With the last week of the North American Rocket League Championship Series 9 (RLCS9) over and done with, we now have the final results. And where the world championships were canceled, we at least know who secured the top 2 spots that used to qualify for LAN, who is not returning for next season, and who will be fighting to defend their RLCS Season 10 spot in April.
Incidentally, RLCS Season 9 is the first season since the Season 1 qualifiers that a team ended in first place without NRG’s Garett “GarettG” Gordon or Cloud9’s Kyle “Torment” Storer in the lineup.
Spacestation Gaming “wins” RLCS9 League play, G2 second
Spacestation Gaming convincingly took first place and secured some extra pocket money. With the regional championships coming up, SSG is already qualified for the semi-final and therefore will be taking a portion of the $100,000 that Psyonix added to the prize pool in the World Championships’ absence. The relative newcomers took the RLCS by storm after qualifying for the first time last season and competing at the world championships straight away. This season they solidified their class by ending the season with an 8-1 record, losing only to Susquehanna Soniqs.
G2 Esports took second place and look to be back at the top of Rocket League after a disastrous RLCS Season 8. Where they had to defend their spot in the promotion/relegation tournament last season, they were now considered as the favorites to win it all. Unfortunately, there is no “win it all,” but G2 are looking solid regardless and also begin their play-offs in the semi-final.
Third to seventh place: The play-offs and one black sheep
Another impressive newcomer team is Susquehanna Soniqs, led by veteran Chris “Dappur” Mendoza. All the way until their very last series of the season, they were fighting for a top 2 finish, but they ultimately had to give it up to G2 after going into the RLCS history books by failing to score a single goal in that series. Still, Soniqs are here to stay.
Title holders NRG finished in fourth place after a few surprising losses to Cloud9 and Ghost Gaming. They still look like a top team, however, so don’t write them off just yet. They are in a good spot for regionals.
Fifth and sixth place are filled by Cloud9 and Ghost Gaming respectively, both with a 5-4 record. Cloud9 continued their season where they had left off with a 1-4 score. They looked like a contender for relegation, and a roster change was surely happening soon. But towards the end of the season, they got it back together and started looking like their old selves again. With the help of their coach and substitute, the (formerly?) retired Jayson “Fireburner” Nunez, they finished their season on a high. Ghost also did decently but, like Cloud9, still have a long road ahead of them if they want to win regionals.
Pittsburgh Knights, also a contender on the world stage last season, ended in a disappointing seventh place — enough to stay in the RLCS next season, but not enough for play-offs. They are safe but their season is over, and they’ll have to work hard to make next season a better one.
The relegation contenders
Rogue, eUnited, and Flight all battled to stay out of that direct relegation spot. eUnited, yet another team from last season’s world championships, had already secured a safety net in the penultimate week, while Rogue and Flight would directly fight out who would be thrown out of the RLCS. In the end, Rogue dominated Flight in spectacular fashion, including a standout role for their substitute Garen “Garenn” Havanjian, who had to step in when Rogue needed just one more win. And step in he did, as he scored two goals in his first-ever RLCS match and allowed Rogue to cruise to an easy victory.
Flight relegate with just a single win to their name. A 1-8 finish sees them in tenth place and therefore out of the RLCS, which many Rocket League fans are happy to see, considering one of their players is controversial, to say the least.
The regional championships will happen next week and will crown a North American and European RLCS champion. What Psyonix intends to do with in-game titles such as RLCS Elite and RLCS World Champion earned by competing at Worlds is anyone’s guess, but at least we’ll have one more week of amazing Rocket League action. Tune in for Europe’s final week of RLCS on Sunday at 9 a.m. PST / 12 p.m. EST / 5 p.m. CET on Twitch and YouTube.