Team BDS win RLCS 2021-22 World Championship

by Brian Bencomo

The 2021-22 Rocket League season ended Sunday with Europe’s Team BDS beating North America’s G2 Esports at the Rocket League World Championship in Fort Worth, Texas. The trio of Evan "M0nkey M00n" Rogez, Alex "Extra" Paoli and Enzo "Seikoo" Grondein earned the organization’s first world championship and handed G2 another second-place finish at Worlds. Seikoo was named MVP.

For G2 newcomer Massimo "Atomic" Franceschi, this was his first runner-up finish at the world championship. But for Jacob "JKnaps" Knapman and Reed "Chicago" Wilen, the end of the tournament echoed their second-place finish at Season 7 Worlds in 2019. With the dust settling on this world championship, here’s a look back at the most important storylines from the tournament.

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Team BDS begin and end the season as champions

For a while it looked like Team BDS had lost their mojo. After starting the RLCS 2021-22 season with a Fall Major championship, the European squad exited the Winter and Spring Majors early. But they came back with a vengeance at the RLCS World Championship. Starting in the group stage they beat Oceania’s Renegades 4-1 and North America’s Version1 4-0. Their closest matchup was the quarterfinals in the playoffs where it took BDS seven games to put away an upstart Karmine Corp. In the semifinals they beat FURIA, who were riding the high of beating Moist Esports. In the final, BDS took care of business in five games against the North American crowd favorites, G2 Esports. They’re the only team to win two LANs this season and the only team in RLCS history to win more than one LAN. At this point in time, there is no question they are the best Rocket League team in the world.

4 NA teams make playoffs and so do 3 EU teams

Photo credit: Psyonix

In a season that saw so much upheaval, with teams from South America and the Middle East rising up and challenging the traditional powerhouses from North America and Europe, it turned out to be a fairly traditional playoff field at Worlds. Four teams from North America and three teams from Europe reached the playoffs, with all three Major champions -- G2 Esports, Team BDS and Moist Esports -- among the field of eight. The way the bracket set up it also looked likely to lead to another NA vs. EU final with all four North American teams on one side of the bracket and the three European teams on the opposite side. Once BDS beat FURIA, that outcome was guaranteed.

Read more: The top 10 esports orgs in the world in 2022, so far

FURIA beat Moist for team’s best RLCS international finish

Photo credit: Psyonix

The best team from South America has been gradually improving all season. FURIA broke into the top six at the Winter Major in Los Angeles and followed that up with another top six finish at the Spring Major in London. In between the Major and Worlds, they won half a million dollars at the Gamers8 tournament. They ended their season by reaching the semifinals at the RLCS World Championship. It included a win in the quarterfinals over Moist Esports, the Spring Major champions and favorites to win the world championship.

The Club the surprise out of wild card stage

Photo credit: Psyonix

Although Worlds played out mostly in favor of the favorites, the one underdog that surprised with their performance was The Club. They were one of the most unheralded squads in Texas -- the South American third seed didn’t even get signed ahead of the tournament. Yet, they made it out of the wild card stage with wins over Bravado Gaming, Pioneers and 01 Esports. The victory over 01 Esports was especially impressive considering they were the second-best team from MENA this year after Team Falcons. Then, in the group stage, The Club beat Dignitas to set up an all-South American matchup against FURIA. That matchup ended up being closer than expected, with FURIA needing seven games to beat The Club. It was a strong performance from an underrated team and another boost to the South American region.

Team Falcons fall short of playoffs

Photo credit: Psyonix

The Spring Major runners-up had the most disappointing results at the world championship. Yes, they lost to two very tough teams in FaZe Clan and Karmine Corp, but after reaching the final of the last Major they certainly should have made the playoffs. After the year they’ve had, it’s a shame Team Falcons didn’t get a chance to make a run on Championship Sunday. Alas, they had a season to be proud of in which they put the Middle East on the map as a region to be reckoned with in Rocket League as they challenged and took down teams from NA and EU all season.

Lead photo credit: Psyonix

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