The Cybergamer State of Origin Cup was an amazing show of rocket league skills, sportsmanship and great casting by Chrisis and Byza. Even before any matches were played the hype for this tournament was remarkable, and a big congratulations is in order for all the teams that participated. The display of many players during the matches was unbelievable and it’s great to have such skilled players in the high-tier Oceanic Rocket League circuit.
The tournament was split up into two stages: Group and Finals. The group stages consisted of a round-robin competition with the top four teams advancing to the single-elimination finals stage. The whole competition showcased some great players and provided a platform for lesser known players to get their names heard. Each player brought an interesting perspective on gameplay and the diverse nature of the teams allowed the casters to really dig into the nitty-gritty analysis of the game.
New South Wales (NSW): Stoney, cyrix and SOMA
Queensland (QLD): Dilga, Sifo and Eoin (later being replaced by froggie)
Tasmania (TAS): Schmeval, CJCJ and Fachy
New Zealand (NZ): Erit_27, Epanai and Slippy
The group stages were … interesting. The States of Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia were all no-shows. For the teams that did show up, the round robin format provided a great way for each team to get multiple matches under their belt, allowing for diverse and well-rounded gameplay. Three dominant teams came out of the group stages; NSW, TAS and QLD.
NSW showed true dominance early, only losing one game in total and not losing any series at all. This was due to strong co-ordinated team play and overall positioning of the individual player. Everyone involved in this tournament showcased great amounts of skill, but the NSW team revealed their ability to ‘read’ the play and have the ability to see where the ball is going before it is even hit. This skill is what separates the good from the great.
TAS only dropped one series, getting a few nice goals and almost making a comeback against the NSW team: a clever play from Schmeval gave the team a shot at redemption but his teammates were unable to capitalise on the opportunity. Each of this team’s players had great coordination and communication, exhibiting rotational plays to rival even some CGp teams. These rotations allowed greater pressure to be put onto their opponents and force a big clear or bust. The majority of the time it was the latter.
QLD had a similar situation, only losing to the top two teams, NSW and TAS, in the group stages. This is not to say that QLD was doing something wrong, in fact the rotations and pressure from the team were good, but not enough to rival NSW. The boys from QLD performed some tight-knit passing plays that lead to great overall pressure, but seemed to lack returning their opponents’ shots. However, their team play carried them through the group stages and beyond, showing that passes and game-sense are incredibly important in such a fast-paced game.
NZ had some solid plays, but lagged behind when it came to providing the correct passes and defensive coordination that was required to beat some the best in Oceania. The strength of this team came in their big clears and the follow-up shots to them. It was their general team-play that lacked when it came to game-time, one car out of position here, another one in an awkward position and that’s all that it takes for a great player to take the advantage. Overall the NZ boys played well, but not well enough to make the Grand-Finals.
The Finals truly revealed some 10/10, top-notch Rocket League gameplay. It was unfortunate that NZ couldn’t find a third, thus dropping out, but nonetheless QLD, TAS and NSW provided some spectacular gameplay in each of their series respectively.
Semi-Finals: QLD vs TAS
This series came to a roaring start with a few quick, early goals from the boys from Tasmania, in particular a ‘pop and drop’ (Chrisis’ words not mine) from Schmeval and a great passing play from Sifo to Dilga in the opening stages of the game. It was the overall pressure and clearing shots from Tasmania that lead to an early one game lead. QLD quickly came back and this set up a relentless struggle that continued until the series was tied at three games each, resulting in a sudden-death match. With a quick goal from froggie in the early seconds of the match, and then an unlucky touch from Fachy, the Queensland team took an early 2-0 lead and the pressure was on for the Tasmanian Devils. One play that stood out in particular for this series was a demolition play from CJCJ where he set himself up to be demo’d in order to block the save, allowing Schmeval to come in and score. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough and Queensland despatched Tasmania, earning a spot in the Grand Final against New South Wales.
Grand-Finals: NSW vs QLD
This was the game to watch: two high-skilled teams filled with spectacular players who each have hundreds of hours invested in the game. The first match revealed close passes, tight goals and some great overall rotational movement from both teams which is to be expected from the best in OCE. The first five minutes was close to becoming overtime but a quick flick from SOMA closed out the first game for the boys in blue. The second game was even closer, with no goals scored in the first three and a half minutes but the relentless pressure of SOMA and cyrix gave the lead for NSW. The aggressive play-style paid dividends, giving the two game lead to NSW.
NSW’s aggression continued in game three, and an early two goal lead provided the platform to carry NSW into game four. It was here that the QLD team seemed to ‘wake up’, providing return pressure and smooth rotations in order to bring this final game to 3-3 going into overtime. Once again, aggressive pressure from the NSW team left the Queenslanders on the back foot, and it was an unfortunate touch by Dilga that lead to SOMA scoring a close aerial in order to close out the Grand Final.
Each of these face-offs showcased incredible gameplay, with each team revealing amazing passes, dribbles, some sneaky mind games and astonishing aerials. It was interesting to see the competitive nature of the States given the fact that each individual player came from a different team. What set NSW apart from the rest was the fact that the team wasn’t three players: the three players were a team.