Northwood University had a dominant performance against Stockton in the Grand Finals. Here’s all you need to know.
CRL partnered with EURC to bring the first collegiate Rocket League International competition to DreamHack Dallas this past weekend. The CRL Worlds Stage was right next to the main stage of DreamHack which made it easily accessible. Fans could catch a glimpse of the CRL as soon as they walked into the event space. The crowd was absolutely insane and almost every seat was filled leading up to the Grand Finals of Northwood vs. Stockton.
Collegiate Rocket League (CRL) has been around since fall 2017 and is the Psyonix funded league for collegiate Rocket League in North America. The European University Rocketeers’ Championship (EURC) has been around since spring 2019 and is essentially the same as CRL but for the European region.
NA On Top
The final four teams were a huge matchup with Northwood University, Stockton, Valleyfield, and St. Clair College all competing for the title of CRL World Champions. The North American vs. European region debate is a hot topic. While EU displayed how competitive they were at CRL Worlds, it was not enough to take the crown from NA, because 4 NA teams ended up being the final four.
Due to the covid pandemic in 2020 and 2021, there was not a single Psyonix-sponsored LAN for the past 2 years. With CRL Worlds also being the first time it was introduced Internationally, it is such a huge deal that any one of these teams made it this far, whether they came from the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) or made it straight from playoffs.
Interactive image credit: Adam Antor/ESPAT
One of the most talked about matches was actually from Day 2 (elimination day) when it was Stockton vs. Berlin. This was highly talked about because Stockton and Berlin were two teams that most people expected to make it out of their groups, but instead they had to prove themselves in the elimination bracket. One of the most notable players of that day was TopCheese from Stockton. He absolutely popped off and that really helped their momentum moving forward to the final day of CRL Worlds.
For the top four teams everyone was excited to see what each team could bring to the table. With a last-minute substitute for St. Clair, unfortunately they were unable to beat Stockton and secure that top 2 placement. Northwood won against Valleyfield, so in the Grand Finals of CRL Worlds it was Stockton vs. Northwood.
Although the Stockton boys were definitely the underdogs, they tried their best, taking Northwood to a 5 minute and 50 second overtime in game 4, the very last game in the best-of-7 series. The first half of the series was tough to watch, as Stockton only seemed to get back on their feet in games 3 and 4. Being in the crowd you could really tell that Stockton started gaining their momentum in the last two games, and it truly wasn’t over until the final goal scored in overtime.
Northwood University’s Reign
To a CRL superfan, it is no surprise that Northwood University took home the victory at CRL Worlds. The Northwood boys have proved that they are an absolute powerhouse of a team prior to CRL this semester. They have previously won the CCA Summer Series Championship and the CRL National Championship.
Outside of CRL, Buddy plays for Nefarious, hockE plays for Prestige Esports, and LionBlaze plays for Ghost. Their coach, Cody Elsen, is also very notable in the Esports industry, as he was the founder of Fable Esports LLC and a co-owner of Cyclone GG before heading to Northwood.
In the grand finals, Northwood swept Stockton University 4-0 with a goal after 5 minutes and 50 seconds of overtime. In the words of the CRL World Championship MVP, LionBlaze, “we all trust each other and we know we can win. We all trust each other, that’s really what it is.”
The trust and communication is heavily shown by the Northwood University team since they were shooting every goal they got the chance to. Without the fans, players, casters, admins, and the College Carball crew, the CRL season would not be such a success. “You guys are amazing and you guys make this event what it is. Thank you,” LionBlaze said after Northwood took home the CRL Worlds victory.
The Northwood boys surely have something to be proud of, as they are the first ever CRL World Champions.
“This victory is something these students will remember for the rest of their lives. I am so very proud of the hard work and determination that they showed. What an unbelievable moment for Northwood University.”Coach Cody Elsen
Featured image: Rocket League esports.