The RLCS returns this weekend (Saturday & Sunday 16:00 UTC) after a nearly two-month hiatus and the most amazing rostermania we’ve ever witnessed!
The year begins with the North American Fall Open, when 16 eligible teams participate in a Swiss Stage and an eight-team single elimination bracket to determine the first year’s champion. G2 Esports won four regional competitions last year, FaZe Clan and The General NRG each won two, and Version1 won one.
Roster Updates and Switches – What’s the same and what’s new?
The rosters of three of the four teams that won last season’s championships are the same this time around, although FaZe Clan has added Nick “mist” Costello to replace Austin “AYYJAYY” Aebi.
Along with Christian “MajicBear” Acevedo and Slater “Retals” Thomas, AYYJAYY is currently a member of OpTic Gaming. “Lj” Logan On Spacestation Gaming, Retals was replaced by Wilt, and Complexity Gaming added Cristian “crr” Fernandez to complete their lineup. As Jack “ApparentlyJack” Benton and Joseph “noly” Kidd arrived from the UK to join Nick “Chronic” Iwanski’s team, Gen.G Mobil1 Racing entered the fray.
Rogue, Shopify Rebellion, Pittsburgh Knights, and Team AXLE all qualified, but Dignitas and Luminosity Gaming dropped their European squads and added new North American ones. Sol, the new team of four-time World Champion Pierre “Turbopulsa” Silfver, qualified ahead of Darkzero to become the season’s first bubble team.
One important thing to be reminded of is the North American relocation of World Championship semifinalist FURIA. They have demonstrated their capabilities in South America and at international LANs, and they are now prepared to take on another territory.
Swiss Format Stage – R1
Team Sol vs. Spacestation Gaming
In the Invitational Qualifier, Spacestation Gaming dominated, going a perfect 9-0 against tough opposition. They can only get better as their rising superstar Daniel “Daniel” Piecenski begins his second season. Sol had an unexpected run through the qualifying, and he entered the competition as the 16th seed.
Team AXLE vs. Team Version 1
Version1 entered the competition as the second seed after going 3-0 in the Invitational Qualifier. The same team, which placed in the top eight at the World Championship the previous year, hopes to build on its achievement. Team AXLE was eliminated from the Invitational Qualifier, but they came back to qualify for the Fall Open in the Closed Qualifier.
Luminosity Gaming vs. G2 Esports
Last season, G2 Esports was without a doubt the top team in North America, taking home the most tournament victories and dominating the standings. They came in second at the World Championship and won the Winter Major. Massimo “Atomic” Franceschi, the current North American MVP, is still a member of the squad, and they have the potential to improve this year. Luminosity Gaming had a 0-3 record in the Invitational Qualifier but had a 3-2 record in the Closed Qualifier, which allowed them to advance.
Team FURIA vs. Complexity Gaming
The conflict between Complexity Gaming and FURIA, two South American transfers (plus one European) is the first round’s most captivating plotline. The relocation by Complexity Gaming last year, which led to their rapid success and qualification for the Fall Major, served as the foundation for FURIA’s transfer this offseason.
However, Complexity Gaming never achieved the same level of global success as Furia. The Brazilians won the Gamers8 LAN and placed top six at three straight international RLCS competitions. However, they had a difficult time adjusting to life in North America, losing the Invitational Qualifier by a score of 2-3.
Pittsburgh Knights vs. OpTic Gaming
OpTic Gaming has a completely new lineup for this season, despite placing in the top sixteen of the World Championship last year. They went 3-1 in the Invitational Qualifier and looked quite good, so the early results are encouraging. The Pittsburgh Knights performed admirably in the Closed Qualifier, winning three games.
Gen.G Mobil1 Racing vs FaZe Clan
Last year, FaZe Clan advanced to the World Championship semifinals. With the signing of mist, they want to advance further this year. They have yet to win or even make it to the worldwide Grand Final, but they did place first three times in LAN competitions last season.
They might overtake G2 Esports as the best team in the area if they can successfully integrate the new lineup. Gen.G Mobil1 Racing finally has their roster after searching for a long period to enter the competition. They performed poorly, going 0-3, in the Invitational Qualifier, but they appear to have rediscovered their rhythm in the Closed Qualifier.
Team Shopify vs. Rogue Rebellion
Last season, Rogue was frequently on the cusp of contending, but they were unable to get it there. They could advance into Major contention if their youthful phenom Christopher “Aqua” Campbell keeps getting better with practice. Shopify Rebellion, which went 3-0 in the Closed Qualifier and, rather surprisingly, was the first team placed outside of the Invitational Qualifier, will be their opponents in the first round. They now get an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in the season’s first big event.
Team NRG vs Dignitas
This North American Regional is the latest chapter in an illustrious Rocket League rivalry. The renowned Dignitas team had made three consecutive trips to the World Championship Grand Finals as they faced off against The General NRG for the World Championship in Season 5.
As The General NRG looks to recover from a challenging end to the 2021–22 season and Dignitas want to stamp their position in North America, the two now square battle in the opening round of the Fall Open.