RLCS Fall Major playoffs feature 4 EU teams, 3 repping NA and 1 from Middle East

by Brian Bencomo

After three days of the RLCS Major, the field of 16 teams at the first international Rocket League LAN in two years has been cut down to eight. The top eight have now been placed into a single-elimination bracket that will feature two North America vs. Europe matchups in the quarterfinals. Along with an all-EU matchup and a surprising Sandrock Gaming facing the reigning world champs, it should be a very entertaining set of quarterfinals. Here’s a primer on each of the eight teams that have qualified for the playoffs at the Fall Major.

Matchups:

Sandrock Gaming vs. NRG | Saturday 11 a.m. ET

FaZe Clan vs. Endpoint | Saturday 12 p.m. ET

Complexity vs. Team BDS | Saturday 1 p.m. ET

Dignitas vs. SMPR Esports | Saturday 2 p.m. ET

Dignitas

Photo credit: Psyonix

Dignitas entered the Fall Major as the No. 2 European seed and have had a perfect run so far. They have not lost a map in winning all three of their matchups by 3-0 scores. In fact, they only allowed one goal in their opening matchup against Tokyo Verdy Esports which included a 7-0 thrashing on Map 1. Their biggest challenge was SMPR with Maps 1 and 3 going to overtime. They will get a rematch with SMPR in the quarterfinals. On paper, this looks like Dignitas should move on to the semis, but if SMPR has learned from their loss, this one should be closer.

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FaZe Clan

The best North American team at the RLCS Fall Major has been FaZe Clan so far. They won the first of three regional NA events this fall and qualified for the Fall Major as NA’s No. 3 seed. They don’t have the same experience on the international stage as fellow NA teams NRG, Envy or G2 Esports, but that clearly hasn’t been a factor so far. At the major they have beaten Team Vitality, Renegades and then Team BDS to advance to the playoffs. While Team Vitality didn’t look like the team that was once the best in the world, beating BDS was a statement win for FaZe. Next, they’ll face another European team, Endpoint. It’ll be one of two banger NA-EU matchups in the quarterfinals, and the winner of this matchup could easily reach the final.

Sandrock Gaming

Photo credit: Psyonix

With the Fall Major being the first time a team from the Middle East has competed at an international RLCS event, Sandrock Gaming have put the region on the map. They opened up the tournament with a shocking 3-0 victory over NA’s No. 2 seed, G2 Esports. After losing to Europe’s SMPR, they bounced back with wins over FURIA Esports and Ground Zero Gaming to advance. They get a very high-profile matchup against NRG, the top seed from North America and one of the favorites heading into the tournament, in the quarterfinals. Sandrock are the higher seeded team in the playoffs, but if they can beat NRG it would be a huge upset. Sandrock are clearly not intimidated in their first appearance on the international stage, so don’t be surprised if they pull it off.

Complexity Gaming

If not for Sandrock Gaming, Complexity might be the most surprising team at the Fall Major. Complexity re-entered the RLCS just last month after picking up the roster formerly signed by True Neutral. That team played in South America in the last RLCS season, moved to North America and qualified for the major as NA’s fifth seed via a tiebreaker. After losing a close 3-2 matchup to BDS, they beat eRa Eternity, fellow NA team Envy and then European favorite Endpoint. They’ll get a chance for revenge against BDS when they face them in the quarterfinals. That game should be just as close as their previous matchup, and the winner will likely face Dignitas in the semifinals.

Photo credit: Psyonix

Team BDS

The only stumble for Team BDS so far has been a 3-1 loss to FaZe Clan. They have faced arguably the toughest competition in the Swiss Stage. All four of their opponents are joining them in the playoffs. They won a close 3-2 against Complexity, with two of their wins coming in overtime. They won another 3-2 that featured two OT map wins against fellow European team Endpoint. Their third win was a 3-1 against NRG. Things won’t get any easier for them in the playoffs because they will get a rematch against Complexity in the quarterfinals.

Endpoint

Photo credit: Psyonix

Endpoint came into the Fall Major as the No. 1 seed from Europe after winning two of the three regional events. Yet they had a difficult time making it out of the Swiss Stage. They opened up with a loss to Oceania’s Renegades then beat Team Vitality and NRG before dropping another series against Team BDS. Facing elimination they beat G2 Esports 3-1 to advance to the playoffs. They will get a chance to eliminate another NA team in the quarterfinals, FaZe Clan. It’ll be Endpoint’s toughest matchup yet, and if they can beat them they will once again be among the tournament favorites.

SMPR Esports

The team formerly known as the Top Blokes, entered the major as Europe’s fourth seed with their best finish being second in the third regional event. They beat Renegades to give Europe four teams in the top eight for the Fall Major. Besides Renegades, they also beat FURIA and Sandrock to qualify for the playoffs. Unfortunately for them, they’ll face Dignitas in the quarterfinals, one of the teams they lost to in the Swiss Stage and the team that has looked the best so far at this tournament.

NRG

Photo credit: Psyonix

It wouldn’t have felt right if the reigning world champions and top North American seed didn’t reach the Fall Major playoffs. After losing matches to European teams BDS and Endpoint, they needed to win two straight matches to advance. They not only won, they dominated. They beat Team Vitality 3-0, including a 6-0 win on Map 1, and they didn’t surrender a single goal the entire series. It was the first perfect sweep in an RLCS LAN. Then they beat Ground Zero Esports 3-0 with shutouts on two maps. They’ll get a matchup with the most surprising team at the tournament, Sandrock Gaming, in the quarterfinals. If they play like they did in their last two matches, they should win. However, if they revert to their form from earlier in the Swiss Stage, Sandrock might knock them out.

Lead photo credit: Psyonix

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