With Worlds coming ever closer, the Winter Split might have been a breaking point.

19:00, 08 Mar 2021

The Spring Split is almost here, with many teams' fate still to be decided. All three splits will play a role in who will qualify for the Rocket League World Championship, so let's take a look at the biggest winners and losers from the Winter Split

North America

Winners

Version1

This was one of the biggest improvements across all regions as the addition of Robert "comm" Kyser helped to work wonders for this team as they all found their form. Version1 placed 18th in the Fall Split for Regional Points and 10th in the Grid. The Winter Split was a much-needed revival for the squad as they placed seventh in the Regional standings and sixth in the Grid. As much of an improvement that the Winter Split was for Version1, they did not put up any deep runs to drastically climb up the standings.

It was more an overall improvement that saw them win on a more consistent basis against mid-level teams but still missed out on a few close upsets against top teams. This team is finding their form, but they will have to carry this momentum into Spring if they want to make Worlds. When combining their points from Fall and Winter, they still sit on the outside of qualification in 12th place. 

Rogue

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After a mediocre Fall Split, finishing eighth, Rogue decided they needed a change to push into the next tier of teams. They found a very nice fit in Alexandre Reis "taroco" Pedrogam, and they have joined the discussion as the best team in North America since then. With some incredible performances from Jason "Firstkiller" Corral, they ended up finishing third in the Winter Split, nearly 500 points ahead of Spacestation Gaming. In the first two Regionals, they finished top four and finally won a trophy in the third.

They followed that up with a lower-bracket run to the finals of the Major and managed to force a bracket reset against NRG. On the season, Rogue now place fourth at 700 points away from missing out on Worlds qualification. The Winter Split was a massive swing of momentum for Rogue, who look to firmly cement their place among the best in North America.

G2 Esports

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Wow, did they only fall two places in the standings? G2 is still a great team, but the Winter Split has given rise to the discussion of G2 falling outside of the top four teams in the region. Again, they are still a strong team, but there are other teams like NRG and Envy that have proved to play at an elite level on a more consistent basis. G2 still saw a lot of success in the Grid, finishing the Winter Split in second-place, but they failed to make the top four of all three Regionals and the Major.

They have been knocked out of tournaments on several Game 5 and Game 7 situations, which, if gone the other way, could have led to a lot more hype about this team. But the thing is, they didn't. G2 had plenty of opportunities to take down other teams, but they haven't been able to put up big results.

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Kansas City Pioneers

One of the breakout teams of the season in the Fall Split, this team forced the narrative of being a top-five team. They entered the Winter Split in fifth place, but after a long spell of disappointing results, they now sit at seventh. That small drop in actual standing is notable, showing that their Fall Split was rather impressive, but their Winter form was considerably worse than it shows.

They were only 10th place during the Winter Split, and the Grid wasn't much better as they finished 8th. Even though they have fallen from their top-five spot in the Fall, all three of these players have shown the ability to play the best teams in the region. They are only 140 points behind G2 for the final Worlds spot. A few big results could go a long way for this squad.

Europe

Winners

Dignitas

Another squad that saw a massive improvement from bringing in a new player, Dignitas, returned some prestige to their name as they finished third in Regional points. Many teams have been competing for a top-four spot behind Vitality and BDS, but Dignitas climbed above them all to show they can be a threat in Europe. The first two Regionals were nothing spectacular, but they finished third in both the third Regional and the Major. In those two tournaments, BDS and Vitality were the only two teams to beat them.

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However, the work for this team isn't over. They climbed up to 5th in the overall season standings, but Guild Esport and Galaxy Racer are only 120 and 130 points behind, respectively. Dignitas certainly played like a top team in Winter, though, so they should be confident of securing a spot at Worlds.

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Oxygen Esports

Oxygen's road to Worlds is going to be difficult, but if they have any hope, it is because of their Winter Split. After finishing in 14th and never placing higher than 9th-11th, they were able to find some big results that saw them climb up the table. They finished fourth in the third Regional and fifth-sixth in the Major, which led them to a sixth place finish in the Split. Lots of top 4, 5, 6s there, but they still sit at 10th for the overall season. The Winter Split was a big step, though, and they hope they can make another improvement in Spring.

Losers

Galaxy Racer

An impressive Fall split saw a third-fourth place finish in the Major as a nice little cherry on top, finishing the split in fifth place. They also finished top five in the Grid. The Winter Split put a dent in their chances at a Worlds spot, as they fall all the way down to ninth for the Winter Split. The worst of all was their performance in the third Regional when they lost both of their series, only winning two games combined, to finish in the 17th-24th slot.

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With the third Regional right near the end of the split, their results in the last two weeks of the Grid only saw them earn thirty points. These are worrying results that come much too close to the Spring Split if they are looking for a rebound. Their Winter Split wasn't great, but they are a high-ceiling team. They are only ten points behind Guild for the sixth spot for Worlds. 

Endpoint

The Fall Split was competitive at the top behind BDS and Vitality as teams like Giants, Top Blokes, and Galaxy Racer vied for a spot among the elite. They made the Grand Finals of the third Regional and made it to the semifinals of the Major. This impressive show of form gave them a 4th place finish heading into the Winter Split, and it instantly fell apart. In the first two Regionals, they managed a measly 110 points.

Fortunately, they were able to outdo that by earning 160 in the third Regional and 200 points in the Major. Mind you, 200 points in the Major meant last place, but it still provided much-needed Circuit Points. They finished the Winter Split in 11th place, with their overall season standing falling to 8th. Endpoint is another team that still remains in striking distance of a Worlds qualification spot, but they will need to rediscover their Fall level of play to make a push.

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Images via Liquipedia | @RLEsports

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