Rivals Series Week One: Europe’s top teams dominate, Fibeon impresses

The most anticipated season of the Rocket League Championship Series is finally here, with the league’s second-tier division (the Rocket League Rivals Series) having played it’s first ever matches yesterday. With both the European and North American regions in action, there were plenty of games to be played, and the teams certainly made things exciting. Here’s a breakdown of the action. (Note: Clicking on the team names and score (the heading for each section) will take you to the Parallel recap for each series. Parallel is a statistics website run by @Slokh_, and is an invaluable resource for anyone looking for RLCS/RLRS statistics.)

Europe

The Juicy Kids (3) vs. eHawkerz (0)

We mentioned in our European preview that killerno7 is the player that sets The Juicy Kids apart from the rest of the RLRS. His performance against eHawkerz certainly showed that, as the RLCS veteran scored six goals and added an assist his team swept their opponents.

eHawkerz struggled in their first RLRS appearance, managing just two goals in the three games they played. No one on the team could really get going, as all three players finished the day with an average game score below 185.

The Juicy Kids would take down Most Wanted (formerly Soul Gaming) in their second series of the day, giving them a strong 2-0 start on the season. This was eHawkerz’s only game on the day, and they’ll need to be better if they want to avoid dropping their game against BoonkGang next week – if they play like they did today, the results won’t be pretty.

The Leftovers (3) vs. Inspiration (0)

The Leftovers dominated this series from the get-go, piling shot after shot onto Inspiration’s goal and forcing Inspiration to play defense the majority of the time.

Though some clutch defensive play kept the games close, The Leftovers really proved they were the better team with their suffocating offensive pressure. Though Maestro and Snaski did the goal scoring, Sikii was the team MVP, assisting on seven of the team’s 11 goals, and rifling off 14 shots in just three games.

The Leftovers would also go on to beat Supersonic Avengers, giving them a strong 2-0 start to the season. Inspiration, on the other hand, will have to recover before facing off with The Juicy Kids and Team Endpoint next week – if they don’t find a way to get out of their own end, they’re going to have tough time beating either team.

The Juicy Kids (3) vs. Most Wanted (0)

The Juicy Kids would continue their strong performance with another sweep, this time taking down the former Soul Gaming roster. Stocki was the biggest difference maker in this series, scoring four goals and adding two assists, as well as earning MVP status in every game.

The Juicy Kids are performing as expected, and if they maintain this level of play, they’ll essentially cruise to a top-two finish this season. Next week will be a challenge, though, as they face-off with The Leftovers in a battle for the top of the standings.

Most Wanted, on the other hand, won’t be back on stream until September 22nd, giving them plenty of time to work on their play. Look for them to recover after a tough loss in week one.

The Leftovers (3) vs. Supersonic Avengers (1)

The Leftovers continued to perform as expected, taking down Supersonic Avengers and never really looking like they were in danger of losing. It showed on the scoreboards – The Leftovers outshot Supersonic Avengers 34-24 over the course of the series, including 10-5 in the final game.

The star of the series for the Supersonic Avengers was Shikuni, who made an incredible 13 saves in just four games. Though the team will need to improve defensively, they were also the only losing European team to take a game from their opponent’s this weekend; at the very least, that’s something to improve on.

The Leftovers improved to 2-0 with the win, and will look to claim the top spot in the league standings next week with a win over The Juicy Kids.

Supersonic Avengers, on the other hand, will have a week off the stream, but will be looking to bounce back on September 22nd with key games against BoonkGang and Inspiration.

North America

Naventic (3) vs. Premature Superhero Cops (1)

Naventic is a bit of an unknown coming into this season, as the team wasn’t really expected to qualify for the Rivals Series, and none of the players have real competitive experience outside of community tournaments. They certainly impressed in their first series, actually sweeping Premature Superhero Cops, and then offering a redo on the third game due to a disconnect by Gambit early in the game. Premature Superhero Cops would win the rematch of Game 3, but Naventic came back to win Game 4 and close out of the series.

Premature Superhero Cops struggled with defensive rotations throughout the series, as breakdowns led to open shots and easy finishes for Naventic. For the full series, Naventic scored on 43 percent of their shots, while the Premature Superhero Cops only scored on 31 percent of their shots.

Though Dooble was the MVP of the series, Genocop’s performance shouldn’t be ignored. Fifteen shots in four games (along with six goals) is impressive, especially when your team only totals 26 shots and eight goals.

That’s a trend to watch going forward, as P.S.C cleaned up their defense and kept their next opponents, Incognito, shooting at just 18.5 percent, while also getting PreM and Gambit more involved on the offensive side of the ball. Did Naventic get lucky, and steal a victory from P.S.C’s poor rotations? Or did they force their opponents into making mistakes?

Fibeon (3) vs. Kinematics (1)

After Kinematics (formerly Wildcard Gaming) took game one in the series, Fibeon turned on the heat, winning the next three games and holding Kinematics to just two goals. The possession gameplay was incredibly impressive for Fibeon this series, as they absolutely dominated Kinematics once they got going, outshooting them by a ridiculous 36-17.

This win was noticeable for Fibeon, as Kinematics was one of the few teams that we listed as being capable of pulling off an upset, and defeating the trio of Chicago, Hato, and Zolhay. Fibeon’s biggest competition going forward now is Set To DestroyX, though we’ll have to wait until week five before the two teams meet.

Kinematics will be back in action next week, with games against Premature Superhero Cops and Set To Destroy X. Look for them to bounce back, and at least pick up one victory against those two teams.

Premature Superhero Cops (3) vs. Incognito (0)

As mentioned previously, Premature Superhero Cops really cleaned up their defensive rotations in between their first and second series, as they held Incognito to just five goals on 27 shots (18.5 percent shooting) after giving up 12 goals on 28 shots (43 percent shooting).

The offense was also much more balanced, as Gambit, Genocop, and PreM each picked up an MVP over the course of the series, though Gambit stole the show with six goals and five assists in the three games played.

For Incognito, their performance had some positives, such as the fact that they matched their opponents in total shots, and (for the most part) kept the games close. They’ll need to work on shooting accuracy going forward, and the team is definitely going to need more from JWismont in the future; an average of 160 points just isn’t going to cut it, especially not from the player that many consider to be the best on the team.

The Premature Superhero Cops may not have started their RLRS journey the way they wanted to, and the loss to Naventic will hurt down the road, but they’ll enter next week with plenty of momentum for their huge matchups against Kinematics and Fibeon.

Incognito won’t be on the stream until September 22nd, when they take on Naventic.

Fibeon (3) vs. Out of Style (1)

The final series of the day was definitely the most exciting, as two offensive powerhouses traded scoring chances back and forth the entirety of the series. In just four games, there were 80 total shots between Fibeon and Out of Style, and each player (on both teams) totaled at least ten shots.

At the end of the day, however, it was Chicago’s goaltending and Hato’s goal scoring that propelled Fibeon to victory. After overtime in game one and a close finish in game two, Out of Style roared back with a 4-1 victory, only to have Hato score four goals in game four as Fibeon routed Out of Style, sealing the victory in the series.

As expected, Out of Style produced one insane highlight reel goal during the series.

One thing to note about Out of Style’s play style this series is that JSTN seemed to be the offensive catalyst, while Lachinio was relegated to defensive work. Expect that to change going forward, as Lachinio is too talented offensively to be stuck in his own half of the field; his teammates need to rotate back more frequently, and let him get involved on the offense.

Fibeon will take on Premature Superhero Cops next week. Out of Style isn’t on the stream until September 22nd, when they take on Ambition Esports and Kinematics.

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