In this piece, Dyversion moves his focus from the European rosters to the North American rosters, looking at the changes that have taken place ahead of RCLS Season 8
Rocket League, though, is a global phenomenon. Competition is fierce around the world: as much across the Atlantic as it is here in Europe.
This time around, we will be looking overseas at what North America has changed in order to get to the top.
After Week 3 of League Play, Ghost were 0-4. Most of the blame was pinned on Braxton “Allushin” Lagarec after he failed to mesh with his two new teammates, Treyven “Lethamyr” Robitaille and Michael “Memory” Moss.
The team needed to start picking up some series wins or their play-off hopes would be dead. Fortunately, Allushin clutched up, leading his team to a win against Space Station, who looked like they would make the 4th slot for the World Championship.
Picking up these wins meant that Ghost would avoid relegation and end their league play record at 3-4 giving them the 5th seed in the regional play-offs.
There they would play Rogue, who they had just beaten in a 3-0 sweep two weeks prior.
But even with Ghost’s strong performance in the recent weeks, they did not continue in that form. Rogue came out guns blazing and took the series 4-2, moving them one series closer to making the RLCS Season 7 World Championships.
Ghost went on to play in Dreamhack Valencia where they placed 13th-16th. They must have felt a roster change was necessary as they decided on kicking Lethamyr for the 16-year-old Massimo “Atomic” Franceschi, a hotly-anticipated youngster.
With two RLCS veterans in Allushin and Memory, this team is set to cause some upsets next season. They looked good at the recent Dreamhack Montreal tournament and should be a real dark horse heading into Season 8.
Season 7 League Play went better than expected for NRG. They went 7-0 and won the regional finals, beating Rogue and Cloud9 4-0.
This was enough to book them a spot as the North American first seed going into the RLCS Season 7 World Championships.
At the World Championships, they had a slow start, barely beating South America’s INTZ esports 3-2. They soon heated up, though, going on to beat PSG 3-1 and picking up a top 8 finish.
They had Renault Vitality to go through if they wanted to continue their winning streak. They fell short, however, losing 3-1 in a close, blood barth of a series.
NRG were undoubtedly disappointed with this result and, before we knew it, Jayson “Fireburner” Nunez had decided to retire.
With this sad news, though, a spot on one of the most prestigious North American teams had opened up. This generated a lot of speculation in the world of Rocket League but, in the end, it was announced that the new NRG team member would be none other than the three-time World Champion Pierre ”Turbopolsa” Silfver coming over from Europe!
Since then, this team has already won Beyond the Summit, as well as placing top 4 at the recent Dreamhack Montréal event.
With good results despite only being together for a little over a month, NRG fans should be feeling confident going into Season 8. This team has proved already they can compete with the best. Let’s see if they can keep it up and continue to prove themselves as time goes by.
Space Station Gaming
Space Station were expected to be the 4th North American seed for the World Championships and it looked to stay that way as they had an eventful League Play, keeping close to G2 Esports, sweeping Evil Geniuses and taking down Cloud9 3-1.
This newly-promoted Rival Series team were proving that they were a top team in North America… until it all came crashing down in the regional play-offs. In the event, they ended up losing 4-0 to Cloud9, giving them one more chance to qualify for the World Championships.
But their dreams were crushed by Rogue, who stepped up and went on to obliterate them in a clean 4-0 sweep.
After this upsetting finish to the young squads season, Space Station found themselves at Dreamhack Dallas. It was clear that they needed to make a statement and show just how good a team they were. But things didn’t go to plan: they ended up going home on day one after losing to TSM in the upper bracket and then Method in the lower bracket.
As a result, Alexandre “AxB” Bellemare and Caden “Sypical” Pellegrin decided to part ways with their team captain Matthew “Sathew” Ackermann, replacing him with long-time Peeps member Tshaka “Arsenal” Lateef Taylor Jr.
This team carried a lot of promise, with many people agreeing that Arsenal was the best player on his previous team. But so far they have only had mediocre results.
Going into Season 8, Space Station are looking like a mid-pack team. But don’t count them out just yet.
The Peeps are a newly promoted team in the RLCS. As newcomers, they had a tough fight to get through the Rival Series.
After a rough 0-3 loss to Upper 90 Esports to open their season, the Peeps had to change something in order to keep up with the rest of the competition. This they did, ending up with a 5-2 league play record and only losing to Birdz n’ Beez who ended their season 7-0.
Following this early success, the Peeps found themselves in the promotion play-offs, which has been known to be one of the most high-pressure tournaments in the Rocket League esports scene because it can either make or break your career as a professional player.
The Rival Series hopefuls had to play Evil Geniuses in their first match. They won in dominant fashion, running out 4-1 victors.
Going up against Birdz n’ Beez in their next round, a win would have put them in the RLCS. They took their dominant form into the game, winning the series 4-2 and guaranteeing their place in RLCS season 8 next season with a chance to make the World Championships.
It wasn’t all plain sailing, though. Top player Arsenal decided to join Space Station shortly after they qualified, leaving Jirair “ExplosiveGyro” Papazian and Slater “Retals” Thomas in the lurch.
But this didn’t see the Peeps slow down. Instead, they got to work trying to track down a new third. Before long, they ended up snagged Nick “Mist” Costello who was the Birdz n’ Beez star player.
Nobody knew if this team would succeed but these guys didn’t care what others expected of them, going on to win the most stacked tournament to date: Dreamhack Montreal. There they beat teams of the calibre of Mouz, Vitality, TSM and G2.
Going into Season 8, they are already looking like the fourth best team in North America. But they still have to surpass the Big 3: G2, NRG and Cloud9. If they can keep their consistency up, though, they are a threat to any team they go up against.
In October they announced their RLCS Season 8 roster with Pittsburgh Knights. How they cope under this new pressure will be the real test. One thing we know for sure: they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
Birdz n’ Beez
Birdz n’ Beez, like the Peeps, had to battle through the Rival Series to get to Season 8 of RLCS. They finished with a clean 7-0 record, showing us just how clutch they really are by winning four series that went to Game 5.
In the promotion play-offs, their first match was against Splyce. They won the series but only just, squeaking out a 4-3 win where they had to win 3 in a row to take the W.
Following this, they lost to the Peeps and had to face Splyce again, winning 4-2 this time and confirming their spot in Season 8.
But what about the loss of their star player, Mist?
Colby “hockser” James and Raul “Roll Dizz” Diaz didn’t have a whole lot of options in terms of talent to pick from. As we know, though, you can’t 2v3 in the RLCS, so hockser and Roll Dizz acquired the gifted Jackson “Ayjacks” Carter who Roll Dizz had some experience playing with even before they were an official team at Dreamhack Dallas.
Despite this roster looking like one of North America’s weakest, they recently won Rival Esports: Summer Open 2019 where they got their revenge on Mist and showed us what they are capable of with their new line up.
At this point, all we can be sure of is that North America is completely stacked with talent next season. It is going to be a very, very close season!