It’s game day one at the Rocket League Season 8 Regional Finals and prior to Ground Zero taking on the Canberra Havoc in the first round of the playoffs, we caught up with their squad to get the low down on what's to come.
Although the roster isn’t a star studded all star lineup, Oceanic Rocket League fans are no stranger to the second seed squad coming into the action.
With questions being asked about the ability of the Ground Zero roster, we asked team captain Julz about where exactly this team puts themselves in the rankings for the four contenders taking to the pitch this weekend. Julz came out confident from the go, and said that they’re “equals to both Chiefs and Renegades. Our style of play is similar to the Chiefs, but we’ve added our own flair to areas of the game which we think makes us at least a top 2 team on game day.”
Being the most decorated player on the roster, we dove into how Julz is feeling with the current lineup, who said that “I’ve been in a lot of powerhouse teams, but I’m more confident that I’ve ever been in my current place with the Ground Zero squad. It’s the first time I’ve truly been totally comfortable and confident in my place in a team, and that goes for the rest of the team as well.”
Although they were favoured as a top three squad coming into league play, they started stronger than anyone could expect going four wins in a row from the get go. Julz gave some insight into how they started so strong, who attributed their league success to “a lot of hard work in the preseason.” It wasn’t all rosy however, and he mentioned their fall from grace in the later stages of the season came from trying to “bring in too many new things to our game, and focused to hard on being totally dominant with our play style. As a result we lost some fundamentals of our game, that made us easier than we should’ve been.”
We then sat down with his teammate Decka, who shed some light into the teams thoughts coming in as second seed into playoffs, saying that “although we have the easy side of the bracket, you can’t underestimate any match at this stage of the season. We definitely have a chance to win the whole thing, but we have to focus on each and every match.”
When asked about how he ranked the competition and where he placed Ground Zero, he shared the sentiment with Julz putting them within the top 2, but added that “if Chiefs perform the way they do in scrims, they’ll win. We’re confident we can take on Havoc, and think we have a slight edge over the Renegades. Chiefs may have the edge over us, but on our day we can definitely take it out.”
We missed out on catching up with Requiem, but managed to get the scoop from team coach, Enigma, who’s traveled over with the squad for the weekend. We wanted to dive into what he’s come in to work on with the squad, and Enigma filled us in on how his focus is on “making sure teamwork is stronger than anything with the team, and I’m happy with how strong the team environment is within the roster.”
He also added that “the guys are really good at getting a lot of value out of situations where we may be behind or at a disadvantage, and it means that we’re always in a game. Having the ability to always be in the competition is something that ought to give a squad a lot of confidence wherever they are, with Enigma adding that “the team never really feel a lot of pressure going into matches, especially compared to the Renegades and the Chiefs. In saying that, those squads are really good at handling that pressure as they have a lot of experience dealing with it."
When we asked what he thought the squads chances are of making the World Championships, he mentioned that the squad and himself are “pretty confident about making RLCS, but day one is definitely the most important day. A strong start to playoffs cannot be overestimated.”
As we did with Julz and Decka, we wanted to get his breakdown of the other teams here to play, saying that “the Chiefs have the most potential as a squad, and also the best style as a team. In saying that, the Renegades are without a doubt the best team individually, but the influence of Drippay cannot be underestimated.”
Although he had great things to say about the Renegades, he unsurprisingly put the Chiefs on the top for this weekend, sliding Ground Zero in second, and putting Renegades and the Canberra Havoc in third and fourth respectively.
The all important first game day has kicked off live from the Let’s Play Live studios in the Sky Tower. Keep up to date with the progress of Ground Zero by catching all of the action from the team’s Twitter.
Written by Freddie Tressider.
Edited by Ben Scott.