February 18, 2022
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Rocket League fans are definitely hyped for the upcoming weeks as the RLCS Winter Major approaches, but just before the big tournament happens, we still have to go through one final series of regional events. Of course, while all regions have their storylines and interesting teams to follow, North America will be taking the spotlight this time. There still are plenty of open spots for North America teams in the Major, and this regional event will definite everything.

So, in order to be ready for the final qualifying event of the region for the Winter Major, we’ve prepared this guide for you. Here’s everything you need to know about the RLCS Mobil 1 Mountain Classic!

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

The Mobil 1 Mountain Classic will be kicking off in a couple of hours, this Friday (18th) at 6:00 PM UTC. You can check which time that is in your region through here. Matches will be streamed through Rocket League’s official channel on Twitch, as well as Twitch channels from teams taking part in the tournament. If you’re on Germany, you will be also able to follow all the action through Sport1.

As for the event format, the third and final regional event for North America will follow the standard format we’ve seen through the season. This means that it’ll be a tournament with two stages, the group stage and the playoffs. For the group stage, the 16 teams coming to the event will be divided in four groups, and the event will be played using the round robin format. You can see the groups below:

Now, all matches are best-of-five series, and the three top teams of each group will advance to the playoffs. The group winners will advance directly to the winner’s bracket, while second and third place will start from the loser’s bracket at the playoffs.

The playoffs will be starting later on the 18th. All matches from the playoffs will be best-of-seven games but the two rounds of the lower-bracket, which are BO5s. The grand-finals will see a bracket reset happening, and the team coming from the lower-bracket will have to win two BO7s series. The winning team will take home $30,000, as well as 351 circuit points. A total of $100,000 will be in place as the event’s prize pool.

Now with all details of the tournament covered, here are the main storylines coming to the event.

NOW OR NEVER – ENVY

Before the Winter circuit kicked off, hopes for EnVy’s Rocket League squad were high. Sure, EnVy wasn’t so hot at the Fall Major, but with Andres “dreaz” Jordan and Braxton “Allushin” Lagarec getting more time with the team, it was expected that the team’s results would improve. But they did not, and the situation is dire for EnVy.

After a disappointing performance at the first Regional, EnVy managed to do somewhat better at the 351, but it wasn’t enough. Now, ahead of the Mobil 1 Classic, the team sees themselves in 9th place at the NA Rankings, with 280 points. This means that unless EnVy can something much better than they did so far in the circuit, they will be missing the Major.

There’s no room for mistakes for Team EnVy at the Mobil Classic, and while they should face any troubles going past the group stage, EnVy downfall has always been the playoffs. Whether they end in 2nd or 3rd place in their group – which is likely considering that FaZe are the favorites there – EnVy will be facing a strong opponent in their first playoffs match. Chances are they will be facing either Version1 or Shopify Rebellion, and both squads are looking better than EnVy has been this season.

At the end of the day, EnVy has got themselves in this situation. They have the roster to overcome it, sure, but it’ll require them to beat the odds to get to the Major. Still, missing the Major for a team of the stature of EnVy would be a major blow, and as long as there are hopes to avoid this, EnVy fans should keep their hopes up.

FROM THE BOTTOM – OXYGEN ESPORTS

Coming from the closed qualifiers, Oxygen Esports have been making some noise at the Winter circuit. The squad is currently on their way to qualification for the Major as they sit in 5th place at the NA Rankings with 440 points. Now, Oxygen comes to the final Regional as a strong contender. They have everything they need to close off this circuit in a high note.

Now, Oxygen success is easily explained. First and foremost, Logan “Lj.” Wilt has been great so far in the season as the team’s scorer. Along with Eli “Toastie” Nichols and his aggressive approach to the game, this team has found an incredibly dangerous combination, that is supported by Jesus “gimmick” Parra. This is a very well-rounded team, and their success is deserved.

Coming to the Mobil Classic, Oxygen is expected to do well, and there’s not pointing that they won’t. They are in Group C alongside with G2, which certainly will make for an interesting match, but besides that, they should have a comfortable group stage. Afterwards, they shouldn’t have major issues in the playoffs as few teams can comfortably take on Oxygen right now. After missing the Fall Major, Oxygen is on the right path to get back on track as they aim to the World Championship.

MAKING UP FOR A MISSED OPPORTUNITY – VERSION1

Torment will be key for V1 performance at the RLCS Winter NA #3.

Version1 started the Winter circuit strong. During the X Games Open, V1 managed to beat G2 and Shopify Rebellion to take first place in their group, and proceeded to finish that event in 4th place. In the second Regional, V1 started strong, and even put a fight against NRG. They couldn’t follow up at the playoffs, though. After being eliminated by Oxygen Esports – their main competitor for a spot in the Winter Major – V1 finished the second Regional in 9 – 12th place. Which means that they only got 110 points.

Now, V1 is right behind Oxygen in the NA Rankings, behind by 50 points. This puts them in a complicated situation. Ultimately, as good as this roster might be, they have to rank considerably above Oxygen to have a chance. There’s also a possibility that either FaZe Clan or Spacestation have an underwhelming event in the final regional, and if so, Version1 will also have a shot as long as they have a good placement. Unfortunately, that’s very unlikely, and their best shot here is beating Oxygen Gaming in the event’s placements.

AGAINST OXYGEN

So, can Version 1 actually do it? It definitely won’t be easy. Right from the group stage, V1 will have to put an effort. They will be facing NRG, Randoms and Shopify Rebellion there after all. NRG, of course, are the best Rocket League team in North America, and Shopify Rebellion is a well-established squad. Randoms is an unknown, but they played very well during the qualifiers, and they could pull some upsets. If V1 survives, then even stronger competition will be up.

Yet, just like they will be facing harder opponents, so will their immediate rival, Oxygen. Version1 is recognized as the slightly better team here, but at the end of the day, upsets happen. As shown time after time, whenever the stakes get incredibly high, we can get ready for surprises at the RLCS. Now, it’s up to Version1 to decide if they’re going to be the protagonists of a positive surprise for them, or if they will be victims of an upset.

LYING LOW – ROGUE

Gyro will be key for Rogue coming for the final regional in the winter circuit.

Just like Oxygen, Jirair “Gyro.” Papazian’s Rogue is another team coming from the qualifiers with a good shot at making to the Major. After missing the Fall Major, Rogue certainly wants to mark presence at the Winter Major, but it won’t be easy.

During RLCS’ Winter first Regionals, Rogue didn’t do very well. The team only scrapped by the group stage thanks to a weak Torrent. Shortly in the playoffs, they were eliminated by a not-so-strong Complexity. Rogue however picked up the slack during the 351. After taking down NRG during the group stage, they looked like a different team. In the playoffs, Rogue surprised XSET, and after beating them, finished the event in 5 – 6th. Place.

Now, Rogue is coming to the final regional of the winter circuit with humble expectations. Yet, as any good underdog, they won’t give up until they are eliminated. Moreover, it’s clear that this team just started clicking together, and they have yet to touch on their ceiling. Once more, Rogue is fighting an uphill battle as they’re in 7th place at the NA Rankings, with 360 points. Right now, they’re 80 points behind 5th place, so, they’ll need to do something remarkable at the Mobil Classic.

If you enjoy a nice underdog story, Rogue definitely will be one you’ll want to follow. This team is finally starting to look better after bringing in Christopher “Aqua.” Campbell, and they definitely are a promising squad. Can they start showing what they can really do now. Else, we’ll have to wait until the next season for that.

THE MOBIL 1 MOUNTAIN CLASSIC STARTS SOON

In a matter of hours, the final regional event of RLCS: Winter for the North America region will be starting. For teams like FaZe, G2 and Spacestation, their qualification for the Winter Major is all but confirmed. However, one mistake, and teams like Oxygen, Version1 and Rogue will be more than ready to take their places.

With that in mind, you’ll definitely want to keep up with the Rocket League scene! So, make sure you follow us here for all the latest news!

@mjunior