RLCS Day 2 – When Second Best Isn’t Good Enough

From second place in the first tournament to first place in the second, Flipsid3 Tactics are your Rocket League season two champions!

The defending runner-ups found themselves in a familiar situation, needing to take the long route to the finals, as they did last season. Flipsid3 started the day facing off with NRG, one of two North American teams left in the competition. Game one was all NRG. Flipsid3 looked awful, missing a ton of balls. It looked as if they hadn’t shaken off whatever bug got in them when they lost to Mockit Saturday.

But then they clicked. It was really more of a kerchunk, as the heavy gears of Markydooda, Kuxir, and Greazymeister all synced together. They were, by far, the best passing team in the whole tournament. It’s so rare for them to clear a ball without another one on the heels of it, looking to make a play. F3 won the series 3-1.

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That left only Take 3, little Take 3, under the NA banner. They had already surpassed expectations by knocking out Orbit yesterday, putting them up against Precision Z today. Proving to the world they weren’t there by accident, T3 swept the series. It was a dominant, physical performance.

But an old foe awaited them in the next round. It was Flipsid3 who had sent Take 3 down to the lower bracket in the first place. It was Flipsid3 who finished the job. F3’s pressure was too much, causing the underdogs to make defensive errors; T3 looked as though they weren’t sure how to react, or couldn’t react fast enough, when their opponents really got it going.

In another dimension, the upper bracket, Northern Gaming took on Mockit Aces. The series went the distance, and the losers may have felt hard done by. One could only say Northern Gaming was outplayed in two of the seven matches, but they lost four of them. NG’s transitions and midfield passing were exceptional, but a bad clear and a kick-off goal cost them game five. Remkoe is indeed REMGOD, but Paschy’s got some godlike powers of his own, and carried his team when they needed it.

That meant Mockit was guaranteed to win at least $25,000. They would face either Flipsid3 or Northern Gaming in the finals, both teams Mockit had already beaten over the two day event.

According to Gibbs, one of the RLCS analysts, going into the match Flipsid3 had beaten Northern Gaming seven times in a row. That number would get to double digits before NG cracked the code. Although each game in this series was close, F3 had clearly found their groove. Their passing is so fast and accurate, it puts teams out of position and onto their heels; that’s exactly what happened here, and Flipsid3 won in five games.

The last time Flipsid3 went to the championship match, they lost to iBuyPower, the only team to beat them that weekend. Although iBP wasn’t around this time, F3 again found themselves up against a group that had already drawn blood. And even if they found a way to win one series, they would have to play again, because Mockit was undefeated. And play again they did. Because Flipsid3 was incredible.

It all came down to one final series, and it looked as if it would be a real barn burner. The first game went seven minutes and 17 seconds into overtime, the longest game of the tournament. Mockit dug deep, doing all they could to stop the onslaught that is Flipsid3. They shut the door in that extra game and a half of Rocket League, keeping the game simple and boring, and taking the play style out of F3’s comfort zone. That was all they could muster, though, as Flip took the next four unanswered.

So Flipsid3 are the undisputed best heading into season three, and North America has some work to do.

The event itself was great, though I don’t believe Psyonix can be very happy with the number of viewers. Twitch peaked around 58K when F3 won, but the inaugural RLCS had numbers closer to 80,000. It’s too bad, as Rocket League seems like the perfect eSport to me, and I’m not sure what they can do to bring in more fans. Psyonix already delivers frequent free fantastic updates, the game is accessible and exciting at the highest level — what more do you want?

…And in the end, it really was a Marky-doo-da-day.

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