Sweeps and nutty angles

The 5 must-see moments from the final week of RLCS S5 league play (so far)

April 16, 2018 - 17:02
Rocketeers / Recap / RLCS / Spotlight /

It’s the Monday after the final weekend of RLCS season five league play… but league play isn’t over yet. Partway into the European broadcast yesterday, the power went out at the RLCS studio in Burbank, California—so they pushed the last few matches to Thursday.

Given that, we’re still waiting to see which EU teams punch their tickets to the World Championship and which others end up in next weekend’s playoffs. Even so, there was plenty of excitement on tap in North America and Oceania, plus we got a couple of EU matches in before the stream cut out.

Didn’t catch all of the excitement? Here’s a quick look at the biggest plays and moments from the nearly-completed end of league play.

CLG sweeps Cloud9

Say what? Nobody could have reasonably seen this coming. Any team in the RLCS can take a game or two off of another, but Cloud9 are the reigning NA champions while Counter Logic Gaming came in with a 1-4 record after narrowly avoiding relegation last season with Renegades.

But this weekend, CLG put an unexpected beatdown on a surprisingly flat-looking Cloud9, taking them down in a clean 3-0 sweep and ultimately helping to ensure that Cloud9 wouldn’t finish Top 2. Jesus “Mijo” Gutierrez’s near-buzzer-beater double-tap goal here in game two surely helped CLG carry their momentum all the way through to the series win.

G2 secures LAN spot

Unfortunately for Counter Logic, their sudden surge of momentum was short-lived: they needed to take just one game off of G2 to stay out of the relegation/promotion tournament, but they just couldn’t match up against the overpowering team play of The ELEAGUE Cup champions.

After a 3-1 win over the last-place Out of Style to begin the day, G2 was even more dominant in this CLG sweep, looking totally in sync in plays like this one. While the win was bad news for CLG, it was great for G2: it secured them a Top 2 finish and automatic World Championship spot with their second 6-1 season in a row.

NRG seals the 7-0

After a down season the last time around, NRG made a big splash in the offseason by dropping Jacob “Jacob” McDowell in favor of Justin “Jstn” Morales—and they just rode that move to the first undefeated league play season in RLCS history.

The dynamic RLCS rookie has given the team a shot in the arm, but really, it’s been veteran player Garrett “GarrettG” Gordon who has shined the brightest for NRG. His resurgent season has him in likely position for MVP honors for North America, and NRG secured their 7-0 record by handing Cloud9 their second loss for the day. This play’s a particular gem: captain Jayson “Fireburner” Nunez scores the goal, but it’s GarrettG’s last-second, in-goal, mid-air demolition that provides the opening. Synergy!

Chiefs reverse-sweep to 7-0

Chiefs Esports Club were primed to complete their own 7-0 season this weekend, but after going down two games against Dark Sided, it seemed like they might fall short in that pursuit. But the unquestioned Oceanic leaders shook off the rust, clutched up, and delivered a startling turnaround.

By throwing down that reverse-sweep win, they secured the second-ever undefeated league play run just hours after NRG notched the first. Jake “Jake” Edwards’ impeccable double-tap goal here began the turnaround in game three, and the Chiefs never let up after that. Due to the different OCE playoff structure, they’ve secured a spot at the Throwdown Finals LAN next month, but they’ll still have to play for a trip to the RLCS World Championship.

Al0t’s nutty angle

CompLexity started the weekend in first place, albeit with the same series record as both Gale Force Esports and Renault Sport Team Vitality—and they kept themselves in the hunt for Top 2 by taking out Paris Saint-Germain in a tight 3-1 win. Each game was decided by a single goal.

As ever, compLexity’s unique style—in which captain Linus “Al0t” Möllergren plays forward and cherry-picks incredible shots—paid dividends once again, especially with this nutty play that sees him pop off of the backboard to redirect the ball into the goal. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a shot like this from him, but it’s jaw-dropping all the same.

Andrew is the Lead Editor of Rocketeers, and has been covering Rocket League esports since RLCS S1 for publications such as Red Bull Esports, Esports Insider, The Esports Observer, and Waypoint. He is also currently the Content Lead for The Esports Journal magazine and has written about games, gadgets, etc. for 100+ publications since 2006.