Two years of waiting has led to this moment. NRG Esports’ iconic win over Team Vitality at the Rocket League Championship Series Season 8 World Championships in December of 2019 was the last fans saw of international competition. On Dec. 8-12, that wait finally comes to an end with the RLCS 2021-2022 Fall Split Major in Stockholm, Sweden.
Sixteen teams will qualify for the event. Two of them are from regions that have never before played on an international RLCS stage. Asia Pacific and the Middle East and North Africa finally have their chance to play among the greats, while North America, Europe, Oceania and South America get to battle over who improved most in the last 24 months. Will Team BDS translate their Season X online dominance, or can G2 finally grab that coveted RLCS LAN victory?
This is the RLCS Fall Split Major preview, Part 2 of 4. Part 1 covered NRG, Dignitas, Sandrock Gaming and Renegades.
North America: G2 Esports
- Jacob “JKnaps” Knapman (Canada)
- Reed “Chicago” Wilen (USA)
- Andres “dreaz” Jordan (USA)
G2 is a volatile team. From reaching the RLCS Season 7 World Championship grand final to fighting against relegation, G2 has been all over the place through the years. Most recently, they’ve had to replace one of their iconic players when Dillon “Rizzo” Rizzo retired. In his place came the unknown dreaz. Initially, he was just allowed to try and prove himself at the tail end of Season X. Soon after, he established himself as a top player. Rather than trying out new players, G2 continued with dreaz into the 2021-22 season and have looked impressive ever since.
LETS GOOOOO WE QUAL FOR SWEDEN😁🇸🇪
It feels so good knowing that we are gonna get to play on LAN again ITS BEEN SO LONG
— G2 Chicago (@ChicagoRL) November 13, 2021
While this counts for all North American teams, G2 is one of the strongest teams at the RLCS Fall Split Major. They had an excellent start to the season. Now it’s up to Chicago and JKnaps to guide dreaz through the pressure of performing at a LAN.
Europe: Team BDS
- Marc “MaRc_By_8.” Domingo (Spain)
- Evan “M0nkey M00n” Rogez (France)
- Alex “Extra” Paoli (France)
When Team BDS was promoted to the RLCS after an impressive run in the Season 9 Rival Series, the team looked very promising. Little did fans know that BDS would go on to reign supreme over Europe for the following nine months. The newcomers won eight out of 12 events throughout Season X, including all the majors (which were played online). They stumbled on the finish line, falling to Team Vitality in the final of the European Championships after having beaten them nearly a dozen times in the months prior.
More recently, the competition has begun to catch up to Team BDS. They remain one of the best teams Europe has to offer, but Team BDS did not win any of the fall regionals ahead of the major.
It’s hard to count out Team BDS, but with their lack of LAN experience, faltering on RLCS Season X’s finish line and EU slowly catching up, their chances at the Fall Split Major are not as high as they were a year ago.
Oceania: Ground Zero Gaming
- Jonathan “Express” Slade (Australia)
- Luke “Amphis” Riddell (Australia)
- Daniel “Torsos” Parsons (Australia)
Of the OCE players that once made top four at an RLCS LAN, only Torsos remains. Cameron “Kamii” Ingram now plays for Renegades, who also made it to the major, and Matthew “Drippay” Den-Kaat has retired. But Torsos found two excellent teammates in Amphis and Express. They were the powerhouse of RLCS Season X, finishing in first place by a large margin. They also claimed the No. 1 seed in OCE.
Oceania never had a lot of expectations behind them. This season, however, the region seems to have stepped up. Not only is there not just a sole team dominating, but both GZG and Renegades are showing signs of significant improvement.
Whether it’s going to be enough to break the mold is a different matter, but with the entire Rocket League world out of practice when it comes to LAN competition, this may be their best shot. GZG may have made it to the RLCS Fall Split Major as OCE’s first seed, but they have not been able to beat their rivals, Renegades, this season. On the other hand, Torsos has beaten NA’s favorite, NRG, twice at Worlds and, in his own words, “I’ll do it again.”
South America: FURIA Esports
- Caio “CaioTG1” Vinicius (Brazil)
- Gabriel “caard” Vieira Cardoso (Brazil)
- Yan “yanxnz” Xisto Nolasco (Brazil)
The FURIA boys are long-standing names in South America, having been present in the RLCS since the region’s introduction in Season 7. And although talent yanxnz made his debut in Season X, both caard and CaioTG1 made it to previous World Championships.
Out of South America, only Brazilian players have made it to an RLCS LAN since its introduction. But come Season X, the region had been overtaken by a new challenger in True Neutral, consisting of two Argentines and a Chilean. But since that team moved to North America at the start of the 2021-22 season, the Brazilians of FURIA have taken over the reins again, claiming the No. 1 spot in the final regional over eRa Eternity (who also made it to the major).
QUALIFIED TO SWEDEN 🇸🇪
— FURIA CaioTG1 (@CaioTG1_) November 20, 2021
South America is a region on a steady rise, but they have not had many chances to prove themselves at an international LAN yet. It is unlikely that FURIA will make a deep run at the RLCS Fall Split Major based off of previous performances. But after two years, they may just surprise fans come December.