The final brackets for the Collegiate Rocket League finals started last night and the quality of play didn’t disappoint. After one full evening of play we already have a Winner’s Finals and Round 3 of the Loser’s bracket all ready filled out. For a couple of teams, things are going as they should. However, there’s a couple of teams that stood up to the challenge making for an engaging final day later tonight.
Giants Do What Giants Do
Going into the this week, there were two teams from the east that stood above the rest of the fold. Akron’s undefeated season set the tone for the conference playoffs. Ultimately, they would suffer their first lost of the season against Northwood in the conference playoffs, and go into yesterday as a #2 seed. But that didn’t change their standing as the co-favorites to win the tournament. In their first match against LSU, they dropped the first map and looked a bit out of sorts. Their star player, Tristn, didn’t register a goal and LSU looked ready to pull off the first round upset. But Akron’s experience activated and Redicence went to work putting up a four goal game and Buzz became a pass machine. By the 4th match, Tristn reactivated and LSU didn’t stand a chance. They moved on and looked even more lethal against the Western Champions, Mizzou.
Northwood University looked even better. Even though they dropped one map each against UT-Dallas and North Texas, they never looked in danger of falling out of the winner’s side. Consistently strong throughout, their dropped maps came in the third maps of each series .While this could be contributed to a lack of focus, both times Northwood stabilized and won out. Their run set up the winner’s final of destiny as they will meet Akron to decide who will reach Grand Finals on the top side of the bracket.
As with many double elemination brackets, most of the drama takes place in the Loser’s side where teams are in danger of elimination. The Collegiate Rocket League Finals are no exception. UT-Dallas and Northern Virginia CC were knocked down in the first round, but it was NOVA that came out on top. UT-Dallas won the first map by an embarrasing 5-1 scoreline, but never saw more than 1 goal again. They lost out to NOVA who would eventually get eliminated in the next round by Mizzou.
On the flipside, LSU could be putting on a run for the ages. After dropping to the lower bracket via Akron, they played against Stockton who lost to Mizzou in a seven map match in the first round. LSU swept Stockton and had to face North Texas, a team that many had as a championship contender. The first three maps went back and forth and were only separated by a single goal. But from map 3 on, LSU never looked back. Now they face Mizzou in the Losers Semifinal with a legitimate shot at the final game.
The Final Quatro
And so there were four. In the winner’s side the two most dominant teams in Collegiate Rocket League, Northwood and Akron. Northwood looking to cement itself as the undisputed top team in the land. And Akron looking to continue its RL legacy by making it three straight championships. In the lower bracket. The perpetual bridesmaids in Mizzou and LSU fight for the chance to play Northwood or Akron in the Loser’s finals. Even after this match, the road ahead won’t get any easier for these two teams.
You can catch who ends up taking home the CRL Fall 2020 title on the official Rocket League Twitch channel starting at 7pm eastern on January 8th.