Worlds

The best moments from the RLCS Season 8 World Championship

December 15, 2019 - 23:42
Rocketeers / Recap / RLCS /

It’s the greatest weekend of the half-year for Rocket League fans, and the RLCS Season 8 World Championship just wrapped up in Madrid.

The group stages brought us surprise victories, early standout teams, and some seriously spectacular shots, but Sunday’s playoffs bracket gave us the brilliant battles of the titans that we hoped for. Ultimately, when all was said and done, NRG Esports clinched its very first RLCS championship.

We’re collected the weekend’s best goals and biggest moments here, day by day, and now the set is complete. Didn’t get to watch all of the action, or just want to relive the excitement? All of the biggest moments are collected here below.

Day 3 โ€“ Sunday, Dec. 15

Arsenal goes solo

Arsenal has been a crafty force for Spacestation Gaming all weekend, not to mention a fount of pure excitement onstage, and this was the top highlight from SSG’s win over Veloce to make Top 4. Just watch him put the moves on FlamE here en route to the goal. To quote Shogun, “FlamE might as well have not been there.”

Scrub’s sick angle

He’s a mechanical madman, y’all. Vitality took out the Pittsburgh Knights to make Top 4, and this beautiful double-tap from Scrub Killa sealed the first game win in overtime. The Knights are all tangled up and helpless here. Just pure finesse from Scrub. He did it again to win the entire series, again in overtime no less, but this is the more beautiful-looking shot even if that yielded the bigger result.

#TurboFlick

All hail the #TurboFlick. How can you not love the dude? Turbopolsa scores a hilarious goal here against Spacestation Gaming, trying to be smooth and finessedโ€ฆ but instead of flicking the ball, he flips under it and takes out the defender. Hey, the end result is the same. To quote the best comment on the tweet highlight, “That’s how my flicks look except I don’t get the demo and I don’t score.” Yeah. Turbo scores those.

He’s SO FAST

As the classic #LANdon chant established, GarrettG: he scores when he wants. And he wanted this one, fielding an aerial pass from Jstn to set up an incredibly fast double-tap goal. We don’t really need to say much more than that.

OHHHHHH

There’s two highlights in this clip: GarrettG’s fabulous fake that leads to the goal, and then the “OHHH” uttered by the entire crowd while seeing it happen in the replay. Look, we just covered this: he scores when he wants.

Yukeo’s power surge

Renault Vitality seemed to have Dignitas’ number early in the semifinals series, but Dig fought back hard. Yukeo was the star of the team, with the keyboard-and-mouse wizard quelling any doubts about his capabilities with plays like this. And thenโ€ฆ

RIP Yukeo Cam

Game 6 of the Dignitas/Vitality semifinal will go down as one of the all-time greatest games in RLCS history, with more than five minutes of the most incredibly tense overtime action we’ve ever seen. Yukeo finally gave all of our hearts a brief rest with this goal, setting up the Game 7 showdown we all wanted. Dig might’ve had the momentum, but sadly for them, it wasn’t enough to take the series and make the finals.

What theโ€ฆ

What on earth is this madness, Garrett? I mean, come on.

Kaydop barrels in

When Kaydop wants a goal, he usually makes it happen. One problem: Jstn is in the way here. Actually, it’s no problem at all for Kaydop. As seen in the clip above, he just smashes right into Jstn to clear the path, letting the ball continue in untouched.

Here comes Game 7

While this Game 6 wasn’t quite as insane as the previous one, the last moments in the Grand Finals were incredibly intense as NRG fought like hell to avoid giving up a loss to bring on Game 7. The crossbar got in the way, ultimately, and we got the seemingly inevitable nail-biting finale: one last game to determine the RLCS champions.

Jstn’s explosive finish

Remember that Kaydop shot from before? Jstn returned the favor to Vitality’s Scrub Killa in the final game of the series, when it was dramatically more important. Play of the year? Yeah, we buy that. And Jstn had one more big moment still to comeโ€ฆ

Championship clinched

Finally. We got a Game 7 overtime, because of course we did, but Jstn quickly put it to bed with this laser shot. After eight seasons, playing at every single RLCS World Championship to date, GarrettG has a title. Three seasons after their brutal Season 5 finals defeat, both Jstn and Garrett have been redeemed. And Turbo is the first RLCS player to snag a fourth RLCS title. Incredible stuff.

Day 2 โ€“ Saturday, Dec. 14

Credit: Psyonix

Doink!

Pittsburgh Knights really came to play on Saturday, and their first 3-0 sweep came against Canberra Havoc. The Knights won each game by at least three goals, and this was one of our favorites: a full-team play across the entire field that ended with a perfect upper-90 doink by Retals. Cheeky.

Faked out

The Three Sins went out fairly quietly this tournament, but the South American champs managed to take a game off of Reciprocity today thanks in part to this disgusting aerial fake by Matheus “math” Gonรงalves. Rather than try to tap it off the wall or down into the goal, he simply fell alongside the ball as the Reciprocity defender soared by.

Gyro drops it down

Team Reciprocity was expected to do some damage this weekend, but aside from taking out The Three Sins, they struggled otherwise. The Knights put them down for the count with a 3-0 sweep on Saturday, and this shot from Jirair “ExplosiveGyro” Papazian was the highlight of the short series. That angle! Heck of a pass from Nick “mist” Costello, too.

Veloce’s reverse sweep

eUnited had Veloce Esports on the ropes after two straight wins, but the scrappy European team didn’t give up. They started turning up the team play and delivering some beautiful shots, including this infield pass from Jack “FlamE” Pearton to Sandro “FreaKii” Holzwarth in Game 5.

Kamii’s corner shot

The long-awaited Oceania/South American showdown came to a head with Renegades vs. Lowkey Esports, which went the full five gamesโ€”and this killer corner angle shot from Cameron “Kamii” Ingram helped give the OCE stalwarts the win. Lowkey made a lot of fans this weekend and showed that they totally belong, but Renegades had this one.

“Dunk of the century”

NRG vs Renault Vitality was the battle of the titans we had been waiting for since Friday morning, and it totally lived up to the hype. This dunk from Kyle “Scrub Killa” Robertson got the crowd roaring as he willed that goal into existence, winning Vitality the first game of the series.

GarrettG finishes up

That NRG/Vitality series went the full five games, with three overtimes in the first four games, but NRG ultimately sealed the deal in Game 5. This goal from Garrett “GarrettG” Gordon put NRG over the top, as he was in prime position to take the rebound after Jstn shot into (and thus help dispersed) a full crowd of Vitality players. NRG has clinched Top 4 alongside Dignitas, with the other teams decided early Sunday.

A soul-crushing 9min overtime finish

Oof. How else can we put it? Renegades and Veloce fought hard in the last match of Saturday to secure the last Top 6 spot for Sunday, and in Game 4, that fight extended more than nine minutes into overtime. And thenโ€ฆ well, Renegades’ Daniel “Torsos” Parsons didn’t immediately jump up to save the ball, likely to save on boost, and Chris “Siki” Magee apparently just panicked and own-goaled to knock them out of the tournament. That’s brutal.

Day 1 โ€“ Friday, Dec. 13

Credit: Psyonix

Spacestation in sync

The day started off with a pair of 3-0 sweeps, and the second was even more dominant than the first (Dignitas vs. The Three Sins). Spacestation Gaming was clearly in command against Canberra Havoc, Oceania’s #2 seed, and this stunning drop-down pass from Tshaka “Arsenal” Lateef Taylor Jr. to Caden “Sypical” Pellegrin makes that clear. What a beautiful team play.

Retals’ filthy fake

Pittsburgh Knights talked a big game ahead of today’s expected matchup against Dignitas, teasing a 3-0 sweep for their first Worlds series. That didn’t happen; it was a tight 3-2 series that Knights ultimately lost, but this play needs a showcase. Just watch how Slater “retals” Thomas fakes out the Dignitas defenders before putting a little wing tap at the end.

AztraL goes solo

Maello “AztraL” Ernst has been a big part of Dignitas’ bounce-back season and return to Worlds, and he showed it on his own during the decisive Game 5 win against the Knights. It’s not fancy, but the aggressive determination help AztraL carry the shot right to the goal and ensure that Dig’s next goal would be the series-winner.

SAM’s first win

South America did it: in the region’s second World Championship, returning team Lowkey Esports outlasted Veloce Esports in a close series for a 3-1 victory. Enzo “Tander” Toledo isn’t the team’s usual offensive force, but he went nuts during this season, even notching a hat trick during the final game. This double-tap goal to start that Game 4 barrage is a solo gem.

Hockser’s high-flying goal

We didn’t know what to expect from eUnited at Worlds, given their minimal LAN experience, but they easily handled Oceania’s top team in a 3-1 win. Colby “hockser” James had the shot of the series, with a long double-tap goal with a dunk at the end. Way to stick with it!

Just Jstn things

Lowkey might’ve beaten Veloce, but NRG is a much different story. The NA champs had no problem taking down the SAM standouts in a 3-0 sweep, and to absolutely no one’s surprise, Justin “Jstn” Morales had an absurd goal along the way. He smashes up against the wall with the ball, but rather than just give up, he uses his last remaining bits of boost to follow the ball straight down and complete the job. Nutty stuff.

Fairy Peak’s winning read

Could eUnited rack up a second win against the reigning champions? Nope. Renault Vitality looked in fine form in the day’s final match, showing their winning pedigree on the stage with a 3-1 victory capped off by an overtime clinch. Victor “Fairy Peak” Locquet did the honors, as seen here, cutting off a pass before double tapping against the side wall to sink it at a sharp angle.

Photos courtesy of Psyonix

Andrew is the Lead Editor of Rocketeers, and has been covering Rocket League esports since RLCS S1 for publications such as Red Bull Esports, The Esports Observer, Waypoint, and GINX TV. He has also written about games, gadgets, etc. for 90+ publications since 2006.