North America’s Cloud9 beat the two-time Champions Dignitas to take home the RCLS Season 6 Championship. Few saw it coming, Cloud 9 are perennial chokers at this level and Dignitas had been on a run of 17 straight wins – a record that stretched back to RLCS Season 5.
Cloud9 started the weekend slow. Dropping into the losers bracket after being defeated by We Dem Girls in Day 1, but as the tournament progressed and they became the sole NA representative and with the support of the Las Vegas crowd they raised their game.
Cloud9 trounced Dignitas in the finals, a team who have entered the final having never lost a best of 7. They won 2-1 in Game 1 after a Squishy goal in ET. A 4-0 followed in Game 2 and Game 3 with Dignitas looking out of sorts, Dignitas restored some pride with a Game 4 win but it was too late Cloud9 won Game 5 to force the bracket reset. At the restart, Cloud9 continued as they had started, ultimately winning the tie 4-1. They take home $200,000 and max bragging rights after making the longest run possible to the final, beating both the No.1 and No.2 seeds in EU.
Cloud9’s win caps what was an unpredictable tournament with twists and turns throughout, unfancied teams, like Chiefs ESC and PSG esports pushed the more established sides hard which made for an exciting weekend of Rocket League.
Day 1 – NA Takes The Low Road
The big takeaway from Day 1 was the increasing skill levels across all the teams – there are no easy games in Rocket League highlighted by the fact that every match on Day 1 wasn’t decided until the 5th and final game.
And it was the North American teams who struggled the most with the increased competition. All four teams found themselves falling into the lower bracket by the end of the day.
Dignitas, as EU top seed, had a by into the quarters – they started slow but done enough to see NA’s Evil Genius into the loser bracket.
NRG, also had a by but where Dignitas shine NRG falter. They lost to Chiefs from the Oceania region. NRG are known for dominating their League before struggling at the LAN and they followed the script to the letter. That was Chiefs second win of the day after defeating PSG with Drippay in particular proving he can mix it with the very best.
The game of the day goes to the Cloud 9 vs We Dem Girlz match. Cloud 9 went 2-0 up before taking their foot off the gas. We Dem Girlz didn’t need any invitations they piled on the pressure, scored some stunning goals to win the tie 3-2. The mental side of Cloud 9’s game was an issue – they go into cruise control before the game is over. Lucky for Cloud9 they would have a chance to make amends for before the weekend was out.
Day 2 – Teams Go Home
It was the nail in the coffin for many of the NA teams on Day 2.
The two big winners of Day 2 were Chiefs ESC and PSG esports. Chausette of PSG was arguably MVP of the day defending like a boss and scoring a beautiful air dribble. He was unlucky to be on the losing side when Evil Genius knocked them out. Team captain Fruity also raised his stock with his performances here – a PSG victory in the near future it’s not an outlandish statement
G2 was beaten by PSG esports, 3-2. It looks like a roster change is imminent for G2 they seem to be treading water. Rizzi was the only player to perform and the synergy between Kronovi and Jknapps don’t seem to be there anymore.
NRG beaten by Chiefs ESC ended their LAN in acrimonious circumstances having failed to win a single game.
Evil Genius are also a strong outfit. Chicago in his first RLCS impressed and we will be seeing more from this team in the future.
We Dem Girls were making easy work of their opponents with previous World Champion Remkoe alongside crack Metsanauris defeating Chiefs ESC to ensure the Winners Final on Day 3 would be an all European affair.
Day 3 – The Finals
The action was kicked off with Cloud 9 vs Flipsid3 Tactics. Flipsid3 had been playing well with rookie Yukeo impressing. He scored the deciding goal in 2 out of the 3 opening games. From there Cloud9 turned it around. Miztek scored in extra time to win Game 4 and Torment, whose performances were improving as the weekend progressed, scoring a double in Game 5 to take the series.
Chiefs ESC and Evil Geniuses were the 2nd game in the losers bracket. It was far from a classic, rather scrappy actually as both teams felt the pressure. It was Torsos of Chiefs ESC who turned up in game 4 to a score a double and secure their place in the losers bracket semi-final against Cloud9.
Chiefs ESC became fan favourites – this is a team that was formed just before the start of RCLS Season 6 and the sky looks the limit for the Australian org.
EU No.1 Dignitas and No.2 We Dem Girls played out the Winners Final. Dignitas lost the first game before steamrolling We Dem Girls in the next 4. At this point,t Dignitas looked like retaining their crown. There was still a chance for We Dem Girls they would drop into the losers bracket final.
Of course, that would be the end of the road for WDM. They lost to Cloud9 in 5 games, they previous lose against Dignitas seemed to dent their confidence and Cloud9 took full advantage securing their place in the RCLS Season 6 Grand Finals for the first time.
Does this signal a shift to North America? Probably not.
Cloud9 played well no doubt, but the two best teams of this tournament were still the EU top seeds Dignitas and We Dem Girls. It just so happens that Dignitas fell apart in the final. In fact, the trend from this Seasons shows North America are losing their place at the top of the game with Oceania turning up and the less established EU teams looking competitive. With talks of South America joining for Season 7 the competition will only become fiercer. If North America wants to stay relevant, teams like NRG and G2 need to change their rosters and quickly.
Dignitas will be feeling sore this morning but when the bookmakers put up the odds for Season 7 it would be no surprise to see them as favourites again.
MVP – Kyle “Torment” Storment for Cloud9
The Cloud9 man was everything and a key factor in North America’s first RCLS win since Season 1. His partnership with Squishy was next level, and if there was ever a loose ball across goal Torment was the man there to score it with his goals being the deciding factor in two games in the Grand Final. His defence was also on point, with crucial saves especially in Day 2 and 3 to keep Cloud9 in games where in past years they would have lost.
So what did you make of RLCS Season 6? Were Cloud9 worthy winners? Is the Dignitas Dynasty over? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.