So maybe we’ve been spoiled a bit by the roller-coaster that was the Spring Split, but Wildcard matches at the Rocket League World Championships felt a bit tame as far as drama goes. Every one the favorites in each matchup came out on top, as aside from a few wobbly moments from big name teams there were no big surprises.
Going into Groups, we have some solid matches ahead of us, and plenty of recapping to be done. Who is on expected form, and who is underperforming?
RLCS World Championship Wildcard was utterly predictable
Dignitas were out to make a stand against their recent poor form, and they did so in style with a total of 24 goals over their 4 games against Gaimin Gladiators on Day 1.
Renegades, SSG, Karmine Corp and Pioneers all saw off their lower ranked opponents with clean 4-0 sweeps, some tighter than others but all still convincing. Both SMPR and OpTic, despite technically being in the lower end of the seeding, easily saw off their opposition from South America and the APAC region respectively, with the newly named Senbei Strikers putting in a respectable but lacking performance. This does seem to highlight an issue with the seeding system: the 6th ranked teams in EU and NA can easily handle the top teams from these smaller regions.
The only signs of a potential upset in the making was SSG against The Club. While the veteran NA team did come away with the win in the end, it ended in a 4-2 total. Given that The Club are the 3rd ranked SAM team, and SMPR easily blew away the 2nd ranked SAM team, you have to think that SSG won’t be too happy with that start to the campaign.
Game 7 lovers finally rejoiced on Day 3 as SMPR and SSG played the only full series in the Wildcard round. SSG almost sweeping Version1 on Day 2 was noteworthy, and a 6-1 blowout made it extremely clear that SSG looked ready to compete for the top spot out of the wildcard round. They could nail it versus SMPR on Day 3, but a series decided by inches had them wait for an elimination match on the final day to book their spot forward. They got to the final eliminations by being bamboozled by the under-fire Dignitas who struggled after a convincing start to the wildcard round, but rallied to close things out properly.
Elimination matches and high seed deciders saw Senbei Strikers, Pirates XD, Veloce, Pioneers, Secret and 01 bow out of the tournament. OpTic gaming nearly opened the door for Secret in the elimination series, but a timely timeout and some break time had them finally out of wildcards.
In the end, all matches from the wildcard pretty much aligned with our RLCS Worlds Power Rankings to a tee.
RLCS Worlds Championship 2022 Group Matches are set
We have our eight Group Stage opening matches set and seeded.
I wouldn’t give every direct seed the “home” advantage. Team Falcons, FaZe Clan, BDS and KCorp should win their games, while G2, Endpoint, Moist and NRG are looking at tighter series. Rocket League betting odds across the board reflect this sentiment.
While we do have clearly favored teams in each series, expect to have over 22.5 totals in all matches and odd maps played in most cases. Most series tend to finish in 5 or 7.