While there are World Champions on Vitality and Barcelona, as a whole this is a completely different look for the European region at Worlds. The former champs Team Dignitas and normally rock solid TSM are noticeable absentees that in all honesty take away from EU's chances to win World's. TSM placed second at Dallas and DIG placed top 8 and both have been solid LAN teams that have beaten NA and other regions with ease. From the rookies of Triple Trouble to the mix of veteran/new blood on Barcelona, there is a lot to be excited about for the future of European Rocket League, but the current looks to fall short of lifting the trophy.
The Kings of Europe did not look like they ran roughshod through the rest of the region in league play when they bowed out 9th-12th in an 0-3 thrashing at the hands of recently promoted Rival series team compLexity Gaming. Featuring the RLCS Season 7 EU Savior of the Season Victor "Fairy Peak" Locquet, world champion Alexandre "Kaydop" Courant, and young prodigy Kyle "Scrub Killa" Robertson, Vitality are an exciting mix of veteran and rookie talent that has produced for the majority French team.
Despite having all the pieces and putting together a terrific resume online, the boys have been unable to get it done on LAN. Yes, the team placed second at DreamHack Leipzig 2019 losing to Team Dignitas in the finals, but that was before league play and Dreamhack Dallas was not so kind to them. While Dallas are the most relevant results we have, I still honestly believe this team is too talented to not place top four. In a group of G2 and Ground Zero Gaming anything can happen, but Vitality should in all honesty top their group and would likely beat PSG/INTZ in the quarterfinals.
MVP: Kaydop has to be the star player in all honesty for this team to do well. He's the most experienced player and has won multiple championships next to absolute legends. Look for France's finest to excel in Newark, New Jersey.
Featuring RLCS Season 7 EU MVP Yanis "Alpha54" Champenois and an impressive league play record, FC Barcelona look like the real deal. Yeah, Barcelona lost 1-3 to a red hot but now disbanded EG at Dallas, but they also placed top 8 unlike Vitality, PSG, and Triple Trouble. Barcelona results wise seems to have a high floor on LAN, but featuring the likes of S3 Worlds MVP David "Deevo" Morrow the team has a high ceiling as well.
The one downside to a potent but consistent squad like Barca is their group. Rogue and Renegades could end up being overrated and Barcelona could very easily end up sweeping them both, but they both had great regular seasons and feature a lot of talent that could put Barcelona into at worst a very uncomfortable #2 seed out of groups which would pit them against likely Cloud9 in the quarterfinals. The key for a long and prosperous run at Worlds this year for Barcelona is to minimize mistakes and take advantage of arguably lesser teams to guarantee a #1 seed and into the playoffs.
MVP: Alpha54 is nutty, and he's only 15. That is all.
Back when PSG were a top 3 team in Europe I really enjoyed watching the aggressive young guns play fast and loose. PSG peaked winning DreamHack Leipzig 2018, and after a much-needed roster change look better but nowhere near peak PSG. Unfortunately for PSG I do not see a world where they place first in their group as NRG should win against PSG and Intz have been a strong team in South America.
The road for PSG lies in taking games off of NRG and winning against INTZ to build confidence going into the playoffs. PSG have not fared well against Vitality online and probably won't in New Jersey meaning a quarterfinal exit for the French, but if any team could rise to the occasion, this is the one.
MVP: Thibault "Chausette45" Grzesiak hitting shots at supersonic speed will be required, and if he strings together some monster performances expect some epic PSG chants from the Prudential Center.
Do you love drama? Do you want a loveable underdog to root for? Triple Trouble are that team. They might be the ultimate onliners, but that doesn't mean they don't have heart. Triple Trouble snuck into the RLCS EU playoffs thanks to key signature wins over Vitality and PSG, and will look to take the upset potential into New Jersey.
Issue with TT is that the young guns are not only inexperienced on LAN, but are placed into a group featuring the pride of South America who has a lot to prove in their first Worlds and Cloud9 who need no introduction. I hate to say that TT have only certain death in groups, but I will look for the upset kings to prove me wrong.
MVP: Aldin "Ronaky" Hodzic was the week 4 MVP of S7 as he helped to lift his team over DIG and Vitality and will be needed to hit some nutty shots in Group D.
What team are you rooting for? Comment below!