Rocket League

6 key storylines to follow at the RLCS World Championship

The Rocket League Championship Series World Championship takes place this weekend in Las Vegas, and Season 6 has already been plenty spicy up ’til now. The doubled $1 million prize pool amped up both expectations and excitement, and Rocket League’s top teams have matched that demand with plenty of thrilling car-soccer action all season.

If you didn’t follow the week-to-week battles of league play or just want a little helpful context to elevate this weekend’s on-the-pitch antics, here’s a look at six of the top storylines that could unfold before it’s all said and done.

Dignitas might three-peat

The newly-rebranded Dignitas might look a little different with their freshly-adorned jerseys, but the end result may be much the same: if they keep up their winning ways, the European team could claim its third-straight RLCS World Championship title. And for Pierre “Turbopolsa” Silfver, it would be his fourth-straight after winning as a sub with Northern Gaming back when.

There’s no better team in the game. Dignitas features three of the absolute best all-around players today, and while captain Jos “ViolentPanda” van Meurs notches loads of assists and Alexandre “Kaydop” Courant is always an offensive powerhouse, they play as equals out there—and any of them can absolutely outplay the competition. They’re incredibly consistent, so smart money has them taking it all again.

It’s North America’s best shot to finally win again

NA’s iBUYPOWER Cosmic won Season 1 of the RLCS, and since then, it’s been all Europe under the confetti. A gulf quickly formed between the regions, as EU more rapidly perfected rotations and defensive play, and worked better in the team setting. North American players, by and large, took longer to shake individual plays and give in to the power of passing and collaboration.

That gap is arguably gone now, especially with NRG’s incredible run and near-win at the last Worlds. This season, it was Cloud9 and G2 Esports that both put up strong 6-1 league play records in NA, and with Cloud9 attempting to emulate Dignitas and shift away from set roles on the team, it might be time for Mariano “SquishyMuffinz” Arruda and co. to play their way into the grand finals and fight for the big prize. Never count out G2 either. As for NRG…

Can NRG repeat its Worlds surge?

Last season, it looked like NRG was going to win it all. They came off of a perfect 7-0 season and then blasted through the upper bracket at the World Championship, even defeating Dignitas early on. But Dignitas clawed its way back through losers and then forced the bracket reset in the grand finals by defeating an ice-cold NRG in the first set. And then the two giants were in fine form for the final games, including Justin “Jstn” Morales’ shot heard ’round the world (see above; feel free to scream when it happens).

NRG lost, but wow, they put on a show. It looked like they arrived this season with a bit of a hangover, though, as the 4-3 match record and even games tally didn’t match their obvious ability. But then they turned it on again at the regional championship, knocking off both Cloud9 and G2 en route to their fourth NA title. Which NRG will we get at Worlds? We’re betting on the amazing one, especially if Garrett “GarrettG” Gordon lives up to his last Worlds performance.

Can new FlipSid3 rule like old FlipSid3?

We just spoke with FlipSid3 Tactics about their long-awaited return to the RLCS World Championship, and while only Francesco “Kuxir97” Cinquemani remains from the Season 2 roster that won it all, fans should be thrilled about this team’s return to prominence.

Winning the last four games of league play in shocking fashion, Kuxir97, David “Miztik” Lawrie, and Maurice “Yukeo” Weihs come into Worlds as a wild card in Europe—and a fan-favourite first matchup against G2 Esports ought to be fun, whatever the result. We could see them making a strong run this weekend, and can’t wait to see Kuxir’s on-stage enthusiasm again after a couple seasons away.

Will Chiefs keep surprising people?

Nobody thought that Oceania would make any noise at all at their first World Championship in Season 3, but Alpha Sydney proved everyone wrong by winning their first series. And after moving over to Chiefs Esports Club, they kept getting better and better each season, landing in 5th-6th in the last Worlds after once more dominating the local OCE teams in league play.

But after losing Jake “Jake” Edwards in the offseason and bringing in fellow Worlds veteran Cameron “Kamii” Ingram, Chiefs startlingly lost the regional to the rebuilt Tainted Minds. Can Chiefs bounce back and push even further at their fourth-straight World Championship, or will Tainted Minds take over their role of OCE spoiler? One of them has to do it!

Can the Vegas #Team104 match London’s hype?

Last season’s World Championship in London was great not only because of the amazing grand finals, but also the incredible, fan-provided atmosphere. Thanks to hilarious, raucous chants created by the self-proclaimed #Team104 in the titular section, the Copper Box Arena looked and sounded like a proper football match. It did so much to elevate the atmosphere and amplify the fun of watching video game car-soccer on large screens.

Granted, the United States might not have the same predisposition for sing-along chants (aside from “USA! USA!”), but they’re surely going to try. Original #Team104 ringleaders Alex “Stumpy” Knight and Emile “Cole” Cole, better known as the co-hosts of GINX TV’s own Daily Download, have flown in from London to rile up the crowd and try to duplicate the fun in the Orleans Arena’s very same section. If you can hear them on the Twitch stream, then they’ve definitely succeeded.

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