Defending world champions Renault Vitality entered RLCS8 Worlds as the second seed. It marked the end of Alex “Kaydop” Courant’s streak of five consecutive European championships. Ahead of day two, they felt confident by already having guaranteed day three. Their first matchup against NRG would decide what kind of run would await them on the final day of the world championship: an extra quarterfinal or a direct semifinal spot.
Renault Vitality: Both shaky and world-class
Of course, when Vitality is on their game, they’ve shown they’re nigh unbeatable. But this season things didn’t go as smoothly, and they had to work on those shaky moments. “It’s like all teams — sometimes you have days on, and sometimes you have off-days,” Victor “Fairy Peak” Locquet said. Vitality manager and coach Mike “Gregan” Ellis agreed: “People tend to play better when they’re having fun, but there are things you try to understand to play as good as you can, and you can do that in the lead-up to the event. We did a really good boot camp, and every time we had a boot camp, things tended to go better for us.”
On the first day of the RLCS8 world championships, Renault Vitality did not play until 10 p.m., while they had already arrived at the venue about 12 hours before. “I think Psyonix needs to work on that,” Kaydop noted. “We can’t come later [to the venue]; it’s a bit weird. To wait 11 hours for our match is a long time.”
“The only thing you can do once you know the time,” Gregan added, “is to prepare for it as well as possible. At our boot camp, we played until midnight and we kept our sleep schedule later than we would do if it was an earlier start. We have to play when Psyonix says, so the only thing we can do is plan for it and look how to best approach it.”
Some might say it would be beneficial of Renault Vitality to lose the match of day two against NRG since it would give the team an extra game – and therefore momentum – going into the final single-elimination bracket, but Kyle “Scrub Killa” Robertson disagrees. “ If you win you get to skip the quarterfinals. I understand what you’re saying, but it’s all about preparation.” Teammate Fairy Peak nodded to that statement, adding, “If you win against NRG you have momentum for tomorrow. If you play well for two days, you can play well for three.”
Gregan joined that argument. “It’s best-of-seven, so momentum is less important from previous series and more important for the first few games. Like yesterday, eUnited won the first game and they were good, but we adapted and we took them down, and in a best-of-seven, there’s more time to do that.”
Of course, Renault Vitality did end up losing their series on day two to NRG in game five, so we don’t want to miss day three of the RLCS8 World Championship to see if that statement holds ground. For all Rocket League and RLCS coverage, stay tuned to Daily Esports.