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Rocket League fans couldn’t ask for more drama out of Day 1 at the World Championships

Rocket League fans couldn't ask for more drama out of Day 1 at the World Championships

A thrilling start to RLCS

The first day of Rocket League‘s Season 6 RLCS tournament featured six matches. All six of them went to a fifth deciding game in the best-of-five series. No underdog went down without a fight, no favorite convinced everyone it’s the strongest team in the field.

It’s tough to pick a single best series because nothing was routine about the opening to RLCS. A matchup between G2 and FlipSid3 Tactics was the most anticipated in the weeks leading up to the tournament. G2’s Kronovi and FlipSid3’s Kuxir97 are the closest Rocket League has to true legends; their squads won RLCS Seasons 1 and 2, respectively. But, this is the first time they’ve faced each other in RLCS since way back in Season 1.

It was a long time in the making and the wait wasn’t for naught. FlipSid3 earned a hard-fought victory as Yukeo absolutely shined in his first LAN appearance. G2 looked the better squad with a convincing Game 1 win, but FlipSid3 rattled off consecutive wins in the next two games. G2 forced a Game 5 (which you already know because literally every match went the distance), and FlipSid3 came through in the clutch. It’s a disappointing start for a G2 team with high ambitions for a championship. They now have to fight through the losers bracket in this double elimination tournament.

If there’s a single big winner from Day 1, it’s definitely Chiefs Esports out of the Oceania region. They defeated Paris Saint-Germain in the opening game before going on to upset NRG in the final match of the afternoon. Oceania has been steadily improving over the past four seasons and they certainly don’t look like impostors anymore. The rowdy Las Vegas crowd backed the Chiefs’ effort with loud cries of “Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oy Oy Oy!” They’ll likely be the fan favorite as long as they’re still alive in the tournament.

Another disappointing (and somewhat baffling) showing came from Cloud9, a team that most everyone in RLCS fears. Facing We Dem Girlz, the only RLCS squad that isn’t signed by a professional organization, Cloud9 seemed able to control the pitch after working out some kinks in a first-game loss. Squishy was popping off, which crescendoed with this flip reset dunk:

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.@SquishyMuffinz THE GOD! #LANVegas

📺https://t.co/PpKjSDWZR1

🚀https://t.co/YaSObt9CJg pic.twitter.com/wWmretM4Dr

— Rocket League Esports (@RLEsports) November 9, 2018

Things went off the rails, though. We Dem Girlz sent Cloud9 to the lower bracket, dampening the high hopes they had. If Cloud9 eventually prevails, they’ll need to be perfect for the rest of the weekend.

The most expected result today, however, held even if it was more exciting than anyone. Back-to-back RLCS champions Team Dignitas stays in the better side of the bracket. They were certainly confident too. Turbopolsa said it’d be 15 minutes and then off the stage for them — predicting they’d win all three 5-minute games against Evil Geniuses with ease. Dignitas hasn’t lost a single match since the second day of RLCS Season 5 in June. They went undefeated through league play and the European regional championships. Team Dignitas is the single team that has a giant target on its back.

Broadly speaking, North America is in a tough spot. Not a single North American squad finished Day 1 without a loss. Europe and one Oceanic team are riding high. But it didn’t come easy for anyone.

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