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The Dark Horse of Europe Strike Again

By Joseph Lacy

Photo via @TeamEndpoint on Twitter

In the Rocket League Esports scene the ecosystem started with 2 main regions, Europe and North America. This has since been expanded upon by adding 6 new regions into the mix for international competition. The original two can be compared to something along the lines of the power conferences in college sports. The SEC for football and the ACC for basketball was on top for a while. The competition is simply tougher in those conferences and in the aforementioned RLCS regions.

Team Endpoint are the only team during the fall split in the two “main” regions (I do not want to give any discredit towards the other regions in the RLCS, they are all very talented and will compete well at international competition) to win 2 regional events. This may not seem like a huge deal in the grand scheme of it all, but this most recent win for Endpoint has to be the biggest confidence booster they could have ever received.

The Power of Bootcamping

Many teams and organizations are picking up on the fact that playing in a controlled environment with your teammates physically present has been helping numerous teams see great results during the fall split. Most notably have been Endpoint and Vitality in Europe. Endpoint won the first regional event after bootcamping and playing the tournament in the same facility with one another. Vitality did the same thing for regional 2 after placing dead last in the first event. Vitality would place second in that event, losing to Dignitas in the finals. However, the bootcamp seemed to help improve the morale of the team and ultimately the results they would see as well. Vitality and Endpoint would both bootcamp once again for the 3rd regional event. Both teams had plenty on the line going into the tournament but one would have a lot more pressure. Many results would need to fall into Vitality’s favor for them to qualify for the Fall Major in Stockholm. Luckily for them, all the teams behind them in the standings would lose in their pivotal matches and allow Vitality to hold onto the 5th seed for Europe. Vitality made the playoffs in this tournament but lost to Team BDS in the first round. This is not the result they had hoped for but they have to be relieved to have qualified for the major. Vitality is a scary team on LAN and the international competition is going to have to watch out. But this piece is not about Vitality entirely. Metsanauris, RelatingWave and Seikoo one-upped the Vitality roster in this tournament.

Endpoint, after not making the playoffs in the second regional event, would decide to bootcamp and play the tournament at a facility just as they had for the first event. The morale for the players is always at an all time high when they are in the same room competing. Even in moments of loss and doubt the trio of players always seemed to have each other’s backs. The comradery built during this event and the first is something that cannot be replaced by prize pool or major qualification seeding. Endpoint have continued to prove time in and time out that they support one another. When one player has a bad game the other two pick them up, when Seikoo is popping off against some of the top teams in the world RelatingWave and Metsanauris are hyping him up in between goals. This team has fun and builds off each other’s energy. When it comes time to play in Stockholm during the fall major, Endpoint are going to be ready to compete at the highest level and should no longer be doubted by the general viewership.

Surpassing Expectations

At the start of the RLCS season there were many questions surrounding this Endpoint team. With the departure of Virtuoso and the introduction of Seikoo, not many people had Endpoint in the top 8 in Europe. These predictions were rightfully deserved honestly. They were a middle of the pack team and replacing a veteran with a rookie with no RLCS experience is bound to raise some eyebrows. Seikoo has taken the scene by storm however and propelled himself into the conversation for the European Fall Split MVP. Without a doubt, Seikoo has been the most integral part for this roster. Metsanauris and RelatingWave have been granted so much more space and consistent positioning with Seikoo in the mix. Not only does he fit in the rotation nicely, he is also an incredible striker with very advanced mechanics.

After the first regional win many analysts still had some doubts about this team. They had no reason to believe they weren’t a one hit wonder during the event. The second regional event continued to cause some doubt surrounding the team. Heading into the third and final event, the team had a good chance at qualifying for the major. Making the playoffs was the first step and they accomplished that with ease, going 3-1 in the swiss stage. During the first round of the playoff bracket Endpoint would be matched up against Karmine Corp, a team still in major contention but one that has not lived up to the hype surrounding them. Had Karmine Corp won against Endpoint in the Quarter-Finals, they would have tied Vitality for 5th place and we would have seen another tie breaker like we did in North America with Complexity and Spacestation (VAMOS). The series would go heavily in favor of Endpoint, they took down Karmine Corp by a series score of 4-1.

The final day of the European Grand Prix would start off with Endpoint playing Dignitas in the Semi-Finals. Both teams were fighting one another for a chance to win their second regional event and Endpoint would not slow down their momentum from the previous days. Endpoint would bring down Dignitas in six games and find themselves in the Finals. To clinch the number one seed, Endpoint would need to win the whole tournament. If they had lost, Dignitas would have been the highest ranked seed going into the major event. SMPR Esports would be their opponent and both teams would give it their all. After making the playoffs in the two previous tournaments but ultimately losing in the first round, SMPR had garnered some momentum and would ride it all the way to the finals. Unfortunately for them this would not be enough to stop Endpoint from claiming the tournament victory and crowning themselves the official kings of Europe with the number one seed for the major event. Endpoint would win the 2 best of 7’s against SMPR 4-2 and 4-3, respectively.

In the preseason, Endpoint was projected to be another middle of the road team. At the culmination of the Fall split for regional competition, they had found themselves at the very top. The culture the team is creating should be something sought out by every other organization and roster in the RLCS. Team Endpoint have shocked the Rocket League Esports scene and changed the outlook on the 2021-2022 season for many other teams looking to finally have their breakthrough moment.

Tweet courtesy of @Gibbs0o0 on twitter

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