French domination at the RLCS 2022-23 European Winter Open

The first event of the Winter Split took place in Europe last weekend, let’s take a look at what happened.

Day 1: Veterans suffer from Vertigo and BDS go bye-bye

The surprise act of day 1 came from Vertigo Esports, a team formed from three Rocket League players who had never made it to an RLCS regional before. The trio first impressed us in the closed qualifier with a comfortable sweep over AS Monaco to make it into the event. However even with this result we expected nothing from them when it came to the main event. The young stars came out and proved everyone wrong with a stunning 3-2 victory over the #4 seed Team Liquid in the first round of groups. After a 3-1 loss to Quadrant, they bounced back with a 3-1 victory over Tundra to advance themselves to playoffs. Sadly they took a crushing 3-0 loss to Karmine Corp in the first round, but still, not a bad result for 3 rookies.


@ Rocket League

The Vitality roster also showed signs of new life on day 1. Wins against Soniqs, “suhhh” and an impressive game 5 victory over Karmine Corp meant they were able to finish at the top of their group. Whether they could keep this form going into the weekend was a different question. Team Liquid were able to bounce back from their defeat against Vertigo in order to come first in their group, with Oxygen Esports and G1 being the other two teams to top their respective groups.

An unfortunate playoffs first round matchup saw Moist Esports and Team BDS battle it out to make day 2. Sadly for the World Champs, their Fall Split form has not improved over the Christmas break, as they took a crushing 3-0 defeat and finished with top 12 finish. Another performance like this is not acceptable, as they cannot afford to miss another major if they want to keep their World’s hopes alive.

Day 2: The Amigos are back and Vitality continue to impress

The most surprising result of the quarter finals came from the first series of the day. The young Team Liquid roster has been known to be very inconsistent at times, and this showed on day 1 with their loss to Vertigo. Their series against the German Amigos again showed this, as they took a heavy 4-1 defeat. The defensive playstyle of German Amigos worked perfectly due to Team Liquid not being able to execute their usual aggressive mechanical plays.

After taking down BDS on Friday, Moist matched up against a hot Vitality in the quarters. Vitality continued where they left off on Friday with another spectacular performance led by their captain, Yanis “Alpha54” Champenois.

Day 3: The French Revolution

After his controversial departure from Moist Esports Rocket League during the transfer window, all the pressure was on Rise and his team to perform in this event. And after their dominant performance in the G1 invitational, we expected just that. After taking down Soniqs fairly easily, they now had to face a Vitality team full of confidence and momentum. An incredible individual performance from Archie in this series was sadly not enough to overcome the french powerhouse, and Vitality continued their resurgence with a game seven victory.


@ Rocket League

The other semi final saw German Amigos take on Karmine Corp. After their somewhat disappointing result in Rotterdam, KC were looking to start this split off strong in order to remind everyone that they are still the top dog in Europe. German Amigos’ defensive playstyle that had worked so well against Team Liquid was no match for Karmine’s impeccable offensive pressure, and as a result it was a convincing sweep for the french phenoms.

A fully French speaking final is what we had been given to round off the event. After their intense series against Oxygen, Vitality were at their peak with full momentum behind them. However, even their peak is not enough to stop Karmine Corp. A 4-1 victory for KC put an end to Vitality’s run and they were crowned the Kings of Europe yet again.

With Vitality seeming to finally be a top contender again, is this the start of fully French domination in Europe? Or can the likes of Team Liquid, Oxygen and Moist step back up to take the crown back in the RLCS Major Winter Cup?

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