dfthaman, Co-owner of RLX

The second annual VS Gaming Championship for Rocket League is almost upon us. This Friday, 14 September, marks the kick-off of the hotly anticipated, and only, LAN for Rocket League in South Africa. Last year this event was held at the rAge Expo in Johannesburg; this year it will be at Comic Con Africa for the first time so it is sure to be a spectacle. After a gruelling five months of four legs of qualification, only the eight best teams were able to qualify for the showpiece. RLX caught up with each team captain below. But first, let us just get an understanding of the format this year.

 

Format Overview

The first kick-off will be Friday at 2PM SAST. It is a Bring-Your-Own Computer LAN and the prize pool will be a massive R51 000 (ZAR). You can see the full breakdown here of the prize pool. The event will be streamed live on their Youtube channel. The format will also be a bit different from last year – the Rocket League committee consisting of myself, Elf_ZA & PaPa-Capes spoke to Brendon “moonCowza” Dell, one of the VS Gaming admins and junior tournament manager, about a possible change since people travel from far on their own expenses for this annual LAN event and would like to play as many matches as possible. Phase 1 will now consist of a Round Robin format after which the top 4 teams will battle it out in a Double Elimination format (Phase 2) to crown the winner on Saturday, 15 September. All matches will be a Best of Five.

 

Team Overview

Seed 1: Exdee Gaming 

Line-Up:
Main roster: Christian “mOTHER” Massyn (captain), Gareth “Snowyy” Spiers & Sergio “NoClip” Frasco.

 

  1. How are you guys preparing for LAN?

We have decided to take a different approach this year and are scrimming as many qualified teams as we can. We are confident in our ability and know that no matter how well people can analyse our replays, it won’t stop us.

  1. As the VS Champions in 2017, what did your experience at LAN last year teach you?

The one thing I mentioned last year and that I have seen ring true more than anything else, is that any team can win on the given day. We are all at LAN for a reason and I don’t think there is any room for underestimating any team.

  1. What are you mostly looking forward to at LAN this year?

Comic Con is a welcome change of scenery and I am also very excited to meet all the newly qualified players whom I have not met before.

  1. Goal(s) for LAN?

Our goal for LAN is definitely getting the win. We are confident in this line-up’s ability and hope to see it through to the end and take it.

  1. Any shoutouts to people?

I think this year has been the year of the up-and-comers, so my shoutout would be to the likes of Mr.Low, Noble and ImmolationLlama. I am excited to see them step up to the challenge of LAN.

Seed 2: Untitled

Line-up:
Nashley “nashlo911” Govender (captain), Kian “Noble” Noble ZA & Lorenzo “AboveAverage” Ramos.

 

  1. How are you guys preparing for LAN?

Team practice hasn’t been ideal. Our team has been split up for the most part due to busy private lives and with one of our players switching to console for the LAN, It is even more difficult to party up and just jump into public matches. What we are doing of course, is making sure we are each playing on our own to gain match sharpness and practice our execution. All of that said, historically we have never been a team that have practiced a great deal. The reliance has always been on our team chemistry and finding the right time to peak in form.

  1. As a first-timer competing at LAN, what do you think you should be mindful of?

Now that we’re not playing from out of our mom’s basement, we’re going to be out of our comfort zone. It is important to settle down and be at ease with the new surroundings. For us as first timers it is more excitement than fear. We have the talent and mental strength behind us and we can’t wait for the chance to show it off on the big stage.

  1. What are you most looking forward to at LAN?

Right off the bat we look forward to meeting the best Rocket League players in the community. As first timers we look forward to seeing some of the faces behind the gamertags in person. From a competitive standpoint we look forward to playing on more or less equal connections. These conditions should provide a higher overall quality of all matches played and reflect more accurate results in those matches. And lastly, from the team point of view, we looking forward to meeting each other and we’re excited about how we will interact with each other during games as being next to your team mates is a different dynamic than the usual discord communication in online matches.

  1. Goal(s) for LAN?

Our goals for LAN are simple. We continue to build on our team’s impressive performances in VS and aim to cement our legacy as one of the better teams around. We will be aiming for a top 3 finish. Another important goal for all of us is to have fun at LAN. A lot of us are coming from across the country so best of luck to all teams and players, be sure to be at your best at LAN and to leave the arena with no regrets.

  1. Any shoutouts to people?

Shoutout to Gareth “Snowyy” Spiers and Luke “Llama” Slater who have contributed and helped us along the way since this team’s formation. A thank you to our former team mates Drew “Drippy” Tittley and Mathieu “GARY” Garinet for being with us since the journey began in the shadow realms of the ladder division. A personal thank you to DF “dfthaman” Luttig for always believing in Noble and me for the longest of time, the community is blessed to have you. And last but not least, shout out to Scott “Bread” Jeffery, our main roster absentee from LAN, good luck with your upcoming matric exams and rest easy, we will do you proud!

Seed 3: BerZerk Gaming 

Line-up:
Leon “li0n_za” Havenga, Nicholas “cPZ” Fourie, Ian “Mooiaapie” Pretorius & Michael “Falacer” Griffiths (reserve).

 

  1. How are you guys preparing for LAN?

Scrimming when we can, we try do an hour at least a day.

  1. As a VS Finalist in 2017, what has your experience at LAN last year teach you?

Not much to be honest; it was over too fast. But, probably to just relax and have fun.

  1. What are you mostly looking forward to at LAN this year?

Not too sure actually, hopefully Comic Con is good. And to see if some of the newer teams can perform up to standard.

  1. Goal(s) for LAN?

I’m obviously aiming for 1st this year, but I don’t think anyone will be a match for xD this year. So probably 2nd. Next year I am definitely getting that 1st place though.

  1. Any shoutouts to people?

To BerZerk for supporting local Rocket League, and supporting the team 100%.

Seed 4: Vexxed Phoenix 

Line-up: DF “dfthaman” Luttig (captain), Lucas “Heisenberg_Luke” Lombard, Rick “Elf_ZA” Thomas & Sean “Obesepancake” Cunningham (reserve).

 

  1. How are you guys preparing for LAN?

We are scrimming other local teams almost every evening and we also play ranked a lot as a team. We also have replay analysis sessions and we also try and work on things that we can improve on. We try to be critically constructive about what we are doing so that we can be in the best possible shape for LAN.

  1. What has your experience at last year’s LAN teach you?

It has taught us how to deal with many visual and auditory distractions because there are many other teams and players around you. It also taught us how to deal with pressure since there are many people watching you in person as well as on the live stream. But also, we only have this LAN once a year, therefore not being exposed to such an environment for a long time means that new LAN bois won’t be at a significant disadvantage.

  1. What are you mostly looking forward to at LAN?

To meet all the people – old and new. I look forward to the new format as well as the high level matches.

  1. Goal(s) for LAN?

We want to give our best and enjoy it. We would like to win the first game and hopefully do better than last year. I am confident we can finish at least in the top 4. And if we play to our full potential, who knows, we might just be able to pull off an upset or two.

 

  1. Any shoutouts to people?

Firstly, to my family who have been very supportive of me putting in so much time in a game. Secondly, my teammates for their hard work and dedication thus far, despite all of us having full time jobs. A thank you to Justin “Pixelated” Eloff for assisting us with replay analysis. And lastly, all our supporters – we really appreciate it!

Seed 5: Cubic eSports 

Line-up: Luke  “ImmolationLlama” Slater (captain), Iosif “Gingerbeard” Vazirgiantzikis, Dane “Magoo” Carpenter.

 

  1. How are you guys preparing for LAN?

We are scrimming and playing ranked as much as possible. We are also extremely lucky that NiBBLE has arranged a sports scientist for my team and Horde (NiBBLE’s other main division team, in Dota 2); he has been super helpful with sending us videos of proper warm up techniques and telling us what kind of foods we should be eating. The sports scientist comes from 2reach, they are a sports science and consultancy studio and we are lucky enough to be the first esports team they work with.

  1. As a first-timer competing at LAN, what do you think you should be mindful of?

We believe our biggest challenge will be to keep our cool and remember to communicate like we usually do.

  1. What are you mostly looking forward to at LAN?

We are mostly looking forward to meet the Rocket League community and the NiBBLE fam.

  1. Goal(s) for LAN?

To score more goals than the other team.

  1. Any shoutouts to people?

Shoutout to the owner of NiBBLE, Keegan Stewart. Thanks for everything you have done for us!

Seed 6: Fortitude 

Line-up: Thinus “teeceekay *1738” Botes (captain), Dwayne “PwnFlakes” Van Der Merwe & Shaun “Buff-Bambi” Van Der Merwe.

 

  1. How are you guys preparing for LAN?

Honestly, we have not prepared that much, we were kind of on a break but we will be doing a lot of scrimming in the lead up to the LAN though, and work on improving our communication.

  1. What has your experience at LAN last year teach you?

What happened before LAN does not really matter, anyone can beat anyone on any given day. We managed to beat Rocket Éclair last year in the opening match. That is like seeing Exdee Gaming lose to seed 8 this year in their first game, and getting knocked down to lower bracket.

  1. What are you mostly looking forward to at LAN this year?

Smacking some keyboard warriors around, haha. On a serious note, putting faces to all the names are always nice, but mostly just the competitiveness of LAN is always great fun.

Also really looking forward to all the Call of Duty console players screaming in my ear the whole time… great fun.

  1. Goal(s) for LAN?

Honestly we don’t have very high expectations for this LAN, we’ve been struggling the last couple of months, winning one series at least would be really nice.

 

  1. Any shoutouts to people?

Shouting to Jacques “frAg” Van Der Westhuizen for leaving us, and now we suck. GG, thanks.

Seed 7: Novum Excellium 

Line-up: Roekies “Polutionist” Erasmus (captain), Kevin “Cthulhu_N_Me” Gouveia, Hendri “Bon” van der Walt.

 

  1. How are you guys preparing for LAN?

We have a new player and we have been training and practicing. Scrims, ranked, casual play and some coaching.

  1. As a first-timer competing at LAN, what do you think you should be mindful of?

Not to forget to enjoy ourselves. Also, not to underestimate anyone or any team. Everyone at LAN are all great players and teams.

  1. What are you most looking forward to at LAN?

Meeting all the people/players including my teammates and to see some of the players I have met before at rAge 2017.

  1. Goal(s) for LAN?

To bring our best, compete with the best and have fun while doing it.

  1. Any shoutouts to people?

Firstly to my teammates. Cthulhu_n_Me & Rhinoster & Bon (our new player). Without our team effort through the year we wouldn’t be here. Last but not least, to my lady Ellery for always supporting me in everything I do.

Seed 8: Wolf Star Gaming 

Line-up: Marcaille “PaPa_Capes” Fransman (captain), Lorenzo “Mr_LoPizzle” Fransman & Jaco “The_Pro_Noob14” Bierman.

 

  1. How are you guys preparing for LAN?

We have actually taken a different approach as the main concern is to be the best version of ourselves possible, and also to have fun! So all of us first took a break and then slowly started getting back into things. To be honest, this is the first week we are actually practising as a team – however, we are ready!

  1. What has your experience at last year’s LAN teach you?

That focus is of utmost importance in the midst of the chaos that comes with playing at a live event. Then also just remembering to have fun and soak in the moment and not get tilted too easily as that will distort the experience.

  1. What are you mostly looking forward to at LAN?

Seeing everyone again, talking smack with the good lads, and obviously competing at a LAN in general again! Most importantly, to introduce the other members of Sirius and WSG’s alphas to the local community.

  1. Goal(s) for LAN?

To finish Top 4 and to get a flip reset on stream haha.

  1. Any shoutouts to people?

W…

S…

G…!!!

We hope to see everyone there or tuned in to the live stream, supporting exciting local Rocket League action. You can also follow us and the players/teams on Twitter for updates. THIS IS ROCKET LEAGUE!