After a big weekend of League Play in Throwdown’s Rocket League OCE Open Series, the stage is now set for the top six sides to compete for the lion’s share of the $15,000 AUD prize pool on offer next weekend, cementing their spots on the ladder.

Before jumping into what happened with the games over the weekend, here are the eight teams that are competing in the Open Series, as well as the rankings prior to League Play Days 3 & 4:

Chiefs OCE
Matthew “Drippay” Den-Kaat
Jake “Jake” Edwards
Daniel “Torsos” Parsons

Dark Sided
Phillip “Dumbo” Donachie
Jonathon “Express” Slade
Nathan “Shadey” Logan

JAM Gaming
Michael “Bango” Eason
“Decka”
“Walcott”

Legacy Esports (formerly We Win When We Can)
Nathan “Cyrix” Baxter
“Delusion”
Christopher “Siki” Magee

Love Decks
Adam “Addzey” Meechan
Cameron “CJM” McGrouther
Connor “Montyconnor” Montgomery

Retirement Home
Michael “Daze” Ignat
Callum “ellusive” E.
Alex “Kida” McDonald

Simple Physics
Matt “aoe emp” Milligan
Douglas “Daisu” Smith
“Lim”

Tainted Minds
Cameron “CJCJ” Johns
Tom “Julz” Jullienne
Cameron “Kamii” Ingram
“xKorez”


League Play Day 1 & 2 Standings

Position

Team

Sets Played

Game Count (W/L)

Set Count (W/L)

1st

We Win When We Can

4/7

9-3

3-1

2nd

Dark Sided

3/7

7-2

2-1

3rd

Retirement Home

4/7

7-5

2-2

4th

Tainted Minds

4/7

6-6

2-2

5th

JAM Gaming

3/7

4-5

2-1

6th

Chiefs ESC

3/7

4-5

1-2

7th

Simple Physics

4/7

3-9

1-3

8th

Love Decks

3/7

2-7

1-2

League Play Day 3

Unfortunately I didn’t actually get to catch these games! Nonetheless, here are the results from Day 3:

Match 1: Tainted Minds def. Love Decks

Results:
Game 1: 5-3 to Love Decks
Game 2: 5-0 to Tainted Minds
Game 3: 3-2 to Tainted Minds

Match 2: Love Decks def. Simple Physics

Results:
Game 1: 3-0 to Love Decks
Game 2: 2-1 to Love Decks
Game 3: 5-2 to Love Decks

Match 3: Chiefs ESC def. Simple Physics

Results:
Game 1: 5-1 to Chiefs ESC
Game 2: 9-2 to Chiefs ESC
Game 3: 6-0 to Chiefs ESC

Match 4: Chiefs ESC def. JAM Gaming

Results:
Game 1: 3-1 to Chiefs ESC
Game 2: 2-1 to JAM Gaming
Game 3: 2-1 to Chiefs ESC

Match 5: JAM Gaming def. Retirement Home

Results:
Game 1: 3-2 to Retirement Home
Game 2: 1-0 to JAM Gaming
Game 3: 3-0 to JAM Gaming

Match 6: Dark Sided def. Retirement Home

Results:
Game 1: 3-0 to Dark Sided
Game 2: 2-0 to Dark Sided
Game 3: 4-2 to Dark Sided

Match 7: Dark Sided def. Legacy Esports

Results:
Game 1: 3-0 to Legacy Esports
Game 2: 2-1 to Dark Sided
Game 3: 2-0 to Dark Sided


League Play Day 4

Match 1: JAM Gaming def. Simple Physics
The first match of the day could have been won by a landslide, considering Simple Physics had already solidified their position at the bottom of the ladder after some bad performances on League Play Day 3. Yet they put up a good fight against JAM Gaming, who also had to put on a good performance in order to improve their position on the ladder prior to the gauntlet finals next weekend.

The first two games saw JAM Gaming really take it to Simple Physics with some fine passing plays, alongside some excellent finishes from Decka. It felt like JAM were in control for the majority of most games, save for Game 3, which saw JAM take a 3-0 lead within the first minute and a half of the match and then take their foot off the pedal, allowing Simple Physics to get two goals back with time to spare. It was a nervy affair in the final minute, and had there been perhaps a bit more time I wouldn’t have been surprised to see another Simple Physics goal to take it into overtime. JAM held on, though, and took a clean sweep against the bottom-placed team in the end.

Results:
Game 1: 3-2 to JAM Gaming (after Overtime)
Game 2: 3-1 to JAM Gaming
Game 3: 3-2 to JAM Gaming

Match 2: Love Decks def. JAM Gaming
CJM, take a bow! What an absolutely fantastic series from the Love Decks player, who almost single-handedly destroyed JAM Gaming’s momentum in each match in this series, whether it was by defending or via attacking.

Game 1 and 2 saw CJM score back-to-back hat tricks, making for a blood bath against one of the region’s better teams. JAM, after a fantastic series against Simple Physics, capitulated against Love Decks, who kept to their guns and ensured they were almost always first to the ball.

Love Decks took Game 1 and 2 convincingly, however Game 3 was nervy and intense, considering all either team needed to do was win one more match to practically ensure gauntlet placement for next week. CJM was again the highlight here, defending like an absolute animal to keep out JAM’s attempts at goal. And in the end, it was Love Decks — through resolute defending and an absolute appetite to dominate possession — who took the win in Game 3 to clean sweep JAM Gaming. What a series!

Results:
Game 1: 5-3 to Love Decks
Game 2: 6-2 to Love Decks
Game 3: 3-1 to Love Decks

Match 3: Dark Sided def. Love Decks
Love Decks continued to show how good they really are as they took on Dark Sided, a team sitting high and mighty at the top of the ladder. Given the knowledge that Love Decks could make their way into the top six and cement their spot for the gauntlet finals, they really gave it their all – but, in the end, it was Dark Sided who persevered.

Games 1 and 3 went into overtime, with Love Decks playing exceptionally well to claw out a fantastic 4-2 win in Game 2. Game 3, in particular, was a rampant match of consistent defensive blocking and wonderful attacking runs. The game went five minutes into overtime before Dark Sided’s Express was able to latch on to a fantastic ball off of Love Decks’ back board to grab a 2-1 series win against a team that many hadn’t expected to do so well. Kudos to Love Decks, they really proved themselves here.

Results:
Game 1: 2-1 to Dark Sided (after Overtime)
Game 2: 4-2 to Love Decks
Game 3: 2-1 to Dark Sided (after Overtime)

Match 4: Dark Sided def. Chiefs ESC
The game everyone was waiting for produced a stellar watch, with Chiefs taking on rivals Dark Sided. It’s worth noting that, recently, in the other competitions the teams have faced off in it’s usually been Chiefs who have taken Dark Sided’s scalp, and I think both teams were well aware of the pressure coming into the contest here.

Dark Sided started very poorly, conceding possession way too easily and that was punished with some slick passing movements and plays from Chiefs, who took Game 1 with ease. And while you would have expected a Chiefs demolition derby after the insanity of League Play Day 3, that was not to be.

Dark Sided held their nerve and produced two games of pure magic, taking Chiefs down 3-1 in Game 2 and 2-0 in Game 3 — cementing top spot for the gauntlet finals. This one was a nail biter on all accords, and I definitely think the best team won at the end of the day.

Results:
Game 1: 4-1 to Chiefs ESC
Game 2: 3-1 to Dark Sided
Game 3: 2-0 to Dark Sided

Match 5: Chiefs ESC def. Legacy Esports
Chiefs ESC came back strong after a disappointing series loss to Dark Sided, clean sweeping Legacy Esports 3-0. The first two games were noticeably tight, with big blocks from both sides keeping them in the contest, and with top placements up for grabs it was all or nothing for Chiefs and Legacy.

However, Chiefs were the ones to show their quality, taking all three games in the end with some big performances from all of their players. They really improved this weekend, and grabbed 2nd spot on the ladder because of it.

Results:
Game 1: 3-2 to Chiefs
Game 2: 1-0 to Chiefs (after Overtime)
Game 3: 2-0 to Chiefs

Match 6: Tainted Minds def. Legacy Esports
Legacy Esports were unable to pull out any meaningful result in their match against Tainted Minds, ending their run this weekend in a calamitous way without a single win in any of the six matches they played. To Tainted Minds’ credit, the team carved open the defence of Legacy more than once and made use of some excellent counter-attacking manoeuvres that Legacy couldn’t defend against.

In the end, it just didn’t work out for Legacy this weekend, winning just one game out of nine, and they now have to face a tougher gauntlet finals than what they probably had expected coming into the weekend. It’ll be a test of nerve and character, that’s for certain.

Results:
Game 1: 2-0 to Tainted Minds
Game 2: 4-3 to Tainted Minds
Game 3: 2-1 to Tainted Minds

Match 7: Retirement Home def. Tainted Minds
To cap off the day Retirement Home pulled off the upset to beat Tainted Minds, in turn taking fourth place in the overall standings.

Tainted Minds gave it their all throughout the series, with a couple of connection issues proving to be the nail in the coffin for Game 2 and the series. They rallied in Game 3 and won convincingly against Retirement Home, but the damage had already been done. That said, Tainted stick to third spot, with Retirement Home boosting all the way up to fourth — something both teams would be happy with in the end.

Results:
Game 1: 2-1 to Retirement Home (after Overtime)
Game 2: 6-3 to Retirement Home
Game 3: 3-0 to Tainted Minds


Ladder Standings after League Play Day 3 & 4

Position

Team

Sets Played

Game Count (W/L)

Set Count (W/L)

1st

Dark Sided

7/7

15-6

6-1

2nd

Chiefs ESC

7/7

13-8

4-3

3rd

Tainted Minds

7/7

12-9

4-3

4th

Retirement Home

7/7

11-10

3-4

5th

Legacy Esports

7/7

10-11

3-4

6th

Love Decks

7/7

10-11

3-4

7th

JAM Gaming

7/7

10-11

4-3

8th

Simple Physics

7/7

3-18

1-6

Final Thoughts

This weekend’s action was excellent, and League Play Day 4 in particular culminated in some wonderfully tense battles of attrition and skill. Every team knew what was on the line and delivered fantastic Rocket League over the weekend, and I can’t wait to see how the teams who’ve qualified for the gauntlet go next Sunday. Dark Sided and Chiefs ESC were really impressive this weekend, and so I’m holding out hope that we’ll see those two battle each other once more.

Condolences also have to go out to JAM Gaming, who narrowly missed out on the gauntlet. They played some excellent Rocket League over the League Play days and I’m excited to see them really come into their own over the year!