How Renault Sport Team Vitality took the Rocket League World Title
Some 67,000 fans watched live on Twitch as Renault Sport Team Vitality became Season 7 World Rocket League Champions at the end of June with a 4-1 win over G2 Esports in the Grand Final at New Jersey’s Prudential Center, Newark.
It’s been a historic season for the team, now firmly made up of Victor “Fairy Peak!” Locquet, Alexandre “Kaydop” Courant, and Kyle “Scrub Killa” Robertson – a trio of stars who also cemented themselves as Europe’s team-to-beat when they took the European Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) earlier in the year.
To celebrate their outstanding victories and to pay tribute to the team’s three stars, here’s how their landmark season unfolded as they went in search of that incredible World Championship #VforVictory…
Shock start to the year – January 2019
January saw one of the shock transfers of the Rocket League season following the retirement of long-standing Renault Sport Team Vitality captain Philip Paschmeyer. Many thought the departure of Paschy90 would be a blow for the team’s 2019 prospects, but the arrival of Alexandre ‘Kaydop’ Courant at the Rocket League Season 3 champions soon put paid to those thoughts. Kaydop – a then-winner of four European and two World Championships – is widely thought to be one of the best players in the world. Not only did his move strengthen Renault Sport Team Vitality, but it seriously dented the hopes of key European rivals Dignitas.
So close in Leipzig – February 2019
February saw the trio line up together for the first time at DreamHack Leipzig 2019, the first stop of four on the DreamHack Pro Circuit. The team fought hard over the first two days of the tournament to stay in contention for the day-three quarter-final play-offs. A 3-2 victory over FlipSid3 Tactics in the quarters saw Renault Sport Team Vitality matched with US rivals NRG Esports in the semis, where a 4-2 victory saw them progress to the finals. Here Kaydop came up against his former team in a spicy match-up but could not stop Renault Sport Team Vitality’s 4-2 loss, despite the team being 2-1 ahead after three games. Nonetheless, the team looked well prepared for the season ahead.
European regular season – April-May 2019
In April, Renault Sport Team Vitality’s season began in earnest with back-to-back weekends of action as the European RLCS kicked off. The team were quick out of the blocks, defeating PSG Esports 3-1 in their opening fixture of Week 1 and recording two brilliant 3-0 sweeps against key rivals FC Barcelona and Dignitas in Week 2. That great form continued throughout the regular season, with only one shock loss throughout: a 1-3 reverse from mid-table team Triple Trouble. All three of the team’s stars made an impact too: Scrub Killa and Kaydop both averaged a goal a game, while defensive specialist Fairy Peak made 2.54 blocks per game – the highest total in both the American and European competitions.
European Champions five years running – May 2019
Renault Sport Team Vitality took their stunning regular season form into the European finals. With the confidence of a place in the World Championships already under their belt, thanks to their season placing, the team took a hard fought 4-3 victory over PSG Esports in the semi-finals. They then blew away arch rivals Barcelona 4-2 in the European final on May 12 to become champs for the fifth season running. To emphasise the team’s dominant season, Kaydop proved the worth of his signing by picking up the prize for the championship’s MVP – while also adding a fifth European title to his own resumé.
Disappointment in Dallas – May/June 2019
The end of May and the start of June saw the team’s one stumble in an otherwise perfect year. Renault Sport Team Vitality were seeded number one at the DreamHack Pro Circuit’s second tour stop in Dallas but failed to live up to the billing, finishing a disappointing 10th overall with shock defeats to lowly mousesports and Complexity Gaming, as well as losing to a commanding sweep by NRG, a key rival for the World Championship title.
World Champions – June 2019
Defeat in Dallas didn’t seem to affect the team going into the RLCS World finals – but the sheer number of fans present certainly was a pleasant surprise. “The energy in the arena is crazy. All the fans are so dedicated, they travel from all across the world, just to support Renault Sport Team Vitality,” exclaimed Scrub Killa as the team recorded an opening day 3-1 victory over Ground Zero Gaming. Team manager Mike ‘Gregan’ Ellis declared himself happy with the team’s opening salvo: “We got the first game out of the way and got the victory as well as some vital experience playing on such a big stage.”
The second day of the championships saw Renault Sport Team Vitality match up with G2 Esports. “Playing against an American team is going to be harder because the crowd will obviously be supporting them,” warned Kadop. And he was proved right as Renault Sport Team Vitality suffered a 1-3 reverse against their rivals, progressing into the Day 3 quarters on the back of others’ results.
The tournament’s final day began with a very different routine. Motivated by the previous days’ defeat, Kaydop woke up super-energised. “He jumped out of bed and started airboxing saying ‘Let’s go. Today we break everyone down’,” revealed Fairy Peak later. And the legend of the game was proved right again. A quarter-final 3-1 victory against NRG set up a semi against Cloud 9 that Renault Sport Team Vitality swept 4-0 to make the World final.
With momentum behind them, Renault Sport Team Vitality was unstoppable in the Grand Finals, despite going down 2-0 in the opening stages of the first game. The shock early reverse was soon overcome as the team pulled back to 2-2 and then squeezed victory with a last-second goal by Scrub Killa. That opening win propelled the team to a 4-1 victory for their first World Title, while Scrub Killa finished his second pro season as World Championship MVP, helping write yet another huge page in Renault Sport history.