This weekend marked the second annual Twelve Titans tournament organized by League of Rockets and John “Johnnyboi_i” MacDonald, where twelve of the best 1v1 Rocket League players competed for a grand prize of $10,000, winner takes all. The format of the tournament is simple but the stakes are high: single elimination best-of-one matches where only the single victor wins the prize, fit for only the masters of skill and the strongest of minds.
Last year’s tournament saw Kyle “Scrub Killa” Robertson taking home the $1,000 prize pool after defeating the likes of Maestro, Kuxir97, and Lachinio, and once again Scrub came out firing. The 14-year-old was named a “Gatekeeper” for the second time, one of the four “most elite players chosen for the tournament”, and did not disappoint in his role, joined by three other 1s arena giants: Treyven “Lethamyr” Robitaille, Francesco “Kuxir97” Cinquemani, and Alexandre “Kaydop” Courant. The tournament functions with twelve players by having the other eight “Titans” battle it out in “The Pit” until the four victors compete against the Gatekeepers listed above, where the rest plays out in a standard eight-player tournament bracket. In the end, spectators played witness to a rollercoaster of a Grand Final between Scrub Killa and Team Vitality’s Victor “Fairy Peak” Locquet, although Twelve Titans II offered much more to talk about. Here are our biggest takeaways from this year’s Twelve Titans:
1. Even the pros can fall to the volatility of Solo Duel
Twelve Titans consists of a simple 11 games. Lose one and you are out, win and move on. Although it sounds easy, most Rocket League players are well aware of the frustrations that can accompany the Solo Duel playlist in-game, either from the sometimes random-seeming outcome of a kickoff, or the way that games seem to focus entirely on momentum.
Kickoffs, however, did not make or break any single player throughout the tournament. Although newcomers like Isaiah “iSharrieff” Sharrieff or Alejandro “ClayX” Carbonero both lost in the Pit with relatively high score margins, kickoff goals appeared to be quite limited throughout the tournament. Scrub leads all players in kickoff goals with 6 over three games, despite scoring 24 times throughout the tournament. Trailed only by Lethamyr with 4 kickoff goals over two games, it appears that most pros have simply moved towards a general mastery of kickoffs to avoid these goals.
Although the volatility of kickoffs was not present, momentum-based games were entirely at the forefront. Several games saw 5-plus goal differentials at halftime, ending in nail-biting finishes with massive comebacks from players like Kuxir and Fairy Peak. Kuxir went down 8-2 to Fairy Peak in the Gatekeeper round with just 2:20 left to play, however Kuxir did not just roll over and concede. With a mix of dribbles, flicks, and power shots, Kuxir reigned the deficit back in to a close 9-8 game, but Fairy Peak maintained his lead to move on to the Final Four. Fairy Peak almost completed the same in one of his later games, but continue reading below to hear more. So take it from the pros: don’t forfeit just because of a few mistakes. Hold strong and make your own destiny.
2. Success in Standard play does not equal success in Solo Duel
There was no shortage of world champions in this year’s Twelve Titans. In the Pit alone, we saw 3 eras of RLCS Champions. The first match of the day was played by the Ranked Solo Duel veteran Maarten “Oscillon” Van Zee and Pierre “Turbopolsa” Silfver, two-time RLCS Champion (on Northern Gaming as a sub-turned-starter in Season 3, and with Gale Force eSports in Season 4). Although some early nerves were visible in Oscillon, he quickly found his footing by out-dribbling, flicking and contesting the two-time champion, cruising to a 5-2 victory in the Pit.
Almost the same story was seen in the third game of the Pit, where Russel “Florus” Andrew dominated Mark “Markydooda” Exton, RLCS Season 2 Champion in a 7-3 final. Markydooda proved his 3v3 talent with some strong shooting and kickoffs, but the playstyle and mechanical talent present in the up-and-coming Florus demonstrated the capabilities of a seasoned veteran in Solo Duel. The last match of the Pit saw iSharrieff face off against Cameron “Kronovi” Bills, RLCS Season 1 Champion, where Kronovi cruised to an easy 7-1 victory over the otherwise unproven Sharrieff.
Kronovi was the only RLCS Champion to even win a game in the tournament, as the two Gatekeepers with a world championship belt both lost their first games of the day. With the world champions going 1-for-6 on the day, it was evident that 1v1 success does not simply come from world-class skills in the Standard arena.
3. Scrub Killa remains dominant in the 1v1 arena
It’s hard to get into the Rocket League pro-scene without first familiarizing yourself with Scrub Killa. The aforementioned 14-year-old has dominated much of the competitive circuit since his introduction to the game at the age of 12, however his age has been the main thing to hold him back from the majority of major competitions. The young Scot’s first major appearance on the scene came when he handed Kronovi one of his first ranked losses in 2015, along with a Gfinity Weekly Cup win in early 2016. Since then, he has dominated the Ranked Solo Duel leaderboard on several occasions, won many weekly and minor 1v1 tournaments and holds a strong record against most pros in show matches and tournaments like the Twelve Titans.
Scrub’s play in this year’s tournament was nothing short of incredible. Starting as a Gatekeeper against Kronovi, coming off of a massive victory, Scrub handled the game with ease and took down “The Mountain” with a final score of 9-4. In the Final Four, Scrub matched off against Florus, the hot Brit who dropped his last series against Scrub 2-4. Again, Scrub came out firing, taking a 5-1 lead with 2:20 left to play. Florus, however, made it interesting by scoring 3 goals in one minute and six seconds to make it 5-4, until Scrub ended Florus’ $10,000 dream with a goal at 0:04. In the Grand Finals, Scrub played one of the tournament favourites, Fairy Peak, for his shot at $10,000 and remaining the only Twelve Titans victor in history. It was a game for the ages, with Scrub taking another quick start to a 7-2 lead at halftime. It wouldn’t be a Grand Final without some stress, as it only took Fairy Peak less than two minutes to bring the game back to 8-7, with Scrub securing his win and legacy with a goal in the final seconds.
12 Titans Champion ❤ pic.twitter.com/waj9eW0UwY
— Kyle (@ScrubKillaRL) 18. Februar 2018
4. The production quality of League of Rockets never fails to amaze
The three major events by League of Rockets have been some of the most astonishing and professionally made productions in Rocket League history. Although viewers lose out on the live action of the event itself, the editing, voice acting, and usage of pros at the LAN make for a goosebump-inducing, unforgettable experience. If you haven’t seen the first Twelve Titans or the Rocket League World Cup, we highly recommend you spend the few hours to check them out.
This year’s Twelve Titans, however, was a step above the rest. Despite a few difficulties such as a full day delay from Twitch video processing times, and a few editorial slip-ups like using the wrong nameplate for a player’s perspective, the production quality of Twelve Titans II was exceptional. By introducing a LAN for the Gatekeeper round and above, the players themselves participated in this secret-agent-esque theme between games, even going as far as having Scrub arrive to the “secret location” in a helicopter. It was truly an awestriking production, and it seemed as if the players really enjoyed their time.
Sorry again for the wait everyone, I know many of you were looking forward to this today. Unfortunately, we’re still processing, which means we’re going to move the tournament to tomorrow at 3pm est. I appreciate your support and look forward to showing you this tournament.
— LOR (@LeagueOfRockets) 17. Februar 2018
A few interesting notes about Twelve Titans II:
– Players like Squishy Muffinz and Deevo were invited to participate, but refused their offers for various reasons: one being school
– The League of Rockets stream of the event peaked at just over 30,000 consecutive viewers
– The prize pool of $10,000 was actually split 90/10 between Scrub Killa and Fairy Peak in a side deal that the players made before the Grand Finals, as discussed on Scrubs stream following the tournament