6 talented players
MVP for RLCS North American Regional playoffs, and for the Northern Arena during last month, and his team won both the aforementioned events. Squishy, the mechanical god, will be worth watching out for!
Al0t likes to mischievously position himself unorthodoxly in his opponent’s half, which lead to some of the craziest touches you will ever see. Definitely watch for him linking up with teammates Metsanauris and Mognus to create some Gnarly goals, like this ‘angle of the century’
Perhaps not the best player at the event, but certainly one of the most entertaining. And by no means am I trying to undermine his ability, because Bluey can pull of some nutty mechanics. Known for his ability to air dribble the ball (carrying the ball on your car whilst flying… yes, that is possible) and for his crazy ideas, he is sure to catch us off guard a few times!
Kaydop is returning this RLCS having made the final of Season 3 with his team Mockit, this time, he returns looking to take the title. Kaydop is known for his incredible shooting. Nobody hits the ball like Kaydop. Expect to see him strike 100kph shots on the regular into the net, a skill that is incredibly useful to win games at this level.
I’d like to think this is my unusual pick for a player to watch.
Ghost are coming into RLCS underrated, but hot, and I believe Lethamyr is a big part. Leth uses a great combination of smart decision making with his top tier mechanics to create some masterful plays. I think RLCS Season 4 is when he is going to shock some critics. Prepare for more goals like this
I asked my good friend, and incredible hugger (also the OCE caster at RLCS) which player we should watch from the OCE region. He fired ideas like Torsos or Kamii, who on their day, can be the game changer for their team. In the end, though, he suggested CJCJ. Why? Because he is a complete lad. This is why we love OCE, everybody!
Five incredible mechanics
There are few things more satisfying to watch than a team stringing consecutive, perfectly executed touches to the nose of a teammates car in quick succession, while the defence helplessly drives around in circles. Players are now so capable that we may even see passes hit to players who are already flying. Here is a beautiful example, from Ghost Gaming.
If you land with all 4 wheels on any surface and fall off without jumping (including the ceiling, the inside of the goal mouth, the ball, and even other cars) you get an infinite dodge.
The ceiling is the most common use, and was popularised by Squishy, mentioned above, watch out for him and others utilising this mechanic, as it can catch any player off guard.
Watch Deevo in this clip as he resets his dodge off of the ball in order to re centre the ball, completely catch the goal line defence off guard! To quote Liefx the caster ‘What even is that?’
Zero second goals
When the clock hits 0:00, the game doesn’t finish until the ball touches the ground or is scored. Inevitably, we will see a team try and win, or send a game to overtime when the ball is being juggled in 0 second time. Prepare to scream as loud as you can, and when you get asked ‘what’s all the fuss about’ simply say ‘HE SCORED! IN 0 SECONDS!’ and all will be resolved.
Here we can see Mockit taking the game to overtime in the final game of the series during 0 second time. The title of this clip is ‘aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa’ for a reason!
In order to keep up with the speed of the game, most pros are predictive in their movement, to the point that doing nothing can often catch pro players off guard.
Expect to see defenders embarrassed by delayed touches, deliberate missing of the ball, and waiting for blocking players to jump by. Conceding from a fake can be one of the most frustrating ways to get scored on, but we will see plenty of them this weekend.
Here’s the dirtiest fake RLCS history has seen, when GarretG of NRG fakes out 2 defenders by merely stopping behind the ball.
What once seemed impossibly inconsistent, is now expected in all pro players skill book. The ability to hit the ball up to the wall above the goal, and follow it up to score, or pass the ball, is incredibly effective, as the incoming shooter is tough to read for the defence if they are left on the ground.
With the improvement of defence, the level of skill required to score these has now gone up hugely, and consequently makes this highlight play beautiful to the viewer, but normal to the pros, as they hit these for fun. Here’s a gorgeous backboard touch scored by previous RLCS winner Deevo, who this very move is named after in the Oceanic region.
Four teams to watch
Consisting of Squishy, Gimmick and Torment, this team is the favourite from the North American region. Torment tending to be more defensive, Gimmick tending to be more offensive, this team are going to be scary in RLCS.
Playing fast, and having mesmerizing control over their octanes, C9 will be looking to go unbeaten in all major LANs since the team was formed.
The surprise improvement having narrowly missed out on RLCS Season 3 finals to Flipsid3, this team of Al0t, Metsanauris and Mognus stuck together and came back stronger than ever.
Refining themselves on the stage at Gfinity Elite Series, this team epitomises hard work paying off. Super fast, and with great counter attacks along with their zippy passing plays, Method are one of the best teams to watch this RLCS.
Gale Force Esports.
The Gale Force roster consists of the 3 highest achieving players this RLCS, with Kaydop and Violent Panda making finals in the past, and Turbo a returning champion, we can expect to see their world class come out. Coming in as Regional Champions will surely help, as they position themselves on what is an arguably easier half of the bracket.
But in the end, you still need to win against the best teams to be the world champions. This monster roster is capable of doing exactly that.
To say inconsistent would be harsh, but PSG do have a variety of performance levels, ranging from unbeatable to *merely* very good.
PSG were almost the first team to go 7-0 in RLCS League play, but PSG missed out in the final week losing to 7th placing Envy. Fans will be hoping PSG can perform at a higher level than just the sum of the parts, as when they do, they are incredible.
Definitely watch out for Bluey, Chausette and Ferra to create some crazy goals this Finals.
The strongest region; I think it’s just about safe to still make this statement.
The top 8 teams of Europe could be at the world finals, and not look out of place; the strength in depth in the European is what has caused half of the 12 players competing to be new to the RLCS Finals stage.
This RLCS, however, won’t be as easy for Europe to dominate. In most international LANs the EU contribution tends to average a higher finish, even if they don’t win. This time, though, NA will pose more of a challenge.
Home field advantage, professionalisation of the region, and Cloud9 are just 3 reasons we cannot count NA out.
With many teams now taking competition seriously in the North American Region, we have noticed the transatlantic skill gap to be nearly non-existent. Northern Arena allowed us to compare the two regions at a LAN, and it was made very apparent that NA are as good as EU. That tournament was won by Cloud9, possibly the best team in Rocket League. It would be folly to count them out – especially since they will have the massive crowd in Washington, DC, backing them up.
The underdogs. People counted them out for Season 3 when they were first introduced, but returning players Jake, Torsos and Drippay, still together, now under Chiefs, got some surprising wins last season.
Watch out for them, and new contenders, Pale Horse Esports, getting some big upsets. Like any underdog story, a villain is required to set the scene. I will be that villain. OCE won’t win a series. There. I said it. Now if they win it will be amazing!
Two returning champions
Surprisingly, only two players in the RLCS Season 4 Finals are previous champions; if either of these ex-winners take the title this weekend, they will be the first double RLCS winners making history.
Hard working, and world renowned, Kronovi is the Original God of competitive Rocket League. Winning Season 1 surprised many, as they thought the European Region was dominant in all aspects; Kronovi on North American soil, with the crowd behind him, performed brilliantly under the LAN pressure.
Kro and his teammates, Rizzo and JKnaps, shocked many when they didn’t make Season 3 after choking 4 matches in a row, any of which would have got them to world finals. They bounced back, and are now stronger than ever. Certainly would be another shock victory for Kronovi and team.
Turbopolsa is undoubtedly the best sub any team has ever had in RLCS. He came into Season 3 world finals having to adapt to Deevo and Remkoe, performing unbelievably and taking the win. Shortly after Season 3 ended, he left Northern Gaming to start on Gale Force with Kaydop and ViolentPanda who were arguably the 3 best players in Europe at the time. Gale Force looked scary.
4 months later, Gale Force continue the dominating streak and enter the world finals as European Regional Champions. If there was ever a time to see a back to back winner of RLCS, Turbo has the best available tool kit.
After a grueling qualification process taking tens of thousands down to these final ten teams, we will find out at the end of Sunday which team is the winner, and crown the best team in the world.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a guarantee, but let me explain why I think C9 have it.
C9 looked dominant in the North American region which is the best it’s ever been. C9 won both Dreamhack Atlanta and Northern Arena, the two most stacked LANs outside of RLCS, managing to take down a lot of the teams we will see this weekend. C9 are all incredibly hard working and focused, and have overcome many hardships on their path to excellence. This is a team that strives to be the best, and until they win RLCS, they will not stop.
C9 are scary. They will be hard to beat.