This weekend, 8 teams will fight for a $50,000 prize pool. NARLI 2 is the first major Rocket League event since the fantastic World Championship in London, and it features a couple of the world’s best teams including the World Champions Team Dignitas.
Adam “Lawler” Thornton is one of the casters and analysts of the event. We reached out to him to get his predictions in and to talk about the different teams that will face each other this weekend in Toronto.
The World Championship in London set the bar pretty high for other Rocket League events. How hyped are you going into NARLI 2 as a caster and analyst and what can we as fans expect?
I can’t say enough how much I enjoy working with the Northern Arena staff. Great group of people with a unique perspective on how they want to do events. Last year was their first live event so I expect nothing but a drastic improvement for NARLI 2. I know they’ve been hard at work preparing, as well as the fans getting ready for some juicy chants. This is the first international LAN to follow the World Championship in London. I’m excited to see what the teams will bring to the table after a month away from the stage.
“There is no longer a better region at the top”
There are numerous fantastic teams playing for a $50,000 prize pool. Let’s talk a bit about the different teams. The obvious question is: Is there a team that’s able to stop Team Dignitas? These guys must feel so confident after their victory at the World Championship.
CompLexity (then Method) showed that it’s possible in the upper finals during S4. It came down to one goal. NRG was able to prove it’s possible. They beat them in the upper bracket when Kaydop was faltering, then brought it back after the bracket reset being down 3-1. Again decided by one goal, this time in overtime. We’ve said it plenty of times now, there is no longer a better region at the top. These teams will trade wins, it just depends who shows up on the day, who minimizes mistakes. Dignitas is dangerous because of their consistency. You make mistakes and they will punish it, also Turbo. Turbo is absolutely disgusting on LAN.
— Adam Thornton (@Lawler_RL) June 11, 2018
What’s your advice As an analyst for teams that have to face Dignitas? How do you beat them?
You have to find a way to control the ball because Dignitas somehow always has boost. When Dignitas eventually finds a way to stop you, you need to have a plan to change it up again. I also highly recommend watching film and specifically focusing on ViolentPanda, that guy uses a TON of boost.
Credit to Fireburner for his playstyle in NRG’s games against Dignitas. He single-handedly was able to slow down possession to buy Garrett/JSTN time to grab valuable boost and reposition. He would trap the ball in midfield and force a defender to challenge. Eventually he’d win the 50/50 and flick it over DIG’s challenging player and give NRG an advantage on offense. Turbo eventually caught on to this and got in Fireburner’s face faster, shutting that option down. Turbo adapted, Fireburner didn’t. The times Fireburner flicked the ball sooner, Garrett scored because he scores when he wants.
“I only wish that it would be a best-of-7”
NRG are probably highly motivated to face Dignitas again and getting another shot at a Rocket League trophy. What do you expect of these guys?
I expect nothing but another fantastic series between these two teams, I only wish that it would be a best-of-7 when they face off. There’s a good chance they play each other in the semi-finals as our last match of day 1 and I plan for it to be another battle.
There are also some teams that probably feel like they have to redeem themselves. PSG for example struggled all throughout the past season. Then there’s exceL who got demoted to the RLRS. Are those teams an extra threat because they want to prove that they’re better than their performance in Season 5 indicates?
These teams have had quite a bit of time to figure out their issues, possible roster changes etc. I talked with Marky quite a bit at LANdon, and he’s excited to play on the stage again. They know what it’s like to be there, and miss it when they can’t. It motivates them and it’s a reality check that they can’t slack off or they will get left behind. Extra threat? No. Better prepared? Maybe. Hungry and motivated? Of course, especially the ones that have tasted victory before.
— Adam Thornton (@Lawler_RL) July 9, 2018
On the other hand there’s a team like FlyQuest who got promoted and will play in the RLCS Season 6. They must feel pretty confident and see this as an opportunity to show the world that they’ve earned their spot in the upper league. How do you like their chances?
I still think FlyQuest has a bit before they’re considered one to worry about. Doesn’t mean teams should take them lightly. Clearly they deserved to make it into the RLCS, but NA has shown numerous times that the top 3 are leagues ahead the rest. They are my dark horse for the tournament because expectations should be low. We have yet to see how AyyJayy performs on LAN as well. Take it one game at a time, while trying to minimize as many mistakes as possible. Great experience for them either way, but don’t let it be just that. We’ve seen what that mentality did to Chiefs at ELEAGUE last December.
“It’s Dignitas versus the world”
I know you want to stay as unbiased as possible, but if you had to pick one team, which team would you predict wins NARLI 2?
Out of the last 8 “premier” international events, we’ve had 6 different winners (DIGx2, PSG, G2, C9x2, NG (NV), F3). All of them will be attending. Dignitas is now back to back in premier wins, with Turbo in the past 3. At this point, it’s Dignitas versus the world.
Who is going to win NARLI 2? Head over to our Rocket League Discord channel and discuss it with the community!