Only two weeks after the World Championships, DreamHack Valencia was the proving ground for new rosters, new players, and new champions. 32 teams began the weekend seeking the coveted rim, which we whittled down first to 16, then to 8, and finally to 1. It was an action packed weekend in Spain, full of upsets, surprises, and heartfelt sendoffs to one of Rocket League’s greats.
With the World Championships wrapping up only two weeks before DreamHack ProCircuit, all eyes were on Renault Vitality to see if they would be able to repeat their RLCS 7 performance. Dignitas and Cloud9 would both have something to say about that as winners of DHPC Leipzig and DHPC Dallas, respectively. G2 esports and Rogue were also on hot streaks, coming off RLCS 7 in 2nd and 3rd-4th place.
Ten of the twelve teams who had participated in the RLCS World Championships were also at Valencia, making travel and practice time the topic of the tournament. NRG specifically had said they had taken time off between events, and had also announced that Valencia would be the final tournament for long time player, Fireburner, who had decided to retire from competitive play after the event.
There were also plenty of roster moves heading into Valencia, due in large part to the results of RLCS Season 7. Splyce, relegated to RLRS, kept only Karma on their roster for this event. She played with Retals and ExplosiveGyro, formerly known as The Peeps, who lost their third Arsenal to SpaceStation Gaming (who did not attend). Dignitas also made a big move, releasing Turbopolsa from his contract and picking up Aztral for the tournament.
Evil Geniuses also made a big roster move as a result of being relegated to RLRS, cutting both CorruptedG and Klassux. They took their invite to DHPC Valencia with them when they left, and so needed to find a third to fill out their roster, and so the Randy Gibbons’ River Rats were formed with the newly released Turbopolsa. This NA/EU hybrid team was the talk of the tournament, but would they be able to perform at the level required to make their mark on DreamHack Valencia?
Another region to watch was OCE, who were hoping to prove themselves on the international stage. Only Ground Zero (18) were able to make it through to Day 2, one of two teams to break into the Top 16 in spite of being seeded lower. They upset TSM (8) to make it to Top 16, while Mout Gang (23) upset Splyce (15).
One of the expected results was the dominance of Vitality, who went 12-0 through the first two days of competition, not dropping a single game going into Day 3. Their results through the first two days of competition made Day 3 that much more surprising, when they fell to NRG in a clean sweep.
The other three quarterfinal matches were much closer, with all three going to Game 5. The Bricks, with sub player al0t, upset 6th seed FC Barcelona in Game 5 overtime. The second Game 5 overtime win went to compLexity, who sent home the NA/EU hybrid Randy Gibbons’ River Rats. PSG also pulled off not only an upset, but a reverse sweep over defending DreamHack ProCircuit champions Cloud9. This set up an unlikely Top 4, featuring only one team who was seeded there, NRG.
NRG became the fan favorite team on Sunday with Fireburner’s impending retirement. The more they won, the more it seemed that he might win a championship. They faced off against PSG in the finals, who had an absolutely incredible weekend in their own right. Chausette had been making incredible plays, sometimes dribbling around the entire opposing team to score.
It was a hard fought series with exciting plays on both sides, but in the end, there could only be one winner. PSG took the win in Game 6! Huge congratulations to Chausette, Fruity, and Ferra, and we’ll see you all in Montreal for our final DreamHack Pro Circuit stop of 2019!