Throughout 2018, Dignitas reigned supreme in Rocket League. From winning the RLCS Season 4 World Championship in October 2017, Dignitas went on a rampage until the end of season 6 in November 2018. During that time, they won RLCS twice and set a record that is yet to be matched. Losing just a single series during season 5 league play and going undefeated in season 6 until the grand final, Dignitas was the scariest team Rocket League has ever known. But since that loss to Cloud9 in the grand final, Dignitas has not been as solid as they used to be. Or so it would seem. Is the dynasty over, or should we prepare for absolute domination once more?
Your DreamHack Pro Circuit Leipzig Champions – @dignitas 🏆
What a performance pic.twitter.com/VvQ3uzfwWu
— DreamHack Rocket League (@DreamHackRL) February 17, 2019
Dignitas loses more than they used to
With their loss in the grand final, Dignitas is not entirely the team people expect to win everything anymore. Somehow, the dominance has faded somewhat. That’s not to say that they’re not still one of the best — if not the best — teams in the world. After all, they recently won the most stacked tournament ever. But where they were usually predicted to win every matchup, people are now also betting against them, particularly when it comes to North American teams — and Flipsid3 Tactics.
Strangely, Dignitas struggles more against North American teams than European teams. Perhaps this is due to the fact that they are more experienced against EU, but it’s worth noting. In the last year, Dignitas has not been eliminated from a major or premier tournament by an EU team. In fact, only two teams have managed that, and both of them were North American: Cloud9 (twice) and G2 Esports. The two other teams that managed to defeat them in a LAN environment, but did not mean immediate elimination, were NRG (in the RLCS S5 World Championship, upper semis) and Flipsid3 Tactics (in the group stage at WSOE4).
But apart from the loss against NRG nearly a year ago, these losses are all very recent. Dignitas was feared by every team before the RLCS S6 Grand Final. Now, it’s not out of the ordinary to see predictions go against them, especially when Cloud9 is involved.
Finally back home. Enjoyed the time in Las Vegas, gotta focus on improving. Hope we can place better at Dreamhack Leipzig. ✌🏻
— Yukeo (@YukeoRL) January 29, 2019
They lost Kaydop but gained Yukeo
Maurice “Yukeo” Weihs is proving to be a star player, but filling Alex “Kaydop” Courant’s shoes is nigh impossible. Kaydop is considered to be the best striker, if not the best player, in the world. His departure was a big blow to the Dignitas empire. Fans were confused because surely one or two losses after so many successes didn’t warrant a roster move?
With his departure, some believed the Dignitas reign to surely be over. Losing their streak and Kaydop would mean the end of the dynasty. This idea was once more reinforced with their loss during WSOE4, where, admittedly, they defeated Cloud9, but they got swept by F3 and were later eliminated by G2. Without Kaydop, this team couldn’t get back to the same level they once were at, and it was finally time for other teams to start winning LANs.
Yukeo steps up for Dignitas
Perhaps it’s unfair to stop calling Dignitas favorites when they lose one major. But Dignitas had now lost twice since RLCS6: ELEAGUE (against Cloud9 again) and WSOE4 (against G2). Should the team not be given more time with their new player before we start calling a verdict? Perhaps they had an off-day; perhaps they hadn’t had enough scrims with Yukeo. It seemed too soon to call the end of the dynasty.
And indeed, Dignitas showed once more what they were capable of at DreamHack Leipzig. Going completely undefeated over three days of the event, they rampaged through the tournament as if nothing had changed. And though some teams gave them a bit of a scare, the bottom line is this: Dignitas won a major without losing a single series. That’s not new. And though they had lost individual games before as well, even lost series before, in the end, they always stood on top, trophy in their hands.
Yukeo has proven that he can fill Kaydop’s shoes. It can’t be called a fluke when you defeat teams like Savage, PSG, Triple Trouble, and Renault Vitality. Funnily enough, though, Dignitas did not play a North American opponent. Would this have changed anything? That remains a question we won’t be able to answer.
Dreamhack champions 😊. For all the people doubting @YukeoRL for filling our third spot, here you go 😉 dont doubt YukeoFLEX 💪💪
— ViolentPanda (@ViolentPandaRL) February 17, 2019
A brief dry spell, but back on top
Here’s another question: Should Dignitas resume their domination, is it still the same dynasty? After all, they lost three majors in a row before winning one again. As per Merriam-Webster, the definition of a dynasty is “a powerful group or family that maintains its position for a considerable time.” While Dignitas did that in 2018 and is possibly on the verge of doing that again, would that be the same dynasty? Do in-between results count when the team continues to win majors after a dry spell?
One thing we can be certain of is that the difference is shrinking. True, Dignitas has come close to losing before. They were a single goal away from losing the world championship in season five. They were also close to being defeated by Savage and numerous other teams at DreamHack that managed to bring their series all the way to the final game. Both Flipsid3 Tactics and G2 soundly defeated them in LAN environments, and Renault Vitality was not that far off a reverse sweep until just a single mistake lost them the series while they had the momentum. Teams continue to step up against Dignitas, and their tournament results aren’t as predictable as they once were. They are beatable. Whether we can still call it a dynasty remains to be seen.