Moist Esports win RLCS Spring Major filled with shocking results

by Brian Bencomo

The Rocket League Championship Series Spring Major ended with Moist Esports beating Team Falcons in the grand final. The trio of European teenagers beat an upstart Saudi squad to conclude a tournament filled with surprises and that had huge ramifications for the RLCS World Championship. Here’s a breakdown of the most important storylines that played out during the RLCS Spring Major in London.

Moist Esports complete epic lower bracket run

Photo credit: Psyonix

Finlay "rise." Ferguson, Joe "Joyo" Young and Axel "vatira" Touret are the lower bracket kings. When they played for Team Queso during the winter split they went on a lower bracket run all the way to the Winter Major grand final in Los Angeles. They forced a bracket reset against G2 Esports, but they couldn’t complete the comeback. On home ground during the Spring Major at the Copper Box Arena in London, the roster now playing for Moist Esports once again went on a lower bracket run and forced a bracket reset against Falcons Esports. This time, they finished the job.

With the crowd chanting the names of the British lads rise. and Joyo and the Frenchman vatira, Moist won five matches in a row in the lower bracket and then two best-of-sevens in the final. It was a fitting end to the Spring Major and makes Moist the favorites heading into the RLCS World Championship. They were on the ropes constantly throughout the Major, but everytime Moist needed to win they pulled out a victory, and the trio won seemingly every overtime match they played.

Falcons Esports show Rocket League esports are about more than NA, EU teams

Photo credit: Psyonix

What a run by Falcons Esports. In the first season in which Middle Eastern teams competed in the RLCS, the roster formerly playing for Sandrock Gaming stole the show at the Fall Major when they reached the top eight. The team qualified for the Winter Major but were unable to travel to the United States. After being dropped and then picked up by Falcons Esports, they continued to dominate the competition in their region throughout the spring.

Finally playing in front of a crowd in London, Falcons dominated the upper bracket, beating Europe’s Team Liquid and North American titans FaZe Clan, Spacestation and Version1. In beating V1 in the upper final, they became the first team outside NA and EU to reach the grand final of an RLCS LAN event. They were the darlings of the event until the final when the crowd was mostly in favor of the hometown favorites Moist Esports. Despite the loss to Moist, the tournament was a major success for Falcons, and they did so well that they secured a spot in the group stage of Worlds.

Version1 the EU killers

Photo credit: Psyonix

Version1 cut through the European competition until the lower bracket final. V1 and their trash talking leader Robert "Comm" Kyser were already the villains in London’s Copper Box Arena. The fact they dominated European teams in the upper bracket made them the target of even more boos from the crowd. Comm appeared to love it, egging them on after every victory as he placed his hand behind his ear as if he couldn’t hear them and saying they should be louder in postmatch broadcast interviews.

V1 beat Endpoint, Moist Esports and Karmine Corp en route to the upper final where they met Falcons Esports. After losing to the Falcons, they had a rematch with Moist in the lower final. That’s where their dominance of European teams ended as they lost to Moist 4-0. In a postmatch broadcast interview, Joyo said the team wanted to shut Comm up, and that’s exactly what they did in emphatic fashion.

Favorites out early

Photo credit: Psyonix

It was one of the most tumultuous starts to an RLCS Major with several favorites knocked out early in the tournament that ended with a top three comprised of teams that not many expected except Moist Esports. The most shocking results were European teams BDS and Endpoint going home early after they both went 0-2. BDS won the Fall Major and had a strong spring split, yet they lost 3-0 to South America’s Team Secret and 3-0 to Oceania’s Pioneers. Outside of FURIA, South American teams have not been very strong and neither have Oceanic teams, so this was a major surprise. Endpoint’s losses were less shocking as they came against stronger North American teams: Version1 and OpTic Gaming.

Day 3 of the tournament was when North American favorites G2 Esports and FaZe Clan bowed out. G2 were the Winter Major champs and they were knocked out 3-2 by Team Liquid. FaZe finished in the top four at both previous Majors and were eliminated by FURIA in five games too. Each team ended the tournament 1-2.

How the Worlds spots played out

Photo credit: Psyonix

Going into the Spring Major, there was still a lot to be determined in regard to the RLCS World Championship. First, in terms of teams qualifying, there were three teams from Oceania fighting for two spots in the wild card stage. When the Pioneers pulled off the shocking upset over BDS, they secured a spot ahead of PWR and joined Renegades as Oceania’s two representatives at Worlds. NA’s Version1 and OpTic Gaming also secured spots.

Beyond teams qualifying for Worlds, there was the question of how many spots each region would get in the group stage. Regardless of how the Major played out, NA and EU pretty much had three spots each, leaving two spots to be determined. For a while it looked like NA might get a fourth spot, but Team Falcons’ run to the final locked in a spot for them in the group stage and opened up another spot for Middle Eastern teams in the wild card stage. That wild card spot went to 01 Esports. FURIA also did enough to lock in a spot for them in the group stage thus opening up another spot for South America in the wild card stage. That spot went to The Club.

Lots of parity this season

Photo credit: Psyonix

There was so much parity this season, with no team or region dominating all three Majors. Above all, that’s great for the fans and the popularity of Rocket League esports going forward. New teams emerged each split, with Sandrock Gaming putting the Middle East region on the map in the fall, Team Queso and Version1 making a name for themselves in the winter, and Karmine Corp and Team Liquid rising up in the spring.

The top eight at each Major was slightly different, and no team reached the top eight more than twice. The only teams to make multiple top eights were Team Queso/Moist Esports, Sandrock/Team Falcons, FaZe Clan, FURIA, Spacestation, Version1 and BDS.

The final three at the Spring Major featured three teams from distinct regions for the first time ever, and a team not from NA or EU reached the final. Moist will be the favorites heading into Worlds, but based on how the season has played out, it’ll probably be a different team winning it all.

Lead photo credit: Psyonix

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