Gen.G cap off dominant split with RLCS Fall Major win
by Brian Bencomo
When the RLCS 2022-23 season kicked off this fall, Gen.G entered Rocket League for the first time with a last-minute roster that included a couple of European players who decided to take their talents to North America. The team wasn’t considered a favorite in a highly competitive North American region, but after a few months, the team is now the best in the world after winning the RLCS Fall Major in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
The win capped off a highly successful fall split that saw Gen.G reach the final of all three North American regional events and win one. Facing international competition at the Fall Major, Gen.G went 3-1 in the Swiss stage to reach the playoffs. In the knockout round, Gen.G won a close series 4-3 against Europe’s Team Liquid and then beat fellow North American team FaZe Clan 4-1 in the semis.
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In the final, Gen.G was down 1-0 against Europe’s Moist Esports before winning the next two games in overtime to go up 2-1. Moist tied it 2-2 before Gen.G took control and won the series 4-2 to win the tournament.
This was the first RLCS Major win for both Englishmen Jack "ApparentlyJack" Benton and Joseph "noly" Kidd. ApparentlyJack, who was named Fall Major MVP, had played with Dignitas last season and his best finish was 5th-8th at last year’s Fall Major. Last season, Noly played with Karmine Corp with whom he finished fourth at the Spring Major and 5th-8th at the RLCS World Championship.
This also was the first RLCS Major win for the American on the team, Nick "Chronic" Iwanski. It was not, however, the first championship title for the 17-year-old. Chronic won the Nerd Street Winter Championship earlier this year with a team known as Randoms that included two players currently on Spacestation Gaming, Daniel "Daniel" Piecenski and Logan "Lj" Wilt. Chronic also was a runner-up in the Nerd Street 2021 Winter Championship.
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Photo credit: Psyonix
The Major win was a career highlight for coach Braxton "Allushin" Lagarec too. Allushin, who recently transitioned to coaching, had finished 3rd-4th with FaZe Clan at last year’s Fall Major.
Gen.G lived up to the expectations they had built up for themselves as the top North American team this fall, but they had to beat a tough opponent who has a reputation for rising to the occasion on the international stage.
Moist were one of the best teams in Europe last year. Joe "Joyo" Young, Finlay "rise" Ferguson and Axel "vatira" Touret were runners-up at the Winter Major when they played with Team Queso. After joining Moist, they won of the Spring Major and finished 5th-8th at Worlds.
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However, the team didn’t show that same form in European regional play this fall. While vatira left Moist and joined a Karmine Corp squad that emerged as Europe’s top team, Moist veterans rise and Joyo alongside former Karmine Corp player Maëllo "AztraL" Ernst squeaked into the Major as Europe’s fifth seed. Moist ended up beating Karmine Corp in the quarterfinals en route to another RLCS Major finals appearance.
Despite the loss, Moist accrued a lot of RLCS points to rank second in Europe behind Karmine Corp after the first of three splits in the RLCS 2022-23 season. Meanwhile, Gen.G have put quite a bit of distance between themselves and FaZe Clan in the North American standings. The top teams in each region will ultimately qualify for the RLCS 2023 World Championship next summer.
For now, teams will have over a month off until winter split regional play kicks off. The winter split begins in late January in some regions and early February in others and will conclude with the Winter Major in San Diego from April 6 to 9.
Lead photo credit: Psyonix