RLCS SEASON 2 LEAGUE PLAY - WEEK 1 - EU
Flipsid3 Tactics vs Red Eye
We start the day with a surprise. A lot of the casual viewers of the RLCS will be unsure who Red Eye are and why they are here. Good job Red Eye. You definitely proved why you are here in this series! Now, everyone knows who FlipSid3 are. Runners-Up in Season 1, losing to G2 Esports (then iBP Cosmic) after running the entire length of the Losers Bracket. Flash forward to now and we see them open very strongly. Every characteristic you expect from FlipSid3 was on show in Game 1 with midfield plays that were intense in the speed with which they developed. Markydooda, Kuxir and Greazymeister have shaken it up somewhat with Greazy introducing more backboard plays. These are extremely effective and only add more tools to an already overflowing box.
That adds a lot of meaning to the fact that Red Eye were pressuring FlipSid3 to the point of finding open net opportunities far more frequently than we would expect. In Game 1, FlipSid3 took the win easily, denying boost, passing accurately and pressing forward as a unit. Game 2 was a different story. Red Eye were able to defend effectively and then break away, taking quick advantage of mistakes in positioning from FlipSid3. Red Eye take Game 3 in much the same way but in Games 4 and 5, all of us watched in awe as FlipSid3 begin creating opportunities, using the walls and any available open space to put shot after shot on the target. The partial reverse sweep ends this series in FlipSid3’s favour.
Red Eye vs OhMyDog
Oh, snap. Red Eye were coming off the back of a surprisingly close series and that showed in this series. They took it straight to OhMyDog with a goal in the first four seconds of the series. Tequilaz, Dadooh, Chausette. Remember those names, you’ll be hearing them again and again as this league progresses. OhMyDog were looking strong in every game of this series with gorgeous passing plays and a lot of saves. In fact they had so many saves in the first game that I grabbed DMR (Master Statistician) and teased a snippet or two from him.
At the weekend, OhMyDog had a total of 31 saves. Spoilers Warning! Ready? OhMyDog lost this series and that makes them one of two teams that lost both their series. I did say spoilers... They had a full 11 more saves than that other team. However, half of those were in this series. Ready for the bit that makes you impressed by Red Eye? Red Eye swept this series! There were a lot of shots that OhMyDog absolutely had to put a body in front of and, just by the by, Red Eye missed the highest number of shots this weekend by 2. Two. Dos. Zwei. Deux. Red Eye are here to stay folks.
OhMyDog vs MockIt Aces
If you are Turbopolsa, Dogu and Al0t, this series is going to be hard. You’ve just come out of a sweep and that was against a team that nobody thought would do as well as they are. Mentally that is difficult. When MockIt Aces went up early in the first game, the alarms bell started ringing. Then with just 1:17 left on the clock, OhMyDog score leaving the game 3-1 to MockIt. 1:14 to go and we’re at another kick-off and the scoreline rests at 3-2. Skip to the clock at 0:00 and watch Turbo to Al0t to Dogu to Al0t to Dogu to GOAL!!! Overtime. Dramatic! MockIt do end up taking the game in overtime but knowing that OhMyDog can score 3 goals that quickly is stressful.
Across the rest of the series, MockIt can’t relax for a second. OhMyDog manage to contain MockIt, preventing their usual shenanigans and shrugging off various attempts to break the flow of the game. Victory is theirs in Games 2 and 3 leaving the series at 2-1. Then, MockIt begin to get into their rhythm and we see multiple passing plays including a particularly gross redirect from Deevo. I mean, you have to see it to believe it. Paschy, Deevo and ViolentPanda come out ahead 3-2, making it look easy in the end.
MockIt Aces vs Summit
Finally. I’ve been waiting for this moment ever since they introduced the possibility. My fondest wish fulfilled. Not only do I see Jamesbot cast with Findable Carpet but I see him cast his own personal worst nightmare. A non-standard map! Summit picked Neo Tokyo in the second game of this series and, to be honest, it was the most notable thing that happened. Let’s do this one a bit differently, MockIt sweep Summit. For every goal Summit scored, MockIt scored two. Simple. In all three games. They made it look easy and after this series, I have Summit at the lower end of the league. Red Eye proved to be real fighters this week and I hope Summit prove the same in the weeks to come.
Now, let’s get to it. Non-standard maps. If you want my full opinion go watch, oh I don’t know, every episode of RPR. Non-standard maps in RLCS are available to be picked by teams. In this case Summit picked it and I think it’s smart they did. MockIt play in a measured way and Paschy likes to dribble. Traditional dribbling on Neo Tokyo is less likely to work because of the much smaller areas you have to work with. You can dribble on the platforms or on the ground. The ramps just screw things up. As a tech choice against MockIt Aces, I love it. It didn’t work but I want to see more of that. Gain any edge you can.
Neo Tokyo has a lot of potential for situations that are extremely difficult to read. Most players with 2000 hours will have maybe 40-60 hours on Neo Tokyo. I really do think the number is that small. If you practise dribbling round it for 2 hours a day as if it’s Freeplay then within two weeks you have doubled your time on it and that will be a huge advantage. Anyway, I think there was a thing going on…
Summit vs Supersonic Avengers/Reunited
Yay, more name changes. You get a slash because they hadn’t updated the overlay yet on the day. With the housekeeping out of the way, let’s get to it. Supersonic Avengers are largely regarded to be inconsistent performers. However, as one of the longest standing rosters in the competitive Rocket League world, (let alone the RLCS) they also know each other very well. I would be scared of playing this team because you never quite know what will happen. I have been told a few times that Doomsee has one of the deepest understandings of anyone playing when it comes to answering threats. How true that is, who knows? Clearly, Doomsee, ELMP/Lamp and Snaski are very experienced. They spot opportunities and execute upon them effectively.
That didn’t stop Summit from taking a decisive Game 1. Supersonic Avengers do not play like MockIt Aces, SA are more instinctive than deliberate in their approach. Summit are able to use this to their advantage and we see Sebadam and Flarke scoring four goals between the two of them with Jessie opening the door more than once. Great work from Summit just isn’t enough as we advance through the series though. SA warm up and the tables are turned swiftly. I’m finding it difficult to describe Summit. They play slightly differently in every game I watch and I wonder if the lack of consistency in their approach is what defeated them. SA take the series 3-1 and don’t get me wrong, it was excellent Rocket League. Good back and forth with SA successfully taking the lead and keeping it in the remaining three games (one of which was on Neo Tokyo! Make this a regular thing please…).
Supersonic Avengers vs Precision Z
Remember those stats we were talking about earlier? Good. The team with the most shots from the weekend was Supersonic Avengers with 70. Now, the team with the most saves over the weekend was Precision Z with 45. This should be exciting! In Game 1, SA took the lead fairly quickly and we saw them maintain that for the whole of the game, not allowing PreZ to score. However, PreZ are a powerhouse defensive team as we saw in Game 2. They kept SA to a single goal until they can equalise and then in overtime, Kaydop and Skyline pound shots in with support from Sikii until SA’s defense breaks. Tied in the series here and Precision Z may be one of the best teams in the league at transitioning from defense to offense and back.
This deliberate play style from PreZ allows them to take an early lead in Game 3 but SA are quick to respond narrowing the PreZ lead to just one goal at the half time mark and with just thirty seconds left, SA initiate a rapid passing play to equalise. Overtime again and Precision Z sit and take every attack from Supersonic Avengers. Eventually, the constant pressure overwhelms them and Doomsee won a key 50-50 to take this Game 3 for his team. Games 4 and 5 we see Precision Z make it out in front on the scoreboard in both games. Then they consolidated and by utilising steady conservative play with epic defense they prevented SA from coming back. If you watch one series from the weekend, watch FlipSid3 vs Red Eye. If you watch two, this series is the second you put in front of your eyes.
Precision Z vs Northern Gaming
I’ve been ranting on about Precision Z’s ability to guard their goal. I can’t describe how it felt to watch them continue that excellent play at the back end of the pitch. I definitely can’t describe how it felt to watch Northern Gaming completely overwhelm them in one of the most conclusive series I have ever seen. Northern Gaming had the second highest goal per game average of the weekend. Couple that with a full 11 shots per game in this series and the reputation for their attacking plays that Northern Gaming have is well justified. I can only imagine how any other team could have handled this. PreZ are my number one pick for being able to fend this off.
It’s no surprise that NG swept this series with relative ease. Maintaining possession, constant pressure, a mix of those famous backboard passes and some ridiculous angles are the secret sauce of victory. After this performance, I want it to be Week 2 already so we can see more games from both these teams. Maestro and Remkoe have definitely integrated Miztik into this Northern Gaming roster. Precision Z, if you’re reading this, just be proud of holding them off as well as you did.