Top 10 Rocket League players of 2020

Following on from the top 10 roster moves of 2020, we’ll be looking at the best players from the entire year.

Trying to come up with a list of the 10 best players is a difficult task in and of itself, but trying to rank them is nearly impossible. Nobody is going to create a top 10 list that makes nobody upset, because there are wayyy more than 10 players who have an argument to be here.

The last thing to note before we actually get into the list is that it, like all other lists in this series, is based on the entire calendar year of 2020. This is not a “top 10 players in the world right now,” nor is it a “top 10 players of season x” list.

Now that we’ve got the boring disclaimers out of the way, let’s begin by looking at our honorable mentions:

Honorable Mentions

Atomic (Ghost Gaming/Team Envy)

Atomic was insanely hard to leave out of the Top 10. As one of the fastest and most mechanically adept players in North America, he, like basically everyone else on this list, can be the best player in the world on any given day. 

While we’ve always seen his potential, Atomic truly broke during the Season 9 Regional Championships, where he absolutely dismantled Cloud9 and the Susquehanna Soniqs almost entirely by himself.

The addition of Turbopolsa to Team Envy seemed to help Atomic maintain this potential as one of the scariest players to face in the world. His status as a consistent force has only improved since season X began as his team finds themselves at the top of the region. 

MaRc_By_8 (Team BDS)

MaRc_By_8 is not the “worst” player on Team BDS, he’s simply the least perfect.

During BDS’s dominant run, MaRc got the least amount of credit for the team’s success from analysts, casters, and fellow pros alike. However, no team dominates this much without all three players being incredibly consistent.

Every member of BDS has near-perfect rotation and speed. He’s easily still a top 15 player in the world, but his lack of ridiculous solo plays and flashy goals in comparison to his teammates are what have him as the lowest-ranked player on the best team in Europe. 

Archie (Clappers/Top Blokes)

My current vote for Season X EU MVP, Archie has been nothing short of brilliant for as long as he’s been in the spotlight.

Turning ex-Veloce around after a tumultuous season 9 was sure to be an incredibly difficult task, especially for a 15-year-old rookie, but Archie managed perfectly. His game sense and mechanics are second-to-none, and his ability to elevate his teammates to the best play of their career rivals that of Turbopolsa.

He sits at an honorable mention simply because of his absence in the first half of the year, but mark my words: Archie will be a top 5 player by the end of 2021.

Rizzo (G2 Esports)

For some reason, G2 decided that they would trick everyone into thinking they’re washed back in Season 8. They looked terrible, placed dead last, and without JKnaps’s heroic performance in the relegation tournament, were staring down the barrel of the RLRS.

Unlike literally everything else in 2020, however, G2 took a significant turn for the better. They absolutely dominated the first half of the year in North America with a second-place League Play finish and a convincing win against SSG in the grand finals of the regional playoffs.

While you can blame the team house, I choose to select Rizzo for the reason behind this turnaround as he has stepped it up in 2020 more than anyone else on his team.

His improvement in mechanics and speed between Seasons 8 and 9 was one of the largest we’ve seen from any player as he transitioned from a third man role to one that focused more on disrupting his opponents through midfield challenges, boost steals, and demos. 

Rizzo, along with NRG’s SquishyMuffinz, is the poster child of “underrated because he’s popular.” Having one of the biggest fanbases in the scene will obviously result in diehard fans wrongly calling you the best player in the world, but critics seem to overcompensate for this by underrating him.

Rizzo is not just popular because of his personality. He’s also really damn good at Rocket League.

Turbopolsa (NRG Esports/Team Envy)

Despite his basically unanimous status as the GOAT, I can’t seem to find a time in RLCS history where Turbo was considered the best player in the world “right now.”

Turbo has never been the fastest or mechanically reliable player. The goals Turbo is known for aren’t flashy or very mechanically impressive, but rather ones that stem from just being at the perfect place at the perfect time and just a little bit of luck.

What Turbo has been and always will be, however, is a winner. He just knows how to win. You put him on your team, and you will win more matches. It’s basically a guarantee at this point. 

A list of the best players cannot be complete without the GOAT, especially considering how he has played with Team Envy.

I know I said he isn’t known for his mechanics and that’s true, but that’s not to say that there hasn’t been significant improvement in them this year. His lacklustre Season 9 with NRG is what keeps him from breaking into the top 10. But Season X has seen Turbo at his fastest and most confident, which is a terrifying sight for the rest of the world. 

#10: Extra (AS Monaco/Team BDS)

If only he had a real team around him in Season 9. Extra has been absolutely maniacal all year, even when he went 0-9 on AS Monaco and auto-relegated.

I think I knew he was going to be a top 10 player when he hit a ridiculous cross-pitch air dribble flip reset against Mouz, and I was not wrong.

After his team’s disbanding, Extra found his way over to Team BDS, which in retrospect was probably the best roster mover of the entire year, because it resulted in a string of dominance we haven’t seen since Season 5-6 Dignitas.

Extra has looked near flawless all season as BDS has crushed the competition. He’s an absolute blast to watch, can score basically at will, and has one of the best challenge games in the world. Extra is truly everything you want in a player. 

#9: Arsenal (Spacestation Gaming)

Nevermind him being arguably the best entertainer in the game (Seriously, go check out his YouTube… The kid is hilarious), Arsenal has been playing absolutely out of his mind at a mind-bogglingly consistent level.

There isn’t a thing on the pitch he cannot do, but what stands out to me most is his creativity and aggression. Arsenal always seems to find new ways to score, pass, or defend, and he’s probably the most disruptive player in North America as well.

His place on SSG is perfectly defined and he fits the role exquisitely. As one of the most demo-heavy and mechanical players in the game, Arsenal is surely annoying to play against but that’s part of what makes him so good.

He’s always had incredible mechanics but it seems the addition of Retals to SSG has allowed Arsenal to go for more of the solo plays we knew he was capable of but rarely saw. Boy, have they been a treat.

Arsenal has quickly developed into one of my favorite players in the world to watch and it’s obvious as to why. 

#8: Mist (Ghost Gaming/Team Envy)

Mist’s arrival on Ghost prior to Season 9 really excited me. I knew he had the potential to lead a team, but we didn’t see that much in his time with Pittsburgh Knights as most of the offense ran through Gyro and Retals.

A change in scenery was exactly what Mist needed and boy did he choose well. Every week since the start of Season 9 has increased his standing amongst the community. He was the biggest facilitator on Ghost, and once they transitioned to Envy and picked up Turbo, he turned into a hard carry.

Mist’s fall split was absurd. He took over series after series and led Envy to third place in NA despite some growing pains between Atomic and Turbo. Once the winter split came around, the team truly clicked and vaulted into the number 1 spot after winning two regionals in a row.

It’s Mist’s consistency that gets him the nod over his teammates for the top spot on the list (Envy is one of only two teams with all three players here), as he’s largely the reason Envy is widely considered the team with the highest floor in the world. At the same time, though, he’s the reason their ceiling rivals anyone else’s too. 

#7 Firstkiller (Rogue)

We’ve reached the point in the list where literally every player from here on out has been called the best player in the world at some point this year.

What is there to say about Firstkiller that hasn’t been said? He can do things literally nobody else can do. His time in the 1v1 scene has made him a 50/50 god. Rogue’s success basically lives and dies with Firstkiller.

Since he joined Rogue, he has been their undisputed best player and a consensus top 5 player in NA. His boost usage is also off the charts, resulting in him being one of the fastest players in the world.

Despite finally entering the 3v3 scene in 2020, Firstkiller’s 1v1 game hasn’t deteriorated one bit, as he’s still one of the most formidable foes one can come up against. In fact, his success in 1v1 tournaments is what has him higher than several players with significantly better 3v3 results.

There are few scarier sights than Firstkiller with the ball in open space. Even the thought of it makes defenders freeze up. He puts in fantastic goals and makes fantastic saves with fantastic consistency and has cemented himself as a titan of North American Rocket League in his first year of RLCS competition.

#6: Fairy Peak! (Renault Vitality)

Ask any European pro which player they’d like to team with regardless of their current team and I guarantee you at least half of them say Fairy Peak.

And for good reason. For his entire career, Fairy has been the ideal teammate due to his perfect rotational skills and willingness to let his teammates take over a series.

However, 2020 saw Fairy step up into the carry role quite a bit. While Alpha was still adjusting to life with Vitality, Fairy was a strong MVP candidate and won the title of Golden Striker for Season 9 and has continued his unparalleled consistency throughout Season X as well.

Maybe his most impressive feat of the year was his 1v1 victory against OKhaliD in the Fusion tournament. It was Fairy’s first 1s tournament in quite a long time and he came against the best 1v1 player in the world at the time in a thrilling seven-game series. Fairy’s ability to remain cool under pressure continues to be unmatched throughout the region.

There isn’t much else to say about Fairy Peak that hasn’t been said already. He’s a top 10 player of all time in 3v3 and arguably the 1s GOAT and he has not regressed in the slightest in 2020. 

#5: AztraL (Dignitas/Oxygen Esports)

Since he entered the RLCS in Season 8, AztraL has been a top 5 player in Europe.

He had already realized most of his potential at the Season 8 world championships but he became a different beast in Season 9. He absolutely deserved the MVP honors he was given in Season 9, and for much of the year, was considered the best player in the world.

This was especially clear in the Season 9 Regional Championships in which he carried Dignitas to a first-place finish over Renault Vitality. Not only did he single-handedly take over the series, he did it against what was widely considered the best team in the world at the time.

AztraL has popularized a few mechanics as well, such as using his second jump to propel himself back to the ground. (Not saying he discovered it but he was the first player in RLCS I saw do it)

Even though his results with Oxygen have been pretty middling so far in season X, AztraL has maintained himself a mechanical force on both sides of the pitch and will always have the potential to dominate even the best teams in the world.

#4: M0nkey M00n (Team BDS)

M0nkey M00n is the only player I can argue has been the best player in his respective league for all of 2020.

I find myself hard-pressed to find a soul in the world that thinks anyone but M0nkey was the best player not only in the European Rival Series in Season 9 but the Rival Series as a whole.

He was probably better than many RLCS players at the time, too. After leading BDS to a near-perfect record and first-place finish, it was obvious that he was destined for greatness.

And greatness he has achieved. M0nkey M00n has been the leading force behind BDS’s insane stretch of play over the course of the last several months. He is both the offensive initiator and defensive mastermind on the best team in Europe. He owns several of the best plays on both sides of the field from the entire year. He’s led the systematic dismantling of every top team in Europe several times this season. He’s running away with the European MVP vote and has been called the best player in the world by basically everyone whose opinion I take seriously multiple times.

M0nkey M00n is an absolute force to be reckoned with every time he takes the pitch and has rightfully earned his spot on this list.

#3 Sypical (Spacestation Gaming)

Full disclosure: Sypical is my favorite player in the world. Every single time I watch him, I am absolutely mesmerized at how someone can have his level of car control. He’s probably the most offensively creative player in the world with the exception of the two people above him on this list.

It’s genuinely difficult for me to describe just how fascinating Sypical is to watch. Any time you see Sypical take to the air with the ball you can say “yup, that’s a goal” and 8 or 9 times out of 10 you’ll be correct. That’s how consistent he is. 

I’ve mentioned several times in this list that certain players have the ability to dismantle an entire team over the course of the series but Sypical has the unique ability to dismantle an entire defense of three pro players in a single dribble

While I can’t recall who said it, the most accurate thing I’ve heard about Syp is as follows: “If you’re playing 2s with Sypical and you lose, you just have to accept that it was your fault because he does not make mistakes.”

While Spacestation didn’t really begin dominating the North American region until the addition of Retals, it’s Sypical who has been leading the charge on the most electrifying team in NA.

#2 Alpha54 (Renault Vitality)

Alpha had a few struggle series in his first season with Vitality, but since then, he’s been either the second or first best player in Europe, maybe the world. Absolutely nobody can do the things Alpha does on the offensive side of the ball. 

It’s not even his nutty solo play ability, which quite literally is the best in the world, it’s the fact that his general striking is also arguably the best in the world. From anywhere past midfield, Alpha can put a shot anywhere on net that he feels like with blistering speed. It’s an incredibly unique skill to hone to his level and one that has helped keep his status as a world-class player.

I’ve been talking up every player on this list as a mechanical wizard but something about Alpha is just different. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s one of a very small handful of pros who still only uses standard air roll instead of air roll left and right, or maybe it’s just the fact that he’s insane. But it seems that every touch he makes on the ball is threatening. 

Regardless, Alpha is the most dominant offensive force in the world and has been for the majority of the year. You could have called Alpha the best player in the world at literally any time in 2020 and I would’ve found it hard to disagree with you. There’s only one other player who I think can match that claim.

#1 Jstn (NRG Esports)

Calling jstn the best player is almost too easy. He seems to be a player people are afraid to call the best in the world simply because he’s the safest and most casual answer to the question. I disagree. I watch every single game of the RLCS. Jstn deserves this spot.

In all seriousness, jstn has been the best player in the world for the past two, probably two and a half years basically nonstop. There’s no other way to put it: it just looks like he’s playing a different game from everyone else. 

At his lowest of lows, jstn is still a top ten player in the world. When he’s peaking, well, I think Scrub Killa said it best. Maybe it’s just a natural affinity for the game, as his hours aren’t anything out of the ordinary for a top-level pro, but something about the way jstn approaches Rocket League allows him to consistently be the best player on the field no matter who he’s up against. 

Jstn is an absolute marvel to watch. The man hits quadruple taps against Spacestation and can double flip reset all over Team Envy. It doesn’t matter who’s on the other side, when jstn gets it going, there is absolutely no way anyone is stopping NRG. Any time a player pulls off a goal that looks like the first of its kind, there’s probably a clip of jstn somewhere doing it first.

Although I didn’t make this in-depth of a list, jstn was my number 1 player of 2019 as well. He has done absolutely nothing to lose that accolade. It’s going to take a legendary effort to rip the title of “best player in the world according to mbs,” and just as legendary an effort to rip the world championship title from NRG.

Jstn isn’t a secret weapon, he’s the worst kept secret in the world. He’s just a weapon: one that nobody has found the counter for.

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MBS

MBS

Rocket League Superfan and journalism student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

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