What are Oceania’s chances in the Rocket League World Championship?

Joshua Creighton Roar Rookie

By Joshua Creighton, Joshua Creighton is a Roar Rookie

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    It's going to be a massive 2018 for Australian eSports. (Image: Riot Games)

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    Over the last few weeks there’s been an abundance of build-up and hype for the upcoming fourth season of the Rocket League Championship.

    The new season will see team after team, divided into their three regions, come head to head with each other with the intention of making it to the World Championship stage.

    We’ve seen three seasons of the RLCS already, and with each season we see an almost unforeseeable increase in each team’s skill, communication, friendliness and power.

    With each new season providing a reset of talent, it’s easy to question what the next season will hold: with Oceania’s recent entry and the consistent increase in skill across the board for just about every team in the region, what could we be seeing for the home teams during the qualifiers for the RLCS4?

    Let’s begin with a brief recap of RLCS3, the first and currently only season that Oceania has participated in. With the season kicking off strongly and the region hosting the qualifiers through the highly regarded ThrowdownTV, we saw the then Alpha Sydney take out the number one seed for the country followed by JAM Gaming as number two seed.

    Both teams were fresh to international play and flew to the United States, where they took on some of the world’s strongest teams – teams that held little to no expectation for the region.

    The Australian teams took some time to warm up to the new level of competition but were met with incredible praise from the international teams, many of which said that Alpha Sydney in particular was a team to watch in the coming years as their ability to adapt and learn came at an alarming rate.

    Since RLCS3 Alpha Sydney underwent some name changes, leaving the Alpha Sydney brand to become ‘BFC’ – short for Billy Fan Club – before being signed to The Chiefs esports club, arguably one of Oceania’s largest esports teams.

    On the other side of the fence JAM underwent some small changes to the roster – with Bango coming into his 12th year of schooling, the young prodigy take a small step back with Rocket League to pursue his studies. His spot is being filled by potentially one of the only players capable of filling such big shoes, Shadey.

    Beyond these changes there has been little change in the Oceania region with team line-ups or skill match-ups. JAM Gaming sits at a constantly contested first place, being challenged mostly by the heavily skilled Chiefs and Scylla Esports, with each holding the respective second and third places in the region.

    However, with The Chiefs sitting at third right now, it’s extremely hard to decide who will be the favourites for the RLCS4 Oceania qualifiers coming in just a fortnight’s time. Right now JAM Gaming is looking particularly strong – Shadey has made an incredible step up, and the team is gelling together on levels we’ve not seen for the last couple of months after RLCS3 – but you can never count out any team in Oceania.

    On the other hand, much like JAM Gaming, Scylla Esports have had their time to refresh and are out to make their way onto the international stage for the first time, something their constantly growing fan base would be joyous to see.

    With these top-tier teams dominating the region, only one other question requires an answer: what are Oceania’s chances on the world stage this season?

    All eyes remained fixed on Oceania when they left RLCS3. Alpha Sydney’s credibility and instinct for growth, learning and adapting to the boundaries – ahead of European and North American teams like NRG or Flipsid3 Tactics – left each and every team knowing that Oceania would be the region to watch over the coming years.

    With RLCS4 coming extremely quickly, it’s hard to say whether Oceania has had the opportunity to grow with their international counterparts. The Chiefs and JAM Gaming are the two teams in Oceania with international experience, and while JAM are currently topping the entire region in the OCE Power Rankings, the future is never known, especially after the most recent events at the ESL AU/NZ season two LAN Finals, which saw The Chiefs take out an astonishing 4-1 win over Pale Horse eSports in the JAM-less grand final.

    There’s no easy way to say what Oceania’s chances at RLCS4 are. The region has grown and changed, as it will continue to do, but what changes will take place between now and Oceania’s RLCS4 qualifiers?

    The easiest way to find out is to watch the upcoming tournament streams in Oceania – from weekly tournaments to huge majors, Oceania has them all.

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