RLCS SEASON 2 LEAGUE PLAY - WEEK 1 - NA
Exodus vs Deception
Traditionally, Exodus are a high scoring team. We saw Deception utilise strong possession - and great blocks in the midfield - to keep Exodus contained. This kept the early games very close and nearly every clear from Exodus was blocked immediately by Deception. Prevention is better than cure but Exodus break the high pressure siege in their half to take the first game. Deception responded immediately, initially equalising and then taking the lead in the series.
As the series continued, we saw some excellent opportunities created by Exodus. These allowed them to take advantage of space and get some excellent last minute goals. Over the five games, Exodus emerged as the dominant team and displayed their experience and ability as they secured victory in the end. Great work from Deception as I’ve never seen such low scoring games from Exodus. We will see more of Exodus (Moses, GarrettG and Turtle) next week.
Deception vs Vendetta
We had an insight to the past with this series. A notable upset from the qualifiers was when Vendetta lost to Deception, as discussed in last week’s summary. Last series, Deception looked very strong against Exodus but weren’t able to seal the deal. Fast forward to now and how did this pan out? We saw Deception start strong and Vendetta looked rocky to begin with. As time went on, Vendetta found their balance and we saw their positioning and decision making improve significantly.
The first two games were firmly under Deceptions control. Again, Deception maintained possession and that allowed them to build solid attacks and play in a conservative fashion, minimising their risks against players that are notable on the attack. Vendetta looked to be out of position and on the back foot for a large part of the series. This was entirely reversed as Vendetta improved their positioning in Game 3 and then we saw Darkfire unleashed by Torment. Vendetta take the series with phenomenal team plays. I look forward to seeing Deception (CorruptedG, Fireworks and Vince) next week because I’m expecting great things as this team gains experience.
Vendetta vs Genesis
Vendetta (Darkfire, Torment and Lethamyr) were firmly warmed up going into this series. Genesis were starting somewhat cold as the first game showed. The route Genesis took to make it into league play was fraught with danger but they overcame the obstacles they left themselves. In Game 1 of this series, it was clear how this highly rated team could have lost to a team like Iniquitous. Vendetta took this game with little difficulty leaving the scoreline at 5-0.
As we moved through the series, the opposite was true. Genesis made full use of Espeon’s aerial dominance causing many to think of him as the American analogue to Kuxir. Klassux looks to be firmly settled into the roster and Pluto is still a powerhouse across the field. Vendetta maintained their powerful play but we saw Genesis sneak ahead in every game. Preventing Vendetta from taking opportunities on goal was key and Genesis elected to just not let them across the centre line. Genesis take the series 3-1, making this the first series of the day that did not make it to Game 5.
Genesis vs Revival
Espeon is crazy. Everyone I have spoken to previously has been unsure of Genesis. How well is Klassux working? Will they sort out their consistency issues? They came through to league play after dropping to the lower bracket in the round of 128. Last series we saw them take the victory decisively, after they warmed up. In this series, they started strong against Revival. Revival were looking solid with some great map control and boost denial but a fantastic play by Espeon tied the game with 19 seconds left. In an indescribable moment of brilliance, he passed it out to Pluto when it was bouncing on Revival’s goal line so that the defenders had no chance to make a save. This game was then sealed in Genesis’ favour by Klassux picking up a buzzer beater.
Moving through the rest of the series, Revival looked set to continue their strong plays and actually came back to equalise the series 1-1. Genocop and Chrome showed their great synergy taking advantage of opportunities that left Genesis flat footed in a very close Game 2. However, Genesis continued to show their instinctive genius with, frankly, crazy touches from all three players. Revival lost to Genesis 3-1 and Chrome, Genocop and HotWheelsSid were left going into their next match on the back of defeat.
Revival vs G2
In a vacuum, one of the lower ranked teams in the league going up against the unchanged LAN final winning roster of G2 Esports is a no brainer. With the results we saw in the qualifier when G2 entered league play through the Losers bracket… Let’s just say there is cause for concern. G2 looked to have their characteristic flashes of brilliance but Revival came out strong and there isn’t much more to say than, SWEEEEEEEEP! Revival take it to the RLCS World Champs and while Kronovi, OverZero and Lachinio had some ridiculous moments with Kronovi performing the most disgusting dunk I think I have ever seen at this level of play. G2 looked to be in the lead in the first game but Revival score an equaliser and then take the lead from the reset face off. Kronovi’s dunk evens the scoreline and Revival reply with twenty seconds to go. The fourth goal comes from Chrome with two seconds to go sealing the deal.
Revival win Game 1 and we see them shut down G2 at every turn in the next two games. We see a 0-0 overtime in Game 2 and by Game 3 it is clear that Revival have G2 firmly under control. Great work from the Revival lads, reading the pitch well and knowing exactly where each other are, to see success in this series.
G2 vs Take 3
We see G2 wake up a little here and there was a lot of back and forth in the series. Take 3 is Rizzo, ZaneJackey and Insolences. The artist formerly known as Mock-It NA took a decisive first game with Insolences and ZaneJackey partnering up. G2 were quick to respond on this occasion and we saw a huge number of saves at the back, allowing G2 to win their first game of the day. As the series continued, these two teams showed just how close they are and they rallied back and forth until finally Take 3 took the victory in Game 5 with a clean sheet. Take 3 are definitely on my list of who to look out for going forward and not just because they wrecked my qualifier predictions!
The write-up on this series is short so I’m going to take a minute to talk about G2’s form. The started the day badly losing to Revival in the only sweep of the day. A lot is expected of G2 and they certainly came closer to that expectation in this series. Hopefully, they will have the time and motivation to focus entirely on playing as a unit, training hard and taking the time to know their opponents inside out. Every team in this league wants to win and we see a much smaller performance gap between the teams in this Season 2 than we did in the first championship.
Take 3 vs Kings of Urban
Take 3 are really taking the scene by storm. We saw them upset G2 in the qualifiers. We saw them beat G2 in league play. Now we see them come through and play Kings of Urban. Widely regarded as one of the best teams in NA, KoU had a surprisingly short story at Season 1’s LAN Finals. Since then we have seen them on fine form and Fireburner, Jacob and Sadjunior are looking to prove they have what it takes in this season of the RLCS. Once again, there was a lot of back and forth and we see another Game 5 in our last series of the day. Take 3 start strong once again and some unexpected shots allow them to secure the first game.
Kings of Urban are well known for being a very aggressive team. They will continue to pound shots in and every shot will be dangerous. Take 3’s defensive play countered this excellently allowing Take 3 to minimise opportunities and work between the wide rotations that KoU like to use. It’s not enough in Game 2 and KoU take this game with two goals very early thanks to an air carry from Sad that pulled all 3 defenders out of position. Another goal straight off the face-off puts them ahead by two. This game sees KoU take it 4-1 and then, as seems to be the trend with Take 3, another rally of victories begins. It appears to be case where if Take 3 can get ahead, they stay ahead but they find it hard to comeback in a game once behind. Game 5 was extremely tense, both teams wanted this series win and then we see Rizzo win a 50-50 against two of KoU’s defence tearing the clean sheet and with just 17 seconds left on the clock, Take 3 win this series and now sit at the top of the leaderboard with Genesis.