This Sunday (25.04.2021), the playoffs in “Telialigaen” (Norway’s national Rocket League) were concluded, and AW3 was crowned the Norwegian Champions. The team had a wild performance, and we could not be more proud of them and the result. To our fans; The journey has just begun 😉
The journey to the top
It began on Jan 28th – league play. We had to play vs. every team once, and throughout the league play, we managed to go undefeated. This was never expected. We end league play 9-0-0; 9 victories, 0 draws, and 0 defeats! This leads us to 1st place in league play, and we could choose our next opponent among the other qualified teams.
Choose your opponent
We had played Domino Esports twice; Once in Telialigaen league play and once in a Norwegian tournament called Komplett OnLan. Both times winning fairly comfortably. The 2 other teams competing in the playoffs (Nordavind and Playwell) we were less sure about. It happened to be a while since we last played both of them, which translates to “How much have they improved compared to us?”. We decided it would be safest to pick the team we had won against most recently because of this insecurity.
The semi-final vs. Domino Esports was a tough match, and the thought “is our run over?” crossed all of our minds. With Domino looking like they had a walk in the park compared to us sweating, it was no easy match. The match went back and forth, and at times it was looking like Domino wasn’t even trying to win; They just did. After a while, we got a grip on the match and managed to just barely pull it back. The game ended in a 4-2 victory and secured us one of the spots in the finals.
Nordavind vs. Playwell executed after our semi-finals, and the competition there was again extremely high. With close matches and with only 1 goal apart, the bar was set high. We used the one-hour break to visualize how we wanted to play as a team and warmed up again before it was time to play the finals.
The final vs. Nordavind. Straight out of the gate, we realized it was going to be a tough match. It was one of the most brutal matches we have ever played. We managed to win the first game with just 1 goal deciding the victor. Nordavind came back in game 2 even stronger, took this and the next game as well. At this point, the score is 1-2 to Nordavind, and we had to dig deep. Did they want this more than us? Were we not well enough prepared? Game 4 was just as intense, with us just scoring one goal deciding the game. Game 5; Nordavind clawed their way back and took it to game point.
We were standing on the edge of a cliff, pushed by a wind from the north slowly but surely nudging us into the void. We all had to wonder, would we yield to the pressure? Or should we fight our way back, continue the climb we had already started and get to the very top of the mountain?
All the players were hellbent on climbing to the top. They had not come this far on their hike to be pushed off meters before reaching the mountaintop. We gave Nordavind a run for their money as we closed out game 6 with a clean Brazil (7-1 to us). The coaching by Ryuu and weeks of mental training paid off.
Game 7 was nerve-wracking. Nordavind kicked things off with a quick goal 20 seconds into the game. It was worrisome, but we trusted our practice and training, focusing on plenty of time to come back, “its only the first 20 seconds of the game” we shouted, watching. A tad past a minute into the game, we clocked our first goal.
With both teams performing exceptionally well, Seeb miraculously scored 2 more goals, making it a hat-trick!
Still, with more than half the game left, 2:32 left on the clock, Nordavind was not ready to give us the win yet. The game goes back and forth, neither team scoring, but both teams getting increasingly closer.
With just 1:22 left of the match, the game takes a dramatic turn as Seeb’s PC crashes!
Rocket League and other online games have no pause button, and we have no choice but continue playing. This actually leaves us in a 2v3 player situation for the remainder of the match, and our 2 goal lead isn’t looking as comfortable as it did 3 seconds ago.
By pure gamer magic – or more likely insane skills, FirmanJonas and Inferno seemingly make something out of nothing. They manage to get the ball as far away from their goal as possible, find themselves suddenly firing the ball at an open net, and extend the lead to 4-1!! – and AW3 is crowned Norwegian Champions 30 seconds later!
In just 3 months after its inception(!), a team that has never played together before becoming the Norwegian Champions.
This shows that with exemplary teamwork, a world-class coach, discipline, kick-ass mentality, an ice-cold brain, good work ethic, a great team environment, and sheer will, anything is possible.
If you would like to keep up date with our Norwegian Rocket League journey check out our team page on Gamer.no