Dignitas had dominated the past two seasons of the Rocket League Championship Series World Championship, and it came into event's sixth grand finals with a 17-0 match record. But Cloud9, which has had a banner year in a variety of other esports, ended that streak. Twice. With two convincing 4-1 wins in front of a boisterous Orleans Arena crowd, Cloud9 ended Rocket League's first dynasty and brought the crown back to North America for the first time since Season 1 of the RLCS.
Cloud9 lost their first matchup in the upper bracket to We Dem Girlz before an unprecedented lower bracket run in which they had to play a total of seven matches. Afterward, the team discussed how the title came to be.
For Dignitas, it's all about defending the dynasty. But We Dem Girlz and Cloud9 might just give the defending champions a run for their money.
How did you overcome the dynasty that Dignitas had become in Rocket League?
Kyle "Torment" Storer: "A lot of stuff went into it. I think we all had pretty much our best individual performances ever, and along with that we had really good comms and were really focused. At the same time, we didn't feel nervous. We were against Dignitas; they're supposed to win. We were happy to be in the final, and whatever happens happens."
What was going through your mind after the first series, when you reset the bracket?
Mariano "Squishy" Arruda: "We pretty much said the exact same thing we said in the first bracket because our first series we played perfect, we 4-1'ed them, and they're probably the best team in the world. If we're doing something right, then repeat it."
You have been working on playing a more passing style. Was this a change for this series or a whole new level you figured out today?
Jesus "Gimmick" Parra: "Today was We Dem Girlz and Dignitas, and we told each other, 'They know how to block passes.' So, we decided, 'Take your time, do more solo plays, and if it works in the first game, then keep doing it.' It worked out really well in our favor."
Squishy: "Yeah, the first game is always our feeler game, and if it doesn't work, we figure out what went wrong in that game. But if it's obvious mistakes, we don't really dwell over it because it leads to tilting."
Torment: "As Gimmick said, we basically draw a bunch of mechanical mistakes. They weren't ready for what we were going to do."
You spent the most time onstage of anyone. Did that help you or lead to fatigue?
Torment: "I could go another series. Maybe that's just because we were winning so much, but I think it helped us, to be honest. The first three games of the series were pretty much blowouts, and I think that was a big factor. They [Dignitas] started picking it up during the second series, but I think that gave us a lot of momentum, and we were warmed up."
Squishy: "People have made that excuse in the past that they're fatigued or whatever. I don't think that's a thing. I think it helped. Because we're on the stage for so long, we're so used to that setup, and we have so much practice on stage in front of the noise."
Gimmick: "Also, pros at home, they play eight to 10 hours a day, so this was nothing compared to that. This is more mentally tough because it's against really good teams: You know if you mess up, it will [lead to] bad stuff. As long as you ignore that, it's just like being at home."
What about FlipSid3 Tactics or We Dem Girlz made those closer series than the two at the end of the day against Dignitas?
Torment: "It was funny because usually the harder matches are at the end of the bracket. The beginning of the lower bracket was the hardest, though. NRG was definitely our hardest match yesterday. I think we just started heating up more. We just got better. I think if one of those teams from the start of the bracket was at the end for some reason, I think we would have been playing the same, and it would have been similar scorelines."
Squishy: "We've also played Dignitas multiple times. We know how they play. We've never played We Dem Girlz until Friday, and FlipSid3 we've never played them at a LAN except for Northern Arena. Even then, it's not enough to learn how a team plays, so I think knowing how Dignitas plays played in our favor a little bit."