Next weekend, Friday, Feb. 15 – Sunday, Feb. 17, will be the weekend it all comes down. DreamHack Leipzig is happening as the first of the four DreamHack Pro Circuit events this year, and you do not want to miss it. With several invited teams and more qualified, they’re looking to be the most stacked and unpredictable Rocket League events to date.
The Rocket League Championship Series, or RLCS, is split between regions, and the world championship LAN only has the best four teams from North America and Europe (alongside two from Oceania and South America). And while the RLCS is exciting in its own right, we rarely get to see all teams compete against each other. At DH Leipzig, things will be different.
For the first time in Rocket League history, we will see all eight RLCS teams from both regions at the same LAN event. Some of them have already qualified, either by invitation or by winning the closed qualifiers. Others will have to earn a favorable draw by flying in on their own accord and claiming a spot through the open qualifiers on site.
But that’s not all. While having 16 RLCS teams means we’ll have a fully stacked tournament, we will also see several Rival Series (RLRS) teams, who play in the league below the RLCS. In fact, some of these teams already qualified by knocking out RLCS teams. The skill level has never been this close, and the tournament is looking insane as a result. Add some bubble teams (i.e. unproven but talented teams) to the mix and predicting the outcome becomes impossible.
The four invited teams are not surprising. For North America, it’s Cloud9, recent RLCS World Champions, and NRG, who placed first in the RLCS regional championships and third/fourth at ELEAGUE back in December. For Europe, Dignitas and TSM were the chosen ones, who placed second and third respectively at the last world championship.
Out of the four of these teams, just one has made a roster change. Dignitas lost their striker Alex “Kaydop” Courant and replaced him with Maurice “Yukeo” Weihs. Yukeo has proven to be a star player, but the team couldn’t make it happen at WSOE4 last month. In fact, the team Yukeo had left in favor of Dignitas, Flipsid3 Tactics, won that tournament with their new player Jack “Speed” Packwood-Clarke.
Each of these teams has a solid shot at winning DreamHack, but it won’t be easy. The skill gap is tiny and they’ll have to show up at their absolute best to prove they were among the invited teams for a reason.
Here’s where the surprises happened. Out of the four teams that qualified through the closed qualifiers, two are from the RLRS and one is a team who will be making their RLCS debut this upcoming season. They knocked out several RLCS teams on the way to Leipzig to claim a spot.
For North America, we’re looking at Ghost, who will play with a new third in Braxton “Allushin” Lagarec. Allushin ended last season’s RLCS in last place and relegated with Allegiance. But Ghost saw potential in him and picked him up. While Ghost is not a bad team, there were more obvious guesses for who would manage to qualify directly. The other qualified team is the team that solidified Allushin’s relegation: Bread. Unsigned but very impressive, the team formed ahead of last season’s RLRS and made their way up into the RLCS in one go. Now they proved once more they are a team to be reckoned with after qualifying for DreamHack Leipzig.
The two European teams to qualify are two RLRS teams. CompLexity relegated last season after a disastrous roster change, but after taking on Hrant “Flakes” Yakoub as their new third, the team is looking solid as ever. They proved this by knocking out strong teams such as PSG, Red Reserve, and Team Secret in the qualifiers. It’s to be expected that they will put up a strong fight at DreamHack, followed by a good run in the RLRS in April. Team Secret, who lost in the upper final, managed to pick themselves up and win the lower final. Having been dropped by the organization in the meantime, the RLRS team is for now simply known as Ex-Secret. They replaced one of their members with an experienced player in Niels “Nielskoek” Kok and look to be yet another strong contender in the tournament.
All top-tier teams played in the closed qualifiers, but only four of them managed to get through. But those that fell will still make an appearance on at least day one. Some teams simply had a bad day while others needed more practice together after a roster swap. With everybody showing up in Germany, here are the other notable teams to look out for on day one and likely beyond:
You can catch all this action on the official DreamHack Rocket League stream, starting Friday, Feb. 15.
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.