Dignitas DreamHack Leipzig
Image by DreamHack

In what was the most stacked Rocket League event to date, Dignitas took the first of four available DreamHack trophies this year. With 32 teams, including all 16 RLCS and several RLRS teams, there is no doubt that it’s the most prestigious trophy ever. With many fans thinking Dignitas’ dynasty was over, they showed they are still rightfully called the best team to have ever played Rocket League.

Upsets and surprises

The level has never been this close, and day one of the event showed that with five RLCS teams getting eliminated. Elite teams such as TSM (formerly We Dem Girlz) and Triple Trouble (formerly Red Reserve) got knocked out by bubble teams who came out of nowhere.

Particularly Team Echo Zulu impressed by reaching day three. With the best goalkeeping ever seen on a Rocket League stage, EZ defeated proven teams Triple Trouble, Evil Geniuses, and Ghost Gaming. They took eventual runners-up Renault Vitality to game five and refused to get eliminated until they faced later champions Dignitas on day three.

The grand final: Dignitas vs. Renault Vitality

The final was one of storylines. Alex “Kaydop” Courant had left Dignitas just weeks before in favor of Renault Vitality. The latter has been doubted repeatedly by the fans with a stellar line-up of players but no results to show for it. When day three started, however, RV showed what the team could do when they played to their full potential. Leading up to the grand final they had completely dismantled Flipsid3 Tactics and NRG, and they looked like a worthy candidate to keep Dignitas from reclaiming the throne as the best team in the world.

But Dignitas had different plans. From the first kick off they ran over Vitality. It took nearly 20 minutes for Vitality to score a meaningful goal and it looked like Dignitas would claim the trophy with an easy 4-0 sweep. However, once Vitality finally scored the first goal that meant something in game four, the tides began to turn. Vitality gained the momentum and started coming back. With a complete role reversal, Vitality took the following two games to make it 3-2 and started off well in game six. It took an incredibly tense overtime to determine the winner, and with major chances on both sides, neither team could close out the series before playing an extra four-plus minutes. In the end, it was Dignitas who scored the golden goal, and with it, they crowned themselves the DreamHack Leipzig Champions.

Back on top

Dignitas dominated from the end of 2017 up until the end of 2018. Many thought the dynasty had ended with their loss to Cloud9 in the RLCS Season 6 grand final, and when Kaydop left there were a lot of doubts whether Dignitas could climb back on top. With their new striker Maurice “Yukeo” Weihs, who joined from Flipsid3 Tactics, they showed the world they are still a force to be reckoned with. DreamHack Leipzig was undoubtedly the most stacked tournament ever, and there’s no denying that winning it gave Dignitas the right to call themselves best in the world once more. The win also marks Yukeo’s first ever major LAN win. His teammates Jos “ViolentPanda” van Meurs and Pierre “Turbopolsa” Silfver have, of course, many more titles to their name but will be happy to add another trophy to the cabinet.

Renault Vitality, on the other hand, finally proved they are not to be underestimated. While they have shown inconsistencies, they performed at an amazing level when it clicked. With time, the team could shape up to be one of Europe’s greats.

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RLCS and beyond

DreamHack Leipzig showed that RLCS is due an update. With just eight teams per region, we miss out on RLCS-level teams solely due to the current format. RLRS and even bubble teams showed they can compete at the highest level, and this should act as a wake-up call for Psyonix to increase the number of teams in the league.

RLCS Season 7 begins in April, but hopefully, we’re looking at the last edition with the current format. It’s up to Psyonix to step up for Season 8 and make Rocket League esports even bigger than it already is. Regardless of what happens, though, 2019 is shaping up to be an incredible year for the esport. With three more DreamHack events (Dallas, Valencia, and Montreal) and presumably two RLCS tournaments, we’ll have majors through the entire year. And that’s not even counting the yet-to-be-announced events. So for all news and coverage of Rocket League esports, keep up to date with Daily Esports!

Michael Kloos
Dutch football (soccer) and Rocket League fan, spending much of my time watching the former, and playing and watching the latter. Also an avid fantasy/scifi reader and writer. I spend most of my time trying not to be in the real world.

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