This weekend will show which team will make it into the RLRS. Over the past weeks many teams tried to qualify for a spot, but in order to get into the Rival Series you first have to prove yourself in the Play-Ins. There are dozens of teams that trained hard and will give it their everything to get one step closer to Rocket League fame, but only a limited number of spots are available and the competition is tough.
420Coon and Skyrider from Mythical Esports are keen observers of the North American Rocket League scene and want to give the readers of Rocketeers.gg an overview which teams they believe have the best chance of getting ahead of the competition and secure a spot in the Rival Series. Here are their 9 favourites from NA:
— Splyce (@Splyce) 6. März 2018
It should be to no one’s surprise that Splyce tops our list as the best team heading into the qualifier. After ultimately falling to Cypher during last season’s qualifiers, Splyce decided to rebuild their team around their captain, Jamie “Karma” Bickford. First to join her was NRG’s old substitute player, Trevor “DudeWithTheNose” Hannah, in which they had a very impressive run at Dreamhack Leipzig, beating Team Veritas (2-1) and taking both Method (now compLexity) and Flipside Tactics to game 5 (2-3). After Dreamhack, it was revealed that the third player to complete the roster was Jake “JWismont” Wismont, previously the star player from Incognito (). This team has already proved to be a force to reckon with after remaining undefeated in matches throughout multiple tournaments: Rival #59, ESL #109, and Nexus 3v3.
This man just wasn’t able to carry hard enough :/ Easily best person on our team, Pick him up bois before he’s gone https://t.co/iu5UQiEa49
— Tuster (@Tuster56) 12. Oktober 2017
We spoke with Splyce’s Rocket League coach, Jimmy “Jimmer” Jordan, about Splyce’s odds this weekend. While Splyce are strong contenders even among the existing RLRS teams, Jimmer is wary of the competition they are facing. “Rocket League is unique in the way that any team can show up and take a game or even a series off another team,” he said. “My philosophy has always been to have a healthy respect for each and every team that I meet on the pitch.” Jimmer proceeds to name Genesis and Zaboomafoo as two teams to look out for.
Jimmer calls Splyce’s play style “dynamic”. “Our strength is generated from our commitment to teamwork.” he says, “we strive to be more fluid as a team each and every time we play.” With so many different opponents and play styles they will be up against, “it can be difficult to confine ourselves to a particular ‘style’ of play.” They will most certainly be put to the test this weekend.
Speaking of teams who got so close during last season’s qualifiers, The D00ds had an impressive run only to be stopped by the same team that took out Splyce. Since then, Alexandre “AxB” Bellemare and Raphaël “Ralph” Morin took on George “Jorolelin” Kolev as their third and began making waves in the NA Rocket League bubble scene.
Their first major appearance happened during the Dreamhack Leipzig Qualifiers in which they defeated RLCS teams Rogue (3-2), Allegiance (3-2), and eQuinox (3-1). During Dreamhack Leipzig, The D00ds continued their prowess taking down teams from EU including Team Expert (2-0) and Team Secret (2-0) and taking Guess Who (now Team Vitality) to 5 games (notably with Allushin in Ralph’s place).
“It’s definitely a bad thing,” Jorolelin says, reflecting on the attention they received from the Dreamhack Leipzig Qualifiers. “The problem with getting all this extra attention is that you start to believe you are better than you actually are, and we started to discredit/not respect the opponents we played […] Our skill is independent from the attention we received, and we were still the same group of players before and after the Dreamhack qualifier.”
“We’ve started figuring out our problems and picking up our groove again,” Jorolelin says. They are playing together as much as possible to prepare for the Play-in, he said. The Play-In will be especially difficult for them as Jorolelin will be out for the first few rounds. Nonetheless, The D00ds achievements during the off-season have earned them a top placement in our rankings.
alright, I can’t resist… LFT for season 5 to make a serious run at RLRS, with the understanding that this season will be my last. I want to at least put myself out there and see who would be interested
— Espeon (@EspeonRL) 27. Januar 2018
The current roster of SpaceStation Gaming first began with this tweet from Adam “Espeon” Barth in which he announces his return to competetive Rocket League after failing to qualify for RLRS last season with Hollywood Hammers. First to join him was Joshua “Lemonpuppy” Wright, previously from SetToDestroyX/Hollywood Hammers during the previous season. Season 1’s World Championship MVP Ted “0verZer0” Keil also makes his competitive return to join Espeon and Lemonpuppy and gets his team in contact with SpaceStation Gaming only a week after forming the team.
— Spacestation Gaming (@SpacestationGG) 15. Februar 2018
Lemonpuppy gave us an inside look at SpaceStation Gaming’s mentality heading into the play-in. “We kind of knew forming the team that, because of our previous accomplishments, we would probably be seen as one of the better teams,” he explains. “Our mentality towards this was we decided we just had to out work them and not take any team for granted because at any point a team can become amazing and just outperform what you would normally expect them to. If anything being voted as a favorite has us working harder so we can meet or exceed expectations.”
Lemonpuppy points to their strengths lying in their offense. As a team they have an “aggressive and suffocating” playstyle and are especially strong in maintaining ball control during fast-paced games. He points to Splyce being their most feared competitor, but also firmly believes “any team could play well depending on the day.”
SpaceStation Gaming received seed number 6 and is expected to go against Lights Out! in the winner’s semifinal. The two teams recently played against each other during Rocket League Central’s Rocket Royale #2 in which Lights Out! won in the last game (2-3).
Thanks to everyone that played, watched and supported tonight! We’ll be back with another Caruption next week!
— Mythical Esports (@Mythical_Es) 14. Februar 2018
If you haven’t been following the NA bubble scene, you probably haven’t heard of the monstrous team known as Zaboomafoo. This squad was previously known as “3 Noobs Playing 3s” when teammates tcorrell and ostyn decided to bring in jVogel last minute to complete their roster. Tcorrell gave us his perspective of their roster shuffle.
“Things didn’t feel good and we felt really inconsistent,” tcorrell said while previously playing under 3 Noobs Playing 3s. “This led to the hardest decision in my Rocket League career and to the loss of multiple friendships. With 2 days left until signups ended, we decided to team with jvogel because we felt more confident in scrims and more consistent as a whole.”
With the new roster in line, Zaboomafoo began stomping their opponents left and right with sweeps against Mech G (3-0), Lights Out! (3-0), and LOAF Breadsports (2-0). “Still have work to do,” tcorrell says, “but when we are playing good and confident we can be dangerous.” Tcorrell points to his team’s speed, mechanics, and ability to put on pressure as their strengths. He points to Splyce, Manhattan, and The D00ds, as the biggest of their competitors but also feels confident going into the play-in.
After losing their old roster to Ghost Gaming and disbanding, Genesis reformed on February 14th 2018 with PlutoniumFalcon, Roll Dizz, and Rapid. They have not played in many tournaments together but these three names are recognizable to most in the Rocket League scene for their ability to compete. Considering their last second formation and lack of tournament history as a team, it may be surprising to see them so highly seeded. “We were one of the teams to form the day of roster lock so we haven’t really had much practice. We are starting to work a lot better this past week finally. I wouldn’t have put us top 4 before last week.”
— PlutoniumFalcon (@PlutoRL) 15. Februar 2018
Genesis had lost to Splyce multiple times in scrims but was finally able to win a series against them last week. Scrims are very bad to use when predicting how teams will play against each other in the future, but we think Genesis finally taking a series off Splyce after losing so much will give them the extra confidence they need on Saturday.
Rapid describes their playstyle is very aggressive and admits this can lead to holes in their defense at times. Genesis likes to push extremely far forward and keep the play moving downfield, often leaving only one man back in case of emergency.
Manhattan is another team unheard of to most unless you closely follow NA Rocket League. Within the past month they secured notable wins against LOAF Breadsports (3-0) and Genesis (3-1). On Tuesday during Rocket Royale, they had great wins against Paradox (2-1) and Crimson (2-1), but took losses in extremely close matches against Mech G (1-2), Shake n Bake (1-2) and Spacestation (2-3). Their dominating performance over LOAF and Genesis shows that they are capable of defeating anyone. Another interesting point to make is that ayjacks and tmon are ranked in the top 3 Rank X players in the 6 mans server. These two can win with just about anyone on their team, let alone a player as skilled as malakiss.
— Malakiss (@malookiss) 15. Februar 2018
Manhattan shares a similar story to Genesis when it comes to the formation of their roster. Malakiss and tmon were trying to team together for awhile but unable to find a third until adding ayjacks to complete their roster. The trio seemed to click almost instantaneously and now they are sitting at the 5 seed for play-ins.
Ayjacks cited their passing ability as the team strength, admitting they are at their most vulnerable when attempting to make solo plays. If Manhattan can stay calm, not rush solo plays, and throw each other some creative passes, I think this team is going to plow through anyone they meet in the bracket.
Incognito has not played in many tournaments leading up to this seasons play-ins, but that did not stop them from receiving a 9 seed in the bracket. The reasoning behind their high seed lies in their RLRS history with JWismont. With JWismont gone and Nickymac moved from sub to starter, Incognito is capable of cruising to RLRS in the winners bracket. Gorocksgo and Tuster have had success in multiple tournaments together and the decision to promote their sub instead of resorting to an outside recruit should be beneficial.
LETTTTTTSSSSS GOOOO!!!!! JUST QUALIFIED FOR NA RIVAL SERIES PLAY-IN NO FRICKING WAY OMG YEAHHHHHHH HOLY COW!!!!!!
— Tuster (@Tuster56) 17. Februar 2018
Gorocksgo cites themselves as mechanically sound players capable of making very strong plays. But when asked about their weaknesses he admitted positioning and boost management to be areas they need to improve in. When asked about any particular teams they were worried about heading into Saturday gorocksgo replied, “It all comes down to who shows up on Saturday. We made it from 23rd seed last season so its do-able”.
United As 1
United As 1 started out whenever Explosivegyro and Azfura played together in the 6 mans server. Explosivegyro asked Azfura to play in a tourny with Zombiepoopshark. After performing well they agreed to team and just kept improving each week. UA1 has also been performing very well in Sol league with notable wins over Royalty (3-0), Water Droplets (3-2), and Upper 90 (3-2).
⬛BOOM! RLRS Play-Ins are this weekend and we couldn’t be more excited. To celebrate come join UA1’s 5th 3v3 Tourney this Friday, March 9th, at 8pm EST to help practice or just to compete for fun! $60 Prize in steam cards. Hope to see you there!⬛ https://t.co/l3hWWY5PYr
— United As 1 (@UA1eSports) 7. März 2018
According to Azfura, United As 1 has quite the unorthodox playstyle. “I’d say our playstyle is kinda crazy, nobody really expects anything that happens. Our weakness is our comms but we have been working on that. Most of the time we don’t say much which leads to overcommits.”
After disbanding from his previous team, Darkness met TheCar and the pair found great success playing 2s together. This led to them searching for a third for RLRS. They wanted Bell but lost him to Shake and Bake at the last second and instead opted to add Hefty to their roster. This last second addition turned out to be not so bad as Paradox has been performing well as of late, especially considering their 2-0 win against Zaboomafoo in Tuesday’s Rocket Royale.
Paradox seems to be the only lower seeded team capable of taking games off of teams like Genesis (1-2), the d00ds (1-2), Zaboomafoo (3-7) and Mahattan (1-2). While they may have lost the entire series, Paradox have proven time and time again that they can compete.
Congratulations to Paradox (TheCar and Darkness) for adding another 2v2sday victory to their catalog! GGs to cream (broKli, big_CHOCO-MIL, and Crease-) as well as all of the other players who competed this week! (Imagine this tweet happened 1 day ago, ok? ?) pic.twitter.com/DDdkrToeGJ
— Forzen Esports (@ForzenEsports) 8. Februar 2018
There are a lot more teams that we expect to perform well during the Play-Ins, for example Lights Out!, Mech G. or Bake and Shake. Anyone else missing from this list? Make sure to head over to our Discord server to discuss all things Rocket League with a community that loves Rocket League just as much as you do.
Make sure to watch the Play-Ins this weekend on the official Rocket League Twitch channel. Stream times are:
NA: March 10th, 3 PM EST
EU: March 11th, 12 PM EST