the top four. Never has Rocket League been so competitive, and Regional 2 was no different. This is how it went down.
Looking back at our key talking points, here's what happened in Week 7 of The Grid, and the Regional Playoffs in North America.
BACK TO BACK?
COULD SPACESTATION DO WHAT BDS DID AND GO BACK TO BACK AS REGIONAL CHAMPIONS?
No. They've lost a wing mid-flight, and could not remain on course to achieve back-to-back Regional championships, such as BDS did in Europe. North America is too fiercely competed for that to happen. Spacestation haven't necessarily become bad, or even dipped in form, it is simply that other teams are now just as good after near two months of competing with each other. A change in the lead was inevitable, although Spacestation won't be happy with how it unfolded. Failing to make a semi-final all weekend long, SSG fell to The Peeps in both the Regionals and The Grid, the latter of which saw them crash out in the group stages. Some time off is needed for SSG, as they look to replenish their box of tricks.
HAVE NRG FOUND FORM JSTN TIME?
HAVING PLAYED THEIR BEST ROCKET LEAGUE SINCE FORMING, COULD NRG WIN THE REGIONAL?
Yes. Simply outstanding. All weekend long, NRG moved from strength to strength. The type of goals that they pulled off was outrageous. Whether is was Jstn's triple fake, Squishy off the ceiling, or even GarrettG, who popped up with his fair share of goals, NRG just clicked, and couldn't be stopped. Their control of games was exceptional, camping teams on their own backboard for large majorities of games. Clean sweeping Team Envy in the Regional final, their former teammate Turbopolsa could have build a campfire in his own goal, as NRG had them pinned making smores and telling ghost stories whilst they hit flip rests into the top corners. Their only falter came in the final game of The Grid, where it appeared fatigue had set in, and G2 had revitalised to go back-to-back and all-but secure their wildcard place.
KANSAS CITY TO RAPIDLY RELEASE THE BEAST?
THE PIONEERS WENT BEAST MODE LAST WEEK, ARE THEY OUTSIDE FAVOURITES?
Seriously, who let Landon out of his cage? BeastMode has turned into a different animal as of late and showed his class again this week. with Memory and Rapid letting him off the chains, KCP knocked out some monster opponents over the weekend. Victories over the likes of Spacestation Gaming, Rogue, Alpine, and Version1 saw them advance to the sem-finals of the Regional and quarter-finals of The Grid, earning some huge RLCS points. If they continue in this form they will be in contention come the major in October.
IS THE SAMURAI SWORD TOO SHARP?
G2 CAN'T STOP WINNING, WILL THEY SLICE UP THE COMPETITION?
Whether it is calculated or not, G2 excel in The Grid, where they won, again. They now top the Grid leaderboard and have almost secured their place at the major (not that it was in doubt anyway). Their performance at the Regional fell just short, as they met Team Envy in the quarter-finals. Should they have had an easier tie, they could have built momentum and rivalled NRG. Despite losing to Envy, G2 still look like the second-best team in NA. They also seem to be NRG's kryptonite, beating them in back-to-back The Grid finals, they just need to focus on setting up that match when it matters.
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?
Nefarious' tweet summed up their weekend better than I could. Stating "Absolutely embarrassing day from us today as we go 0-3", their performances were disappointing following their insane show in Stage 1. Dropping games to XSET, Team Frontline, and Adept, they struggled on the big stage. Whether it was nerves or skill is yet to be seen, but it wasn't pretty viewing for those hopeful that we could see an underdog cause some more upsets.
Regional 2 Playoffs Results
NRG are back on top. They accelerated to success in Regional 2 and were worthy winners. Team Envy was unfortunate after having some huge games throughout their run to the final. KCP and The Peeps shook the meta this week too, being the outstanding performers of the week outside of the top two. Some huge points went in their favour, with the likes of G2 and Spacestation Gaming now needing to be at their best in the final Regional.
The Grid Week 7 Results
A surprise twist saw Spacestation struggle to qualify, allowing for eUnited to secure their first quarterfinal in a number of weeks. Pittsburgh Knights broke into the top four but were met by the rear end of Squishy and co. at NRG. G2 came out victorious, keeping their The Grid crown.
Preview - The Grid Week 8
The penultimate week of The Grid is due this weekend, with the table yet to be secured. G2 are out leading the way with Spacestation Gaming hot on their tales. Many middle-placed teams have little to play for apart from the prize money. Places for automatic qualification are to play for, as the bottom six teams will have to compete in a qualifying round if they want to be included in the Winter Split. With $100,000 prize money available in the next split, The Grid is also important for those teams who want to improve and become the best.
With a lot to play for here are some key storylines to keep an eye on for The Grid Week 8.
Can Version1 Get Themselves Out Of Their Rut?
WHAT DO VERSION1 NEED TO DO TO HAVE A LATE SURGE UP THE TABLE?
AxB hasn't quite hit the ground running for Version1, and Gimmick is struggling in attack with little support. At the moment they seem unbalanced and lack the firepower to become a top side. With Fireburner as coach, you can imagine that it is a long building job as they try to settle in together and build upon their weaknesses. However, there is an element of a sprint rather than a marathon here, as they need some RLCS points quickly if they want to remain in The Grid for thew Winter Split. With hope, the desperation could unhinge AxB and allow him to join Gimmick in attack and begin to embed some fancy team plays.
CAN G2 SECURE THE WILDCARD?
IN THE PENULTIMATE EVENT, G2 ESPORTS COULD SECURE THE TOP PLACE IN THE GRID
A win in Week 8 will secure G2's place. No team has managed a consecutive hattrick of The Grid championships, although if anyone can, G2 can. They look in full control when it comes to The Grid, and have a lot of momentum going into the penultimate weekend. With a spot at the major on the line, this could be a good way of securing their place instead of leaving it down to the Regionals, especially after their fifth-eighth places finish. I expect them to come out all guns blazing to allow for some recuperation time before Regional 3 and the major.
ARE SONIQS PLUMMETING?
HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WRITE THIS WITHOUT MAKING A SHOCK PUN?
The benching of Shock was surprising, stupefying, and astonishing. The unforeseen event has left Soniqs fans scratching their heads. The start of the season looked bright, with Shock being one of the more consistent players, whilst JRuss blew hot and cold. Despite his wow-factor, many thought JRuss should have made way to freshen up the roster. With Shock's sudden benching, Soniqs had another dismal week in The Grid and Regional, and are stuck in a downwards spiral. Roll Dizz has some big boots to fill if they want to start contending again.
A CRUCIAL WEEK FOR ALPINE ESPORTS
CAN THEY CONJOUR UP SOME MAJIC TO FEND OFF EUNITED FOR AUTOMATIC WINTER SPLIT QUALIFICATION?
With the top ten sides in The Grid gaining automatic qualification for the Winter Split, Alpine are level on points with eUnited in joint-tenth-place. A huge 60 points from eUnited last week, who have surprisingly improved by bringing in .trisn over Hockser, has left Alpine looking over their shoulders. Alpine sit in a horribly difficult group alongside NRG, Rogue, and Version1, meaning they will have to go above and beyond to rack up some more points.
HOUSTON DO WE HAVE A PROBLEM?
SPACESTATION GAMING HAVE MADE A CRASH LANDING, BUT CAN THEY WIN THE ARMS RACE THIS WEEK?
Some turbulent performances in the previous two weeks have left Spacestation hurtling towards an asteroid at a dangerous speed. This week need to re-align and find the scintillating form that had seen them become dominant in previous weeks.
The Grid Week 8 Predictions
With no Regional this week NRG will be focused on the top prize and will be looking to avoid embarrassment by the hands of G2, who themselves are looking for a three-peat. Version1 also need some huge points in the penultimate event and should get out of their group at a minimum.