GFE Takes Rocket League by Force
Rocket League has taken eSports by storm in the past few months, with Psyonix promising over $2.5m to Rocket League eSports, Gfinity adding it to their Elite Series, and FACEIT and NBC hosting a 2v2 Universal tournament --and we're only halfway through the year. With the influx of dedication to Rocket League eSports, organizations are taking note with familiar names like Cloud9, G2, NRG, Rogue eSports, and Renegades signing teams for the game left and right.
Gale Force Esports tops that list of teams, as they have vetted a European RLCS team since April -- and after some roster changes post-Season 3, they've been one of the teams to beat not only in their region but the world. Shortly after Northern Gaming took the crown of Season 3, GFE looked to reform anew as sights were set on the remainder of 2017 and Season 4 of RLCS.
According to Jos "ViolentPanda" van Meurs:
"My old team didn't go that well. Gale Force and I decided to build a team around me. At first Kaydop was picked up because we wanted to team together, then Turbo came up and we tried him out at DreamHack: Summer in Sweden. It's been going very well."
"Going well" is an understatement. GFE earned second place at DreamHack: Summer, with Pierre "Turbopolsa" Silfver as a try-out, first place at the second RLCS Summer Series, then second place at the and DreamHack Atlanta back to back.
"At the start of X Games I said three teams would be good: FlipSide, NRG and EnVyUs." ViolentPanda tells us, "I thought EnVyUs would be better than NRG but we kind of let it go in the finals. We should have won but we weren't focused that much."
Forever Second Place
While it seems they've been cursed with second place finishes, you have to consider the amount of work the Europeans have put in while only having a full roster for barely one full month. Considering travel to Sweden in June for DreamHack: Summer, then a small tour in the United States to X Games in Minneapolis and Atlanta for another DreamHack championship, earning second place seems like a pretty good takeaway from the latest competition.
As a European team, all three members are from differently nationalities. ViolentPanda is Dutch, Courant "Kaydop" Alexandre is French and Turbopolsa is Swedish. With three different players and three different languages, you would think the team would have difficulty with in-game communication. But ViolentPanda says they've dealt with the language barrier due to little in-game communication:
"Turbo and I are pretty good at English, but Kaydop is a bit iffy sometimes. Most of the time you can understand him, but in game it doesn't really matter because you just shout out small things."
"Rocket League is growing enormously and we didn't expect it to get so big"
Rocket League is unique in the eSports spectrum, so Psyonix doesn't really have much to go off of when organizing Rocket League eSports. That obviously hasn't set them back with the outstanding organization for the Rocket League Championship Series, along with countless amounts of third party tournaments announced fairly regularly. Moving into Season 4, Psyonix announced a minor league series would be competing week after week along with the RLCS.
ViolentPanda does't think the new format will effect the team going into the new season:
"Rocket League is growing enormously and we didn't expect it to get so big. I don't think the different format will effect us that much because they will still have the top eight in the RLCS. In the passed the teams split up a lot because the level of play kept growing. Players that were good four months ago might not be so good now.
We're going to practice a lot and we expect to get top eight for season four. We don't focus on other teams that much, we just prepare for ourselves. Of course we want the finals but I think there will be many more tournaments to focus on other than RLCS."
Needless to say the future is looking extremely bright for the European Rocket League team. After they recently took the top spot in Nvidia's Best Buddy Tournament, the teams' focus is now set on Season 4 of RLCS, the Universal Open, and the many other tournaments to come throughout the year. It's safe to say if they stay on this track, Gale Force will quickly become a world contender in Rocket League eSports.