With Fusion EU in the record books, European Rocket League heads into the rest of the online summer season with two French teams favourites to win it all, Oxygen Esports and Renault Vitality. But these two teams are incredibly similar in their construction and mechanical ability, and both have seemingly managed the problems of having so many offensively minded players. Firstly, let’s look at the roles each of their players take:
The boost hog
Alpha54 and Aztral
This position is the most self-explanatory, both these players use huge amounts of boost* , and use their speed and mechanical skill to impact play all over the pitch. Both Aztral and Alpha54 are two of the most talented players in the world at the moment and their impact is a huge aspect of why their respective teams are so successful.
The all rounder
Fairy Peak and Chausette45
These two players both are the primary defensive force behind their teams, they spend the most time in their own half*, behind the ball dictating play. However, both Fairy and Chausette score huge numbers of goals for their teams, in part down to both of their fantastic shooting accuracy (38% and 35% respectively in Fusion*).
Kaydop and Ferra
Both Kaydop and Ferra are fantastic strikers, but perhaps lack a slight bit of pure mechanical flash that the Aztral’s of the world possess. They both are reasonably well grounded and use a moderate amount of boost* but have limited saves in comparison to their teammates.
These roles are obviously not set in stone and there are still notable difference between the players. For example Fairy uses significantly less boost than Chausette and Ferra gets significantly more demos than Kaydop but has far fewer assists. But to have two French teams, with such similar compositions, challenging for European titles is quite astonishing.
The reasons for these teams’ success mainly boils down to the fact that they have managed to assemble six of most individually skilled players in Europe and have managed each of their boost requirements well. The job Fairy does on Vitality must be noted, he comes in the bottom five for boost usage for EU League Play, Spring Series and Fusion, while Alpha consistently comes top two. Chausette on the other hand still seems to be a necessary requirement to OXG’s success as he has done for so many seasons, however as Aztral settles into the team I would expect him to take up more of the goal scoring burden as Alpha has done in Vitality recently.
When considering the future of European Rocket League, this particular matchup could end up defining the region in the coming months, just like Dignitas vs Vitality has done recently. The Fusion 3v3 finals, gives us a very interesting start to the rivalry. Although it was a 4-1 for OXG, it was an incredibly close and low scoring series with some world class goalkeeping by Aztral and Chausette keeping Vitality at bay, although Vitality’s accuracy in front of goal was lacking in key moments. However when OXG were on the offensive, it was Kaydop who seemed to struggle with his positioning in goal, as fantastic counter attacks and clinical finishing gave them the edge. As for who I expect to come out on top in the long run, I think this matchup will continue to be very defensive, and require more and more ambitious solo and passing plays in order to score goals. But Vitality will be the favourites going into the summer series, they simply have too much consistency to bet against them.
Oxygen Esports also have not yet been tested while behind and struggling in a series. This is important as given their players’ histories as it is likely to be a problem spot for them. Chausette and Ferra have never been known for their mental fortitude, and Aztral has struggled in the past to maintain a positive, constructive attitude. This could be even more of an issue when LANs return and the pressure is ramped up. Chausette’s inconsistency at LAN may also prove to be an issue and they did struggle a little in Lethamyr’s Eurocup, losing to the Giants 3-2. There are of course still questions about the longevity and reliability of OXG, and it will be a long time before we know this roster’s full potential (Vitality at this point were busy losing online qualifiers when they brought Scrub in), but the future looks promising for them.
*Boost and positioning data from ballchasing.com:
Stats of course are from Octane.gg