After five exhilarating weeks, RLCS Season 6 League Play is officially over. We now know who goes straight to Las Vegas, who will be fighting in the promotion/relegation tournament, and who will be playing for those last open spots in the Regional Championships next week.
With Cloud9 and G2 up top, there were no surprises. It was always going to be two out of the three strongest teams. They were solid and mostly consistent with only a hiccup here and there. They both finished the season with just a single series loss.
NRG was expected to be in that ballpark with them to complete the “big three” in North America. It was a surprise, then, when NRG started showing cracks and conceded their first loss to Evil Geniuses, a team considered to be just below those three big ones. NRG went on to lose two more series against Cloud9 and G2, which cleared the way for EG to clinch third instead. NRG now has to earn their way to Las Vegas through the playoffs. While many expect they’ll still make it, they have some kinks to work out. Last season’s runner-up are nowhere near the dominance they once showed.
Evil Geniuses showed that the big three should instead be called the big four. They had impressive performances and rightfully claimed that third spot finish. Of course, it’s not as black and white as it sounds. They have the exact same series score and just a single game win more than NRG with +1 against 0. It turns out, then, that NRG’s first ever 0-3 loss (on the final day against Cloud9) was what gave EG the edge. EG made a good choice in picking up newcomer Chicago, who gelled well with the veterans Klassux and CorruptedG. As third place finishers, they will be playing the sixth seed for the LAN spot, which should, on paper, be an excellent position to be in.
Another surprise in North America was FlyQuest. Having just been promoted from RLRS, not many expected them to be LAN contenders. After all, no newly promoted team has ever avoided the relegation zone in their first season. FQ proved it could be done. With an immense performance against an underperforming Cloud9 (3-1), they claimed their first win of the season after going 0-4. They continued to win the rest of their series against Ghost and Rogue and ended their season with a 3-4 rate, enough to claim fifth place. Not only did they manage to survive RLCS to secure their return for Season 7, but it’s also not at all out of the realm of possibility that they make LAN. “All” they have to do now is defeat (the very shaky) NRG in the playoffs next week.
The final playoff spot went to Ghost, who ended in sixth place. Ghost looked good on paper, but through a combination of bad luck and collapsing under pressure, they finished the season 2-5. Not a particularly great win rate, but it was enough to avoid the red zone. They will have to play Evil Geniuses in the playoffs for a LAN spot, though, which has already proven to be no easy feat. EG can be considered a top team at this point, and Ghost can’t permit themselves any mistakes if they want to join Cloud9 and G2 in Vegas.
In the relegation zone, we have Rogue and Allegiance. The bigger surprise of these two is, of course, Rogue, who have two veterans and fan favourites. They started off Season 6 in the worst way possible, standing absolutely no chance and immediately looked to be a relegation candidate. While they pulled it back a bit more in the following weeks, it wasn’t enough to clinch a top-6 spot. They had the same win/loss record as Ghost, but a significantly worse game win differential at -6 versus -1.
Allegiance started off their season showing promise. They continued to perform like a team and showed they had earned their promotion. Unfortunately, the teams in RLCS proved to be just a bit too tough. While they lost to the biggest four teams, they also ended up taking losses to Rogue and Ghost, their direct competitors for the spots above them. They are going to have to try to survive the promotion/relegation tournament in the off-season to retain their spot in RLCS. It’s not going to be easy.
Entire books could be written on situations and possibilities in Europe. Teams relied on each other to secure desired spots while simultaneously having to stay on top of their game.
Dignitas, of course, clinched top two well in advance. The back-to-back world champions look solid as ever. Everyone knew they’d be back at the world championships this year and many expected them to do it without losing a single series. Vitality, the last team to play Dignitas, came very close by being the first team to bring Dignitas to game five. In the end, however, Dignitas stood firm and ended the season 7-0 in first place.
For second place, not many predicted Flipsid3 Tactics. They had fallen from their throne after their Season 2 World Championship and worked for a long time to get back on track. This season it finally clicked, and with the help of some other teams’ results, they secured their way back to the world championship. Many fans will be happy to see Kuxir97 back at LAN, who continues to surprise viewers with individual master classes.
We Dem Girlz finished third after Vitality failed to defeat Dignitas. Most expected them to finish in second place, but with F3’s resurgence and a poor performance in the final week, third place was the best they could manage. The team is solid, though. The addition of Metsanauris in favour of Deevo is proving effective and will be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs and, potentially, Las Vegas.
Vitality got stronger as the season went on. The final week, where they swept We Dem Girlz and were the only team to bring Dignitas to game five, showed their potential and should give a warning sign to anyone who will be facing them. Fourth place looked optimistic after the first weeks of the season, but after their final matches they will feel they deserved more. Ultimately, they should be happy with their progression and have a good basis to build on.
PSG ended in fifth place after a very inconsistent season. Their wins went back and forth, looking strong one week and poor the next. They faced the weaker side of the league in the final weeks, however, giving them the opportunity to collect themselves. While they should just be glad to avoid relegation, they can also start dreaming of going to Vegas. They will play Renault Vitality in the playoffs. A tough task after seeing Vitality’s performance in the final week, but not impossible.
Mousesports started off the season strong and even looked like a LAN contender. They quickly started collapsing, however, and ended up just barely above the relegation zone. Despite being a strong team, they only managed a 2-5 record, winning against Vitality and Fnatic. Having placed in sixth, they will have to play We Dem Girlz in the playoffs. With how mouz’s season has progressed, it’s looking unlikely we’ll be seeing them in Vegas.
Someone had to end up in the relegation zone. But while many fans doubted CompLexity’s decision to replace Metsanauris with gReazymeister, not many expected CoL to finish in last place. They are a roster of the world’s top players who struggled with link ups when it mattered. Even though they have to play in the relegation tournament, they should have more than enough class to fight their way back to Season 7.
Fnatic, finishing at seventh, looks like a permanent resident of the red zone. After failing to qualify for RLCS in the last straight qualifiers, they tore through RLRS and looked to be a strong contender in RLCS. But ever since returning to RLCS, they’ve struggled and underperformed, failing to keep up with the rest. Even with roster changes they ended the season at 2-5. With the contenders coming up from RLRS, it’s not unlikely that they won’t make it back to RLCS this time.
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.