Two months ago, I wrote an article comparing the composition and play-style’s of Oxygen Esports and Renault Vitality. These two teams once again found themselves in the Grand Finals of a major European tournament at the Rocket Baguette: Summer Grand Prix and produced another instalment in an ever intriguing and thrilling rivalry.
The series had many takeaways: Alpha54 is the best player in Europe, Aztral is mesmerising but occasionally without end-product, Fairy Peak continues to be the best low-boost player in the history of Rocket League and Chaussette lacks shooting accuracy but continues to be superb on all other fronts. These four players were invaluable to their teams’ performances in the three series they played, but they are far less interesting than the conversation about the two outcasts from the flare and the frenzy of mechanical genius: Ferra and Kaydop.
Kaydop has substantially changed in his play-style over the past year. However the change is almost certainly out of necessity than out of choice as it is clear now that he lacks the raw mechanical ability that many of the top European players posses. This is a very new feeling for the three time World Champion as although he has never been on the forefront of new mechanics, he has always possessed easily enough speed to be able to beat his opponents to the ball and has enjoyed being one of the fastest players in the world during 2017, 2018 and parts of 2019. However, in this series and over the past few months, he has been a little off the pace, often getting caught in awkward positions that he is unable to get out of.
This has lead to him becoming far more defensive than in previous years, in fact in this series he had very similar stats to Fairy Peak for time spent in the defensive zone (51%), though with far less offensive impact than Fairy. He also tries to mimic Fairy in his boost consumption, which was relatively low (393 BPM) though not quite as low as Fairy (363 BPM). Another interesting stat is his boost used while supersonic, or wasted boost, which averaged 188 per game. This was by far the lowest out of the six players and this is not an isolated incident, continually, Kaydop has wasted less boost than his opponents all across his career. Notably, other players that consistently do this are Turbo, Torment and Kuxir97.
Nevertheless, towards the end of the series, he started to find some vintage form as he stole goals with unexpected pushes and clinical finishing, increasing his level of play as the pressure ramped up as he has done for years now. He might have fallen behind in raw mechanical ability, but he still has so many qualities which make him such a valuable teammate.
Ferra’s decision making in the final overtime was rightfully under harsh scrutiny after the tournament was over, but he actually played remarkably well in the two Grand finals and Ferra’s hyper-aggressive style is what brought Oxygen back to being competitive in a tournament that looked over. In the upper finals, he averaged 0.8 demos per game whereas in the following two series he averaged 2.17 and 1.71 per game respectively. Not only this but several of his demos lead to crucial openings for his team, and in series that are decided by single goals, it was such a vital part of Oxygen’s play-style.
However, to do this Ferra uses a lot of boost (427 BPM) and spends very little time behind the ball defending his goal, which Chaussette ably compensates for. However, Ferra is also is behind his teammates when it comes to mechanical ability, but his style is very different than Kaydop’s. Ferra is like a battering ram, he goes for as many balls as possible, much more concerned with getting there first and hitting it hard than anything else. This a very effective tactic and means that he rarely looks off the pace, but has a few downsides as towards the end of the series, he started to be left wildly out of position after too many aggressive pushes.
The final two overtime’s of the game were a sad end to an incredible series, as both goals could have easily been prevented by better communication and decision-making. But although Ferra may have been at fault for both the overtime goals, potentially due to his hyper-aggressive style, he made the correct play in continuing to harass and mess with Vitality right up until the game ended. His demo-heavy play had turned the matchup from a Vitality dominated slaughter, to a highly competitive series where Oxygen were in the driving seat, right up until the last three games.
If Oxygen play a standard style against Vitality, Fairy and Alpha will destroy them time and time again as they did in the winners’ final. Without Aztral being in top form, the difference in mechanical ability is simply too great. However, if Oxygen allow Ferra to run free, they have a fighting chance.
Unfortunately these two teams will not meet in the first regional event of RLCS X due to Oxygen being knocked out of the Swiss format. More notably, Chaussette had an absolute shocker of an event and it goes to show how important his performances are to Oxygen’s success. So look out for the way teams like Dignitas and FC Barcelona adapt and change their play-style when they come up against Vitality in the latter stages of the tournament.
Give the page a follow if you like these breakdowns and as always thanks to octane.gg for the stats.
The ballchasing.com files can be found here