The Outbreak of Covid-19
As Coronavirus broke out around the world, our concerns about what would happen to the RLCS World Championship broke out too.
The promising battle of the NA regional champ versus whatever team came out of Europe had all of us fans ready for an intense game.
As the Regional Playoffs drew near, Psyonix decided to cancel the Season 9 RLCS World Championship live event.
The disappointing news didn’t come without hope though, as Pysonix said the stakes for Regionals would be raised, and an extra $100,000 would be added to the EU and NA prize pools.
Despite the sad news, Regional play would go on and continue as normal, giving us exciting matches and great competition.
Let’s take a look at what happened…
North America Regionals
The regional play in North America started out slow with SSG dominating all competition, and G2 showing a ton of promise.
Cloud 9 was quickly left behind, going 1-4 in the early season only to go on a four-game win streak to secure a position in the lower bracket.
This was disappointing news to us fans, as we all had a soft spot in our hearts for Squishy and the rest of C9.
The 8-1 SSG and the 6-3 G2 secured their positions in the semi-finals of the Regional bracket.
G2 beat the reigning world champ NRG 4-3, and SSG beat Ghost 4-1 and the Finals were set.
After a great first game, G2 swept SSG 4-0 in what was a very disappointing series for the top-ranked SSG.
Similar to Regional play in NA, Europe landed its Regional Championship fast with the 2 top teams being Dignitas and Renault.
The Regional bracket wasn’t without its close games as teams like Barca and Mouse put up big fights.
We didn’t expect it but Barca to put up a long run in the lower bracket, yet fell to Renault Vitality in the Semi-finals 4-1.
We saw Mouse Esports sweep their first game in the upper bracket against Reciprocity 4-0, and put up an amazing series against Dignitas in the Semi-finals of the upper bracket with their substitute “Arju”.
Mouse couldn’t hang with the big dogs and ended up falling in a 4-3 defeat to Dignitas, moving DIG to the finals vs Renault. A game for the ages.
DIG ended up pulling off a 4-2 victory against the raining runner-ups in the previous World Champions.
Would Pysionix replace the RLCS World Championship?
With Regionals finished and G2 and Dignitas crowned as regional champs, us fans were itching for more high-level action.
Our needs were somewhat met with a new online tournament featuring all our favorite RLCS teams.
This new tournament called the Rocket League Spring Series was no ordinary tournament though, as RLSS was open to any team willing to sign up.
Yes, that meant teams filled with players just like you and me.
The tournament was a double-elimination style with teams like Cloud 9 and Rouge sitting low in the bracket, and able to be played against by any team if you were seated lucky enough.
The teams that made it far along in regionals like G2, SSG, and NRG were waiting in the main event for whatever team could win their way through multiple days of open qualifiers.
Psyonix also planned to maintain collegiate leagues such as Collegiate Rocket League(CRL) and the College Carball Association(CCA).
These Leagues would feature the top collegiate teams and satisfy our needs for Squishy type gameplay.
We would have these tournaments and leagues to replace the World Championship, and I think it would take our minds off who would be crowned champion.
How Did The Rocket League Spring Series End?
The Rocket League Spring Series was an exciting opportunity for any team to test their skill versus Pro teams like C9 and Rogue.
After multiple days of Qualifiers and hundreds of games played, 6 RLCS teams and 2 RLRS teams made it to the main event.
G2 easily jogged its way to RLSS championships after two series in a row to NRG, winning 4-2, then 4-0 in the finals.
This wasn’t the dominant NRG team we’ve seen in previous seasons…
Our favorites Rizzo, Chicago, and JKnaps had finally won themselves into the position as the best team in the World, proving regionals weren’t a fluke.
The payouts were nothing to laugh at as 1st place secured $23,000, 2nd place secured $17,000, and 3rd place brought in $16,000.
Do you know how many crimson 20XXs you could buy with that?
2,085! Yeah I did the math…
Is Collegiate Rocket League The Same Level As Pro?
After the CRL Spring Series, the collegiate season wasn’t close to slowing down.
The CRL announced a Spring Showdown to further show off collegiate talent with a prize pool of $50,000.
Another large prize pool that Psyonix was dishing out also came with more competition.
In the East, the Akron Zips continued their rampage through college Rocket League as they managed to 3-0 every team they played to win the Eastern Championship vs. the UCF Knights.
The Zips had been on a roll, so this easy victory wasn’t anything unexpected.
In the West, the LSU Tigers weren’t as destructive as Akron, losing twice in separate series vs KSU and Oregon in the Finals.
Still a very good run by the Tigers to win the CRL West Showdown.
A game between the LSU Tigers and the Akron Zips would be a close one, but I predict if it’s played, Akron would win the game with mild effort.
While these college players have a tremendous amount of skill, is it the same as pro teams?
It’s pretty dang close. These players are amazing with more mechanics and game knowledge than any of us casual players could imagine.
Looking to the Future
As this year’s competitive scene winds down, what do we have to look forward to in the future?
Well, hopefully, Covid-19 dies down soon so everyone can get out and take a break from their 15-hour Rocket League grinds.
We look forward to next season’s RLCS Regionals and World Championships to get our fill of the highest level of gameplay.
With the success of RLSS and collegiate Rocket League, I’m sure these will continue into future seasons.
But for now, keep griding those rocket passes and, potentially secure your spot against a pro team in next year’s RLSS.