After a brief but action-packed offseason and an intense qualifying phase, the time has finally come for Rocket League Championship Series League Play to begin in full. This weekend, we’ll get to see four separate divisions start their respective seasons, as both the Championship Series (RLCS) and the Rivals Series (RLRS) will begin in both Europe and North America.
The action on both sides of the Atlantic looks to be intense, and teams from all across the globe will truly take the first steps towards establishing themselves as perennial contenders within Rocket League’s esports scene – considering that placing in the top six of RLCS guarantees you a spot in the league next season, and finishing in the top two of the RLRS is the only way to get into the RLCS, this season is easily the most important in the history of the league.
After an intense day of games in the Rivals Series, and an exciting day of North American RLCS action, the European season will finally get underway.
Here’s a look at how the best teams in Europe stack up against each other, and what to expect from each team this season.
Gale Force Esports
As the best team in Rocket League right now, Gale Force will have massive expectations on them this season. They’re huge Elo favorites over almost every other team in the world, and Team EnVyUs are the only team in Europe that Gale Force isn’t given a 70 percent (or higher) chance of beating.
Expect Gale Force to take the top spot in Europe this season, possibly even with an immaculate 7-0 record – they’ve been that good since their formation after Season 3.
The defending world champions made a significant change to their roster this offseason, losing substitute (and International Finals star) Turbopolsa to Gale Force, and swapping Maestro out for Season 2 world champion (and former teammate) gReazymeister.
The change is mostly lateral, as gReazy isn’t exactly a huge improvement over Maestro, and Turbopolsa wasn’t expected to stay on as a substitute, considering his performance at the International Finals. Though it took some time for the team to gel, remkoe, Deevo, and gReazy have looked strong lately. They continued to pummel the rest of Europe, only losing to Gale Force, but after losing three straight series to Gale Force (at RLCS Summer Series 2, X-Games Invitational, and Dreamhack Atlanta), they won two of three best of seven series against Gale Force at Pro Rivalry’s Rivals Week, just before the season started.
Team EnVyUs will be coming into the season with some momentum, but the European scene is stacked. The most likely final record for EnVyUs is 4-3, though there’s virtually no chance that they miss out on the playoffs (or on the International Finals).
Though Gale Force and Team EnVyUs are the clear one-two punch atop the European standings, the middle of the pack in Europe isn’t as clearly defined. Though the Elo system likes Mock-it Esports, there’s only a 35 point Elo difference Mock-it (the third ranked European team) and Method (the sixth ranked European team).
A 35 point Elo difference only corresponds to about extra 8 percent in win probability, so the four teams stuck within 35 points of each other (Mock-it, FlipSid3, Frontline, and Method) really could end up at any position in the standings.
Mock-it is the favorite because of the return of former star Paschy90. Look for one of the scene’s oldest veterans to help propel his team to the upper half of the standings; if he struggles, Mock-it will struggle as well.
One of the most storied organizations in Rocket League made a noticeable change to their roster this offseason, as gReazymeister left and reunited with his Season 1 teammate remkoe. To fill the void, kuxir97 and Markydooda tagged miztik, one of last season’s grand finalists. They didn’t have a tremendous offseason, but looked solid, and FlipSid3 will be a force to be reckoned with for the fourth straight RLCS season.
The most intriguing roster in Europe’s Championship Series this season is Frontline, as last season’s de-facto “rookie of the year” (Ferra) joins forces with Chaussette45 and this season’s potential rookie of the year in Bluey.
Bluey really is one of the more intriguing players in RLCS this season, as he was one of the best players in the game who had yet to appear in an RLCS match. Due to age, Bluey wasn’t able to compete in the first two seasons, and missed out on Season 3, though he continued to dominate community tournaments (along with Scrub Killa).
Frontline looked absolutely dominant at the play-in, and they’ve really got the potential to surprise teams this season. Their biggest matchups will be against FlipSid3 and Mock-it; a couple of victories could help them surprise the rest of Europe, and propel them to the International Finals.
One of Europe’s hottest teams coming into the play-in was Method, though they struggled in qualifying and got swept by exceL Esports before recovering and taking down Most Wanted (formerly Soul Gaming) in order to qualify for the RLCS.
Metsanauris, Mognus, and al0t have the potential to catch teams by surprise, and they very nearly kept FlipSid3 Tactics from qualifying for the International Finals last season. For all three of their matches against FlipSid3, Mock-it, and Frontline, Method is given a 40 percent (or higher) chance of pulling off the upset, so it wouldn’t be all that shocking to see Method finish in the upper half of the standings, and qualify for the International Finals this season.
Last season, Nielskoek and Zensuz went 1-6 while playing with Danzhizzle under the team name Cow Nose. They elected to replace Dan with Pwndx just before the RLCS registration deadline, and the move payed off almost immediately, as the team swept Method at the European play-in.
Though exceL really isn’t considered a favorite to challenge for a spot in the International Finals, they’ve got the potential to surprise some teams if their opponents don’t take them seriously.
This season’s biggest underdog is Aeriality, as there isn’t a single opponent they’re given a 25 percent chance of defeating, and they’re most likely records are 1-6 and 0-7.
They may have upset The Leftovers in order to qualify for the RLCS, but it will be surprising if they do any serious damage. Continuum, FlamE, and Tylacto might surprise us, but based on their history, it’s more likely than not that they’re stuck playing in the promotion/relegation playoff at the end of the season.
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