Voices of RLOM – Week 1 Discussion
Welcome to the Voices of RLOM where each week we sit down with the desk talent of the Gfinity Rocket League Oceanic Masters and get their perspective on how the series is progressing.
Last Sunday was the explosive launch of RLOM and the pressure was on for our teams to get ahead of the pack leading to wild plays, tense overtimes and epic reverse sweeps. So what did our desk talent, James ‘JimNeso’ Cowan, Alex ‘Wolfey’ Foldi and David ‘yumi_cheeseman’ Lane think of each team’s performance and their expectations going into Week 2, read on to find out!
The first match out of the gate for the series, Emprox found themselves up against one of Oceania’s top teams, ICON which would be a daunting match-up for most of the teams in the series. Ultimately they did fall 0 – 3, but how was their performance overall and will we see them have a comeback in week 2?
JimNeso: Look I felt they were impressive for their first hit out against tough opposition in ICON, and with only one match on the cards. It was a hard game to judge from but I think they could be a threat if given the opportunity, it’s still early days.
yumi_cheeseman: I disagree, I felt they were outclassed. They haven’t prepared themselves, scrimming only once in the last four weeks whereas every other team scrims at least 6 days a week for a few hours. They’re missing a lot of fundamentals in their defence but hopefully this defeat will kick them into gear while there’s still time.
Wolfey: Definitively went into that match thinking it was going to be one sided given ICON, previously Tainted Minds, tournament history and going up against a team yet to make a huge splash. I didn’t see this one playing out any differently and Emprox need to reevaluate how they prepare going into Week 2.
STATS CHECK: Emprox spent at least 57% of the time, in each game, in their defensive third and only 15.22% in their attacking third.
So moving on to ICON then, this is a team that has already been to RLCS under their previous banner Tainted Minds and it’s expected that they will be one of the top 2 teams at the end of this series. Did their performance from week one raise any alarm bells for you or does it look like smooth sailing to the finals?
JimNeso: There is the expectation that they’ll be on the podium and week one has put them in a position to command the series. However I felt it was a slow start for them, partly due to an early disconnect in their first match of the day, and overall just not their best performance on the field.
Wolfey: Look a win is a win regardless if its scrappy or chaotic, especially when you’re playing against teams who don’t have a predictable play style that you might see out of other top teams.
yumi_cheeseman: The major match for ICON on Sunday was the one against Out Of Order. OOO has been continually beating ICON in the off season so for them to get the victory and with a reverse sweep was a big step up. It was a scrappy victory which we can excuse this week as they’ve changed up their play style but that excuse will dry up fast. They need to be back to performing their best next week to guarantee themselves in the top 4 with a shot at the championship run.
STATS CHECK: Versus Emprox, ICON produced 11 goals out of 36 shots, a 30.56% shot percentage. Against OOO, ICON had 11 goals out of 44 shots with a 25% shot percentage.
Now Out Of Order had a rough opening week, with a game 5 decider against one of the top teams then a hard loss to follow despite pre-series expectations that they’d be ones to watch. What’s your thoughts on what went wrong and can we still expect them to rival the top teams?
JimNeso: Out of Order were disappointing. They had played really well in the lead up to the league play stage and it was just dismantled by ICON in their first match. In the second match, 1NE had their number and it came across to me as a sign of tilting from OOO, they just couldn’t get their ducks in order
Wolfey: I felt it was very emotional day for OOO as Julz played with the 1NE lineup previously so there’s history there. There are good players on the OOO team but they just didn’t show it, which is rough especially in those match ups where you’re facing down a top squad. We did think of OOO as a potential third place but after this week I feel that’s questionable.
yumi_cheeseman: The major problem with Out Of Order that I saw was that they brought a play style that really relied on confidence. They were going fast with the balls, doing plays that were aggressive and risky. You saw that in the 5 – 3 result (game one) in their match against ICON. The problem with that is when one person loses confidence, with Deckaa making a massive mistake in front of the net, it crumpled not only Deckaa but the rest of the team. Julz and Siki were going fast for the ball but then Siki lost trust and slowed down, shutting down their play style.
STATS CHECK: OOO, as a team, spent a total of 3 mins without boost compared to ICON’s 1.9 mins in their crucial 3 – 5 game loss, a possible reflection of their aggressive play style with 19.63% of their time in their offensive third.
Now 1NE is another team that had some incredible games with one strong victory and a shocking loss. It seemed like in their match vs Justice Esports they were well in control before it all came falling down, how has that shaped your opinion of them going into next week?
JimNeso: They were a surprise package for me as I hadn’t seen them play prior to this. They played a very patient game style especially against fast and hard teams like Out Of Order, who then in turn made mistakes because their game style wasn’t working. 1NE, despite the fact that they did lose the 2nd game in a reverse sweep, showed really positive signs.
Wolfey: 1NE definitely out performed my expectations, I didn’t think they would do as well as they did. I think partly with OOO coming out of a previous loss played a factor but in the end 1NE did beat them, not cleanly, but in convincing fashion. They’re definitely one to watch.
yumi_cheeseman: I’ll be honest, I was surprised 1NE lost to Justice. They’ve been the team that by far looked the best coming into League Play, they looked the best in the qualifiers and in their scrims. Their play style has looked strong for challenging the top teams so I’m surprised they weren’t able to close it out. But that can be a lack of experience. You can get nervous soon as you realise ‘I can win this’ ‘let’s close it out’, ‘let’s play it safe’ and in doing that you can end up throwing away a series lead. If they can grow from here, we might just see them get into the top 4 and even challenge for top 2.
STATS CHECK: 1NE had 9 goals out of 19 shots, a 47.37% shot percentage over OOO, and spent 58.3% of their time in their defense third – a sign of their patient play style.
Justice Esports had a fantastic opening weekend, locking away two match wins and putting themselves instantly in a leading position on the standings. Is this a lead they can hold?
JimNeso: Justice were slow starters but they got the job done. Being their second season in RLCS qualifiers for SSteve and Yeatzy it shows a coming of age that they were able to pull off such a strong reverse sweep. Misty wasn’t the big factor that he usually is but perhaps opening weekend nerves. He still played solidly but he hasn’t been that lead from the front player we’ve seen in previous events.
yumi_cheeseman: That’s purposeful for sure. We know yeatzy goes to the back post, where he just stays back in defense forcing Misty to be more aggressive. But we saw this week they changed their play style to push yeatzy out and that takes time to adapt. Same story as ICON, they managed to bring it all together but this is their last chance for any excuses and they need to start strong in the future weeks.
Wolfey: For me, to be blunt, this isn’t Justice Esports this is SSteve Esports. SSteve is honestly in my mind the biggest carry in that entire team, he works around yeatzy really well and honestly I’m still to decide if Misty is a good third for them. What they’ve done this week is a good showing but I think there’s going to be some inconsistency from them.
yumi_cheeseman: SSteve was meant to be that carry last season when they built the team around him. It’s still built around him and this time he was able to perform under pressure. He’s always been a nervous player who struggles to perform under pressure previously. Before the series launch he said if I don’t get nervous and throw, we’ll win, and that’s basically what happened.
STATS CHECK: The change in play style saw yeatzy spend 33.24% in the offensive third in game one vs 1NE. SSteve lead the goal scoring in all matches, with a 30% shot percentage against 1NE (6 goals), and 23% against Team Esper (3 goals).
With only one match to play in the opening weekend, it wasn’t a great showing from Team Esper who failed to get a game win under their belt. Is it just a slow start from them or is there cause for concern going into week 2?
JimNeso: Team Esper started well but got rattled hard in the first encounter where they were demo’d in net. They should be doing better with Daisu and Outlast who have been around for some time. Cobbo had a really rough entrance into league play as he was targeted by all opposition, hopefully it’s the baptism by fire that spurs him on to picking up his game.
Wolfey: The way I see this team playing is basically Daisu and Outlast passing to each other with Cobbo trying to pick up the scraps. I think it’s going to be an emotionally tumultuously journey. Both Daisu and Outlast are emotional players, they could be playing so well, score a goal and then the next second be playing as though they’re back in bronze.
yumi_cheeseman: I agree with the second part but not the first part. Daisu is not meant to be the attacking player on that team. He’s normally the one that sits back in the net, though he did so poorly by being too far back. He’s not normally the one combining on the attack, that’s normally Cobbo and Outlast. And Cobbo had a terrible series, he had zero goals, zero assist and not involved throughout. He’s the one for me who wins the game, if Cobbo’s playing well he’ll win the game but he couldn’t today, he was too nervous.
JimNeso: I think I noticed a few times there where Daisu wasn’t sure on his positioning. There’s times where he’s caught in two worlds where he wants to go back into net…
yumi_cheeseman: but Cobbo is there. And Cobbo is not normally there so they end up being in the same position in defense. They need more confidence in each other to be in the right spots.
STATS CHECK: Daisu spent 64.3% of game one in his defensive third. Overall Team Esper produced 3 goals out of 19 shots, a 15.79% shot percentage for the match.
The final match of the day saw Team EDGE up against Chiefs ESC, certainly the toughest start of the series for any of our teams. While the expectation was they wouldn’t take this win, did their performance give you insight into how they’ll go over the entire series?
JimNeso: EDGE was simply outclassed by Chiefs in the end. Riv is going to have some decent guidance in the experience from Addzey and Bango in how to handle his nerves, league play prep and what to work on. I’ll be interested in watching how his development tracks and that will help indict how the team is working together overall.
yumi_cheeseman: What I like about EDGE is I didn’t have to talk about Bango the entire time. That’s a positive sign for them as Bango usually gets greedy and doesn’t trust his teammates so he gets too involved. And sure this means he gets the goals but it also shuts down the team. This is a major step forward because I know he trusts his team which is massive sign that they can get better in the future. This team didn’t have high expectations coming into the series, they are fully aware that they are coming in as a 7th seed and their goal is to improve as much over time as possible. I think that’s a great attitude going towards the rest of the competition where they might be able to bring this back especially as it was only one match, against Chiefs, you can afford to lose that.
Wolfey: I was never expecting that much from EDGE and I’m not expecting much over the league play. They have this storied history of being these old ‘players’ but they need to adapt to how every other team is playing or they’ll fall flat on their face.
STATS CHECK: Team EDGE spent 59.64% in their defensive third and only 10.69% in their offensive third during Game 3. With 4 goals from 13 shots they ended up on a 30.77% shot percentage.
Last but certainly not least is Chiefs Esports Club, Oceania’s most well known team. It was a short fanfare for them with only one match which they claimed, 3-0. From the game play however, were you able to pull any insights into what we can expect from them next week?
JimNeso: Chiefs weren’t challenged this weekend and with an easy match first up they got confident fast. Zen especially looked comfortable with where he sat on the field, he wasn’t often caught out of position and I think people will focus target Zen in future weeks of the competition.
yumi_cheeseman: The funny thing with Chiefs is that as a team they weren’t playing their best but Zen was. Normally we’re talking about Kamii, we never want to see him miss a ball he’s got to be the solid guy. Torsos will go out beat every single person on the pitch creating this crazy circumstance that allows his teammates to score. But even with Torsos missing certain balls and Kamii flailing wide at times, it didn’t matter because the consistent player just changed to Zen even though he was on attack. This is kinda scary because the questions leading up to this match was whether Chiefs would retain being a top team with Zen in the roster. Now that’s been answered and he will now have the pressure on him to live up to his week 1 performance.
Wolfey: I think Zen is going to perform well against weaker teams and I think that’s where Chiefs will add to their great strengths. Torsos is definitely a player who can be very affected by his emotions and I feel it’s going to be Zen who will step up against the weaker teams that may frustrate his teammates, and Torsos will step up against their direct challengers like ICON. Not only do they have the skills to sit at the top of OCE but for ICON and Chiefs it’s all about looking towards the international stage.
JimNeso: I agree, I think they have their eyes set on the international teams but that could lead them into some trouble if they get challenged locally. At this stage however it’s tough to see them being pressured.
STATS CHECK: Chiefs had 16 goals out of 32 shots, a 50% shot percentage, alongside 15 assists and 6 saves out of only 3 games in the match.
Have opinions on what our talent had to say? Who do you think will step it up next Sunday? Make sure to let us know on Twitter using #RLOM