LONDON — On June 10, Louis Christian “LCT” Thamrun and his team, Gaimin Gladiators, wrote history when they qualified for the Rocket League Championship Series Spring Major in London. They were the first team from Asia Pacific South to make it to an RLCS Major and did so by defeating DeToNaToR, an APAC North team that had previously beaten them for a spot at the Winter Major.
BROOOOO I CANT SOEAK BRO TNEOOW HELP OKG WE JUST WIFB
— LCT (@notLCT) June 10, 2022
APAC is a region that had long-awaited its chance in the RLCS. When it finally came, however, only one of the two regions would make it to each Major. The top two of each region battled it out in a double elimination tournament to make the offline event. In the first two, only APAC North teams, Tokyo Verdy and DeToNaToR, made it, but for the Spring Major, LCT finally turned it around for the South.
“APAC North was always a step ahead of APAC South even before RLCS,” LCT said. “This is one of the first times, if I’m not wrong, that APAC South beat an APAC North team. This shows the growing competition in the region as a whole and with competition, players will be pushed to their limits and improve tremendously.”
As APAC grows as a region, so does its competitiveness. At the start of the season, many believed Tokyo Verdy to be the entire continent’s strongest team, a team that would mop the floor with the rest of the league thanks to star player Shogo “ReaLize” Ikeyama, who would shine among the greats at all the Majors. But while he did make it to the Fall Major, the rest of the region quickly caught up, motivated by the competition.
The RLCS LANdon experience
With the Spring Major concluded, LCT can finally look back at the whole of the RLCS LAN experience. He played in the most iconic venue in Rocket League history: the Copper Box Arena, where not only the most legendary goal in the esport’s history was scored in 2018, but also saw a first-ever team in the grand final that was not from North America or Europe in 2022.
But the London RLCS event, dubbed by the fans as LANdon, is known for more than its gameplay. The fans are loud and passionate and are reminiscent of a Premier League match. And, while Gaimin Gladiators did not make it to the crowd stage, LCT was impressed.
“The LANdon experience was really sick as it is our very first LAN as a team,” LCT said. “The thing that stood out was definitely the fans. I didn’t realize esports fans were that loud. It felt like I’m watching a football match.”
Welcome to the Spring Major, @GaiminGladiator ⚔️ #RLCS pic.twitter.com/UbAAXGSefX
— Rocket League Esports (@RLEsports) June 27, 2022
Unfortunately for Gaimin Gladiators, however, the dream run at RLCS LANdon could not be realized. Facing world-class teams such as G2 Esports and FURIA, the APAC South representatives failed to take a game and dropped early in the tournament. But, having qualified for the world championship, which includes a team from both APAC North and APAC South, the Gladiators have gotten some vital LAN experience.
“We took this LAN as an experience for what is to come,” LCT said. “We are definitely not as disappointed as we should be, as it is our very first LAN. Honestly, it’s a dream to play against any team that makes it through the Majors as they are all good players. I think I couldn’t complain about the teams we faced during the Spring Major.”
As for the World Championships, LCT does not mind who he faces there either, though he hopes to play against a Sub-Saharan African team, who will be making their debut at an RLCS LAN, “to see how good they are.”
The future for LCT and the APAC
While there are eight teams in the world championship main event, the Gladiators will have to make their way there from the wildcard, a 16-team tournament that will send eight teams to the main event. LAN experience will help them, something they hope to increase even more at Gamers8, a $2 million tournament in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. And while Gamers8 is a good opportunity to gain some extra experience, to LCT it’s more than just a training ground.
“I am going to treat Gamers8 like Worlds as I see it as a really big LAN,” LCT said. “And since we have already had experience from London, we will be more comfortable this time around. I think we can do pretty well and get some results on the board.”
Following Gamers8, it’s almost straight to Fort Worth, Texas, for Worlds. Unlike the double-elimination format of the London Major, the world championship wildcard event employs a Swiss bracket, giving LCT and his team three lives instead of two. This time, he expects to win a series or two, but his goal is to make the main event.
Regardless of how they fare in the final event of the season, it was APAC’s first season in the RLCS. The region has a lot of room to grow, and LCT has noticed the effects of finally being included in the premier Rocket League events. Players that had given up and retired came back to the game in order to play in the RLCS. As for what the region needs in order to catch up with the other regions, LCT is certain.
“APAC would need to play against regions better than them,” he said. “Even allowing APAC players to queue a 6Mans rank in another region with a ping less than 100 would definitely improve everyone as a whole.”
About the Author
Michael Kloos is a Dutch esports journalist and enthusiast with a particular like of Rocket League and VALORANT. He is also an avid fantasy/sci-fi reader and writer. He spends most of his time trying not to be in the real world.