With this weekend’s start of Season 9 of the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) regular season, the league has been in full swing for four years now, delivering thrilling moments and crowning champions all the while.
As with any sport or esport, there’s a significant amount of turnover in professional Rocket League as veterans retire or are gradually supplanted by hot young talent. While there are more RLCS teams than ever beginning with this season, the competition for those roster spots never seems to calm between seasons.
It’s tough to stay at the top in this game, but as of this writing, eight veteran players have done just that by actively competing in all eight RLCS seasons to date and now being on a starting lineup for Season 9. None of these names will be surprises to avid fans: success is essential to sticking around, and six of these players have won an RLCS World Championship, with the other two winning at least one other major championship along the way.
Here’s a look at the veteran Rocket League stars who have cemented themselves as top players and cornerstones of RLCS lineups.
Pierre “Turbopolsa” Silfver
What can you say about Turbopolsa? There’s no more decorated player in Rocket League, as the European pro has racked up a stunning four championships over the last six seasons. His first two seasons were pretty quiet, and yes, he was a substitute for Northern Gaming during the Season 3 regular season—but then he started in the World Championship and helped win the title alongside Remco “Remkoe” den Boer and David “Deevo” Morrow.
From there, he joined up with Jos “ViolentPanda” van Meurs and Alexandre “Kaydop” Courant under Gale Force Esports and won another title—and then the roster joined Dignitas and won yet another RLCS title. That’s three in a row for Turbo. Things soured there after they lost the Season 6 grand finals, but then Turbo crossed the Atlantic and joined NA team NRG Esports for Season 8… and yes, he won another championship with them. Turbopolsa has proven himself to be one of the best all-around players in the game, elevating any roster he plays on.
For Season 9: Look for NRG to continue its reign as a power team in North America and potentially challenge for another title. Can you say “the five-time”?
Alexandre “Kaydop” Courant
Turbo’s former teammate is the only other player on this list to rack up multiple championships, and they earned two of those together. But Kaydop, considered one of the absolute best offensive players in the game, showed that he could do it without his former comrades, joining Renault Sport Team Vitality in Season 7 and claiming his third RLCS championship. Last season, the team came one goal away from beating NRG for the Season 8 title, as well. Also, Kaydop can claim the incredible feat of playing in six straight RLCS grand finals, beginning with Mock-It Esports in Season 3.
For Season 9: Vitality made the unexpected move of dropping fellow champion Kyle “Scrub Killa” Robertson in favor of Yanis “Alpha54” Champenois, completing an all-French lineup. No doubt, they’ll contend again for the crown in Season 9.
Garrett “GarrettG” Gordon
The latest player on this list to claim an RLCS championship, GarrettG finally hoisted the trophy last month in Madrid alongside Turbopolsa and longtime teammate Justin “jstn” Morales. Garrett has been an offensive leader and one of North America’s brightest stars since the start of the league, and was one goal away from a title in Season 5. He is the only player in the entire league who has competed at every single RLCS World Championship to date, and now he has something to show for it.
For Season 9: As mentioned above, it seems entirely like that NRG will continue to thrive in Season 9. Many champions have struggled in their follow-up seasons, but Garrett’s drive has never been questioned and Turbo has routinely continued to perform after winning titles.
Remco “Remkoe” den Boer
Northern Gaming was one of the earliest European powerhouses, and despite losing one of their starters for the Season 3 World Championship, they still won the title with sub Turbopolsa in tow. As captain, Remkoe was the rock of that team—but the seasons since (with EnVy and then Team SoloMid) have been hit-or-miss, and there was speculation that the longtime pro could find himself out of a job after TSM’s continued struggles in Season 8. We’re only a year removed from the TSM roster’s ELEAGUE Cup win, however. He could bounce back.
For Season 9: No doubt, TSM is one of the biggest question marks in Europe coming into Season 9, especially after narrowly avoiding relegation. But with the former tag team of Otto “Metsanauris” Kaipiainen and Joonas ”Mognus” Salo reunited for this season on TSM, Remkoe could find a new foundation for success.
Francesco “kuxir97” Cinquemani
Back with FlipSid3 Tactics, kuxir97 was one of the most envied players in the game—the one that everyone wanted to play like, with incredible control over his mechanics. And although the team fell short in the Season 1 grand finals, they bounced back to win the title in Season 2. While kuxir97 has remained a beast, his teams have had up-and-down seasons since. He stayed with FlipSid3 for six seasons and won WSOE 4 with them a year ago, but then they left the org and eventually joined mousesports instead. Last season saw the team squander a strong start and miss out on the World Championship.
For Season 9: With the likely (but still unannounced) addition of Scrub Killa alongside himself and Jack “Speed” Packwood-Clarke, expect mousesports to have a stronger season.
Cameron “Kronovi” Bills
The original RLCS champion is the only member of that iBUYPOWER Cosmic team to still compete professionally. Kronovi has long been the face of this game and an ambassador for the esport, even amidst struggles. His rebuilt G2 Esports roster was a North American stalwart, winning the first ELEAGUE Cup and making three straight World Championship appearances from Season 4-6… but after a pair of bad results, he was dropped and joined Rogue instead. They finished 4th at Worlds in Season 7, but missed out entirely last season.
For Season 9: Rogue couldn’t find consistent form in 2019, but now they’re taking a chance on unproven rookie Jason “firstkiller” Corral, with Kronovi intending to serve as a mentor for the 15-year-old addition. Will that combination yield winning results?
Thibault “Chausette45” Grzesiak
Chausette45 didn’t make much impact on the league until Season 4 with Frontline, which joined PSG Esports partway through the season, but he’s been competing since the start. The 18-year-old French pro has emerged as an incredible offensive standout, and while he has yet to claim an RLCS World Championship across four appearances, he has won two DreamHack championships to date. Last season, his Team Reciprocity roster won the European regional championship, but couldn’t make any impact at Worlds.
For Season 9: Reciprocity’s rough showing at Worlds is concerning, but the reigning EU champs felt confident enough in their lineup to stay together for Season 9. This roster’s longevity has already yielded serious success. Will it happen again?
Dillon “Rizzo” Rizzo
Rizzo has risen to prominence as a member of G2 Esports over the last three years, but the popular streamer and player started in Season 1 with Mock-It NA and made Top 4 at Worlds in Season 2 with Take 3. Under G2, Rizzo’s highlights have included an ELEAGUE Cup victory and a 2nd-place finish at the Season 7 World Championship, but last season’s collapse and last-place finish in North America signaled a potentially uncertain future for the roster.
For Season 9: G2 opted to stick together for Season 9, and given their still-recent Season 7 success, that is hopefully the right move. They never seemed to bounce back after losing to the Pittsburgh Knights and couldn’t overcome the meta shifts, but their strong promotion tournament performance suggests renewed focus.
Lead image courtesy of Psyonix