WePlay Rocket League Invitational: A True Telling Of New Rosters
The WePlay Rocket League Invitational is here, ending a four-month hiatus from top calibre action, and bringing the competitive scene back to the forefront of esports with cutting edge production and thrilling new rosters that will light up our screens.
With only a handful of minor showcases so far this off-season, the WePlay invitational will give us a first true look at the newly-formed RLCS rosters. With some huge changes for existing sides and other teams opting to continue to build on sturdy foundations, we look at the key storylines that can unfold.
WePlay Invitational EU - Dignitas Scrubbed Up Whilst Guild Go Blue
Over in Europe, rostermania has been in full force for the top-tier organisations that are looking to pull away from the madness of the bubble scene. With their opponents over the pond having a solid and consistent top six, EU's best sides have looked to bring in reinforcements to avoid the chances of miracle runs and move towards the standards set by Team BDS and Vitality.
Outside of the top two teams, only the Spanish trio formerly of Team Queso have stuck together, albeit at a new, less cheesy, home. Vodafone Giants' new look had a more than turbulent off-season, although their new home will likely see them settle down and improve on the inconsistencies of last season.
Elsewhere, five of the WePlay Invitational EU rosters made changes - including ME's Sandrock Gaming. The highly-rated, yet criminally unproven, roster will likely revert back to their usual squad of Ahmad "Ahmad" Abdullah, Khalid "oKhaliD" Qasim, and Ahmed "SENZO" Ayed following the RLCS 2021-22 Season Announcement and SENZO's un-retirement. As for WePlay, the side will play with the rising star Mohammed "trk511" Ayed, who has come in as substitute. With their inclusion in RLCS for the first time being confirmed, Sandrock will be out to prove their worth at WePlay.
Four more rosters will be looking to get off to a flying start at the pre-season curtain-raiser, with Dignitas scrubbing up well with the signing of Kyle "Scrub Killa" Robertson. The Scotsman will be out to unsettle his doubters on a roster that could see him be rocketed back into the upper echelon of Rocket League players where he was once destined to be king of.
The last team to confirm their roster was Guild Esports, who unveiled Dan "Bluey" Bluett just 24 hours before the event. Reunited alongside David "Deevo" Morrow, the full-English side will look to bring the eggs, bacon, and sausages to the plate in WePlay.
WePlay Invitational NA - Foundations, Stabilisation, And A First For FaZe
On the flipside of the EU's manic offseason, the balance has been restored in North America as a large majority of successful teams have looked to build upon the foundations that they laid during RLCS X.
G2's youngest Samurai Andres "dreaz" Jordan has cemented his place in the starting line-up after coming in during the Winter Split when Dillon "Rizzo" Rizzo hung up his competitive controller. Starting the season alongside the due of Jacob "JKnaps" Knapman and Reed "Chicago" Austin, this will be Dreaz's chance to show that he deserves his spot over many suspected summer transfer targets. WePlay will act as the young man's first real test as an established G2 player, rather than a trialist, which often produces a much different mindset - he'll want to come out of the blocks with his cylinders blaring.
As for NRG, Spacestation Gaming, Team Envy, and Shopify Rebellion (formally Kansas City Pioneers), consistency seems to be the remedy of success, having all chose to keep their three starting players from last season.
The biggest movers have been FaZe Clan, who fended off competition from G2 for Jason "Firstkiller" Corral, the most highly-rated rising player of last season, and an undeniable top-calibre player. Trading the established Jirair "Gyro." Papazian to Rogue, Firstkiller will emancipate the typical flashy FaZe persona and look to use WePlay as a stepping stone for his new roster. Despite the omission of Braxton "Allushin" Lagarec who is on holiday, FaZe Clan will be wanting to get off to life much better than their display in Rizzo's showcase where True Neutral swept them aside.
The WePlay Rocket League Invitational kicks off on September 6, with Team BDS taking on Sandrock Gaming at 16:00 BST.