Home eSports Rocket Surgery: The weekly Rocket League wrap (29/9)

Rocket Surgery: The weekly Rocket League wrap (29/9)

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By the time you read this, the Autumn Update will have dropped along with its beautiful new barnyard map, banners (now also in non-dragon form) and transparent goalposts, signalling the beginning of competitive season 6 of Rocket League. Enjoy those placement matches against Grand Champions, fellow Silvers. The Autumn Update also says goodbye to ranked play on Wasteland and Starbase ARC, at least in their non-standard forms, and brings with it a new type of crate and brand new items to throw keys toward, though my enthusiasm for loot boxes in any format rates at the same level as the Scarab’s popularity.

In RLCS play you could be forgiven for thinking the European ladder had been uploaded backwards, with the undefeated pair of Method and PSG (formerly Frontline, now backed by the French football giant) assured of a league finals appearance while Team Envy and Flipsid3 Tactics are in a fight to avoid the relegation bracket alongside the winless Team Secret. North America has gone a little more to script, though results last week ensure no squad will finish the season undefeated. Oceania still has a way to go to sort itself out, with five teams all on two wins and one loss, and a short four series round this weekend won’t do a lot to shift that.

North America – Week 3 RLCS play

Week three in North America didn’t give us any clear answers about who we will be seeing at the World Championship, but we can be assured it won’t be Allegiance who dropped tough five game series’ to Ghost and Renegades to remain winless for the season. Ghost won their series with Allegiance in game five overtime and Renegades took razor thin victories in games four and five in what looks like the most likely battle between seventh and eighth. Renegades remained in that relegation zone following a tough 3-1 series loss to Flyquest which included two overtime games.

Earlier in the day Cloud9 delivered more of the same we’ve come to expect from them, sweeping Ghost 3-0 with a combined 13-2 goal total. Ghost were without Lethamyr who managed only one game on the day due to internet issues, scoring the series winner in his game five cameo against Allegiance.

Speaking of what we expect, G2 delivered more of their trademark inconsistency in dropping to Flyquest 3-1, Chrome having a particularly nasty series highlighted by a dirty bashing of Rizzo to create space for the sealing goal of game four. G2 weren’t at their best but take nothing away from how good Flyquest looked, they have plenty left to give in league play and provided this weeks player of the week, CorruptedG.

Then we had the big one, Cloud9 against G2. G2 coming off a shock series loss, Cloud9 off a dominant sweep. A battle of old versus new, the crisp teamwork and passing plays of Cloud9 against the “showtime” brilliance of G2. It took one of those trademark pass plays to break overtime Cloud9’s way in game one, but G2 got one back in game two with a brutal bump play for the match-winner with seconds left on the clock, following a strong defensive stand. The slightest of overtime mistakes cost Cloud9 game three, before G2 run away with game four and the series, breathing some life into the top of the NA ladder and dealing Cloud9 their first series defeat of league play.

Cloud9 remain in the box seat for a top two finish and automatic qualifying into LAN, their final week clash with NRG could decide the top seeding. G2, Ghost, Rogue and Flyquest all sit with two wins, the later pair also with two losses. All four play twice this week in a crucial series of games where results could see them anywhere between top two contenders and fighting to escape relegation. G2 v NRG this weekend is another clash of long time North American titans and will have massive ladder ramifications.

In NA RLRS it looks like we are down to four main contenders for the promotion games, with the undefeated Fibeon and Hollywood Hammers holding the edge over Premature Superhero Cops and Out of Style. There is a good chance NA RLRS play comes down to the final week, where Hammers v Fibeon and PSC v OoS could both be for a chance to make it into RLCS.

Europe – RLCS week 3 play

There is a New European Order in Rocket League, as Method and PSG (formerly Frontline) stamp their authority on the region and sit at 4-0. Method enjoyed their bye last week, leaving PSG to take the stage with a sweep of the winless Team Secret by a combined score of 14-3, then capping their organisational debut with a big win against Flipsid3 Tactics. It wasn’t easy, Flipsid3 were seconds away from a 2-0 series lead in game two but conceded twice in 17 seconds to surrender their lead, then found the crossbar at all zeroes to miss levelling game three, eventually dropping the series 3-1.

It says a lot about how good Excel were that they bested PSG for performances of the week, sweeping both Team Secret and Team Envy. They did it easy against Secret, but the win against Envy showed plenty of class and dropped Envy right down into the danger zone for a shock relegation with their third loss. For his efforts, Excel’s Nielskoek took player of the week for Europe.

Mockit also secured two wins on the day, the second all but sealing Envy’s fate of having to fight for their RLCS life next month. Envy started with a blistering 4-0 win in game one, but dropped the next three, including two long overtime heartbreakers. Envy were making uncharacteristic mistakes, and Deevo suffered with lag issues, posting 100+ pings that would cruel your Platinum ranked games, let alone RLCS performance. Mockit’s first win on the day started in the opposite fashion, thrashing Flipsid3 5-0 before having to work a bit harder in later games to secure a 3-1 series win.

Looking at the ladder, Method and PSG are locked in a fight for top seed, both sitting pretty for a top two finish and facing off this week in the biggest match of league play so far. Set your alarms for that one, it kicks off 6:20AM Monday morning. At the other end Team Secret is assured of one spot in the relegation battle, with Flipsid3 and Envy likely to fight it out for the other. It’s crazy to think of those teams not making LAN, let alone not even being in RLCS next season, but that is a long way away yet. Mockit and Excel both sit at 2-1 while Gale Force are 2-2, but their 3-2 series losses to Method and PSG don’t look so bad right now.

In EU RLRS, The Leftovers are all but assured to be one of the squads fighting for a spot in RLCS, currently sitting undefeated after five series. Four teams are fighting to join them but the most likely will be the winner of The Juicy Kids v Endpoint this week.

Oceania – Week 2 RLCS play

Oceania week two started as the Pale Horse show, coming out on fire against Avant with four goals in the first two minutes of game one, though it took two deep overtimes to claim a 3-1 series win. It didn’t get any easier for Pale Horse, backing straight up against rivals JAM Gaming in the series of the week. The battle lived up to all expectations and then some, from several blown multi-goal leads to overtime heroics and a wild 5-4 game two, but Pale Horse emerged victorious with back to back wins in game four and five. The speed of Pale Horse took JAM out of their comfort zone, but to JAM’s credit they always seem to adjust and come back, you can never be sure you’ve put them away.

There was a brief comedown for JAM as they gave up a shock first game loss to Noizee Isn’t Toxic (minus Noizee who was subbed by Reggles), but JAM pulled it together to edge out game two before pulling away for a 3-1 series win. NIT then took Conspiracy to five games but fell just short of a series win. If Noizee Isn’t Toxic can get that first goal then several more usually follow, but too often their attack is shut down, in their nine losses five have come giving up a clean sheet and in three they have scored only a single goal.

In Scylla’s only appearance for the day they took down Conspiracy 3-1, Conspiracy just avoiding the sweep with an all zeroes matchwinner in game three. Chiefs and Legacy then made their only appearances for the week, Penor making his debut for Legacy subbing in for Zen.

Things started well for Legacy, forcing overtime with seconds remaining in game one then taking it out with a kickoff goal. Indeed they looked like a different team with Penor, inspiring Plitz to some of his best performances as Legacy took game two and the upset was on. Chiefs held out in game three but some big defensive efforts sealed the shock series win for Legacy 3-1 and throwing a spanner into the works of Throwdown season 4.

Nothing splits the top five teams in Throwdown on the ladder, every team sits with two wins and one loss. Not all wins are created equal; Avant, Chiefs and Pale Horse have had tough schedules while JAM Gaming’s two wins have come against the bottom two squads in the league, but the sight test says Chiefs, JAM and Pale Horse are still the teams to beat. You can’t write Legacy off after this week either. In a four-series week three we won’t get a lot of answers, though Avant will have a lot of work ahead of them if they drop their match of the week against JAM. On another note, the new intro montage for Throwdown is tight, take a look:

In other competitions the Vapour-Nordic league passed its halfway point and the ladder is starting to sort itself out. Cl4rity had a perfect week and Lynx went 3-1, both sit atop the table at 6-2 along with Feint, who split results this week. ESL qualifiers for season 3 have also finished, with the “big six” making it through qualifying unscathed (or earning their spots automatically), to be joined by Square One and Lynx. A notable absence is Conspiracy, who fell to Lynx and then were the unfortunate victim of Legacy, who luck of the draw dropped to the lower bracket after a loss to Scylla. Conspiracy did get some revenge over Lynx, beating them to take down the ESL Monthly final, but they will miss out on league play.

Dates and Times

Note that daylight savings time in Australia kicks in Sunday morning, so start times have changed up.

Throwdown OCE Season 4 (RLCS) – Sunday 1 October, 11:00AM AEDT
Vapour-Nordic – Friday 29 September, 7:00PM AEST

Rivals Series (EU and NA) – Saturday 30 September, 4:00AM AEST (EU), 10:00AM AEST (NA)
RLCS North America Week 4 – Sunday 1 October, 6:00AM AEDT
RLCS Europe Week 4 – Monday 2 October, 3:00AM AEDT

All NA and EU RLCS streams are archived on Twitch and (eventually) Youtube.

Series of the week: Pale Horse v JAM Gaming, Throwdown

Biggest games of the week ahead

Europe – Method v PSG – Monday 2 October, 6:00AM AEDT
North America – G2 v NRG – Sunday 1 October, 10:10AM AEDT
Oceania – JAM Gaming v Avant – Sunday 1 October, 11:00AM AEDT

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From Amiga to Xbox One, Doom to Destiny, Megazone to Stevivor, I've been gaming through it all and have the (mental) scars to prove it. I love local multiplayer, collecting ridiculous Dreamcast peripherals, and Rocket League. Find me on Twitter @gollennium