G2 Rocket League Spring Series RLCS RLSS nrg
Credit: G2 Esports

After already taking the crown in the North American Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS), G2 Esports continued to reign in the Rocket League Spring Series (RLSS) this weekend. Coming from the upper bracket, they made quick work of all teams and, with U.S. soccer legend Landon Donovan on the broadcast, swept NRG in the grand final — which was televised on ESPN2.

RLSS NA bracket

G2 cruises through the RLSS on ESPN2

After a disastrous RLCS season 8, G2 is confidently back at the top since the start of season 9. They left reigning world champion NRG and every team that came before in the dust. It was an unfortunate ending to NRG’s Spring Series run, who stood no chance against G2’s perfect combination of overwhelming offense and rock-solid defense.

“We didn’t think it was gonna be a 4-0,” said G2’s Dillon “Rizzo” Rizzo in the post-game interview, and he touched upon how they made their comeback after such a poor season 8. “I think you have to go even further than (season 8), to season 7. We played a play style that worked for Worlds, but going into season 8 it seemed to not work as much. We trusted each other a lot in season 8, but that was part of the issue. It just ended up crumbling. We took a moment to realize we were wrong in our play style and adjusted from there.”

The RLSS grand final was quick and devoid of any excitement, an unfortunate fact given that the match was live on ESPN2. Landon Donovan joined the two commentators, Brody “Liefx” Moore and James “Jamesbot” Villar, to talk throughout the grand final, and that’s exactly what they did: talk and explain.

While understandable that the commentary had to be simplified for new viewers watching on television for the first time, many fans quickly took to social media that the RLSS commentary was missing the excitement a grand final usually brings. Of course, one can’t expect the usual terminology of Rocket League to be thrown around for new viewers to understand, but the commentary was dumbed down so much that it inspired complaints.

On the flip side, Donovan brought an interesting perspective from a traditional sports viewpoint. He answered questions about mindsets, pressure, and tactics as a professional, and it was worthwhile to hear about the parallels and opposites between traditional and esports.

Hopefully a one-off

Even though extra exposure to Rocket League and esports on live television is never a bad thing, the grand final was vastly different from the other RLSS matches and Rocket League tournaments in general. With extra breaks between individual games, the simplest events explained to a new audience, and a commentary style that left fans bored, we can only hope that these kinds of broadcasts improve with time.

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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