The best players at the RLCS 2021-22 Majors

We’ve had three international majors in the RLCS 2021-22 season. One for each of the Fall, Winter, and Spring splits. Teams for various regions competed in these majors for points to qualify for the World Championships, coming up in a week’s time. 

16 teams were invited to each of these Majors: 5 from North America, 5 from Europe, 2 from Oceania, 2 from South America, 1 from Middle East/North Africa, and 1 from Asia.

In these Majors, we saw a total of 79 players compete. 14 players made an appearance in all 3 splits, with Joyo, rise, and Vatira leading the total games played count with 95 games played despite not playing in the Fall split.

Do we know who was the best? If you’ve been following the season, come up with a few guesses and let me know if they match what we’ll find out below.

The top players of the RLCS 2021-2022 Majors

I wanna build you up (brick by brick)

I’ve crafted two stats that can be applied to every player for every game: SPV and OBC. (Do read the SPV article and the OBC article if you haven’t, they’re quite short and are easy reads.)

To combine them, we’ll just take averages over every game, then averages over every series until every player gets a “tournament” SPV and OBC score. Then, we scale it so it’s between 0 and 100 so it looks nicer. 0 for the player with the worst stat in the tournament; 100 for the player with the best stat in the tournament.

I wanna break you down (brick by brick)

The above calculation, although simple, does introduce some assumptions.

We take the average of stats over every game in each series. This gives equal weight to every game in each series. Game 1? Game 7? All the same. This is probably fair as they all contribute equally to a team’s series-winning ambitions.

We then take the average of series stats over every series in the tournament. This second-level average gives equal weight to every series a player plays in, no matter how many games were played. A best-of-7 series that ends in game 4 is worth the same as one that ends in game 7.

However, this also gives equal weight to all series in a tournament. This is an obvious weakness as the further you get in a bracket, the more important your matches. A group stage match when you’ve already secured the top spot is not very significant.
The fix for this would involve giving appropriate weights to each series. While I think the best way to do so involves multiplying by the marginal prize pool secured by winning, this is not applicable to the average Rocket League player. (And I’d like to keep my analysis methods relevant to the average Rocket League player, as the end goal of my analysis is to help people get better at the game.)

A brief interlude with stats

So now we have a bunch of scores between 0 and 100 for every player for each Major.

Because you’re probably itching to get your eyes on some numbers, here are some numbers. Hopefully not too many numbers that you stop reading here though. I’ll talk about the more interesting stuff later, I promise.

The top and bottom 3 SPV scores of each split

FallSeikoo (100)Alpha54 (96.7)Ahmad (88.6)
Winteryanxnz (100)Seikoo (88.7)Firstkiller (82.0)
Springmist (100)Seikoo (90.8)yanxnz (88.6)
FallMaru (8.8)Fairy Peak! (1.9)Kassio (0)
WinterOLPiX (14.19)CJCJ (4.5)Burn (0)
SpringTorsos (17.4)Metsanauris (4.0)AbsCrazy (0)

And here are the top and bottom 3 OBC scores of each split

Falltrk511 (100)Seikoo (80.6)ApparentlyJack (76.4)
WinterBeastMode (100)Comm (81.7)Torment (75.6)
SpringAztral (100)Oski (89.3)Archie (87.5)
FallChicago (22.3)Allushin (9.7)Maru (0)
Winternxghtt. (10.2)OLPiX (6.9)Kamii (0)
SpringMetsanauris (22.9)Express (17.8)Torsos (0)

Vaguely looks good yeah?

Now let’s try combining the SPV and OBC values and look at the top and bottom 5 players at each Major. This is just the average of the tournament SPV and OBC scores. An overall score of 100 would mean that the player topped both stats.

The top and bottom 5 combined SPVOBC scores

FallSeikoo (90.3)trk511 (86.8)ajg (80.0)Ahmad (78.4)Joreuz (77.3)
Winteryanxnz (76.1)BeastMode (74.6)Firstkiller (73.5)Seikoo (66.7)Vatira. (66.1)
Springmist (92.4)yanxnz (77.9)Aztral (77.8)Atomic (76.9)Archie (76.5)
FallCJCJ (30.3)Kassio (23.0)Allushin (21.1)Fairy Peak! (12.7)Maru (4.4)
WinterSypical (26.4)Burn (21.9)Kamii (15.4)CJCJ (15.0)OLPiX (10.5)
SpringMaxeew (27.6)Express (27.0)AbsCrazy (22.8)Metsanauris (13.4)Torsos (8.7)

I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to include CJCJ in these tables because he had analyst obligations to fulfil in the later LAN days and obviously didn’t want to take a spot away from another team.

Anyway, back to the regular programming.

I’m gonna reconstruct (brick by brick)

So far we’ve covered number for the best players at each Major. How do we try to figure out the best player over all 3 Majors?

This is always going to be a balance between a measure of “total” value vs. “average value”. I’d find it hard to argue that a player who played 6 games and absolutely popped off during those 6 games is the best player of the season. Not when there are players who have played close to 100 games (and played pretty well in those).

In considering this tradeoff, the two extremes are:

  • Taking an average of the player’s stats over all Majors
  • Taking the total stats accumulated by the player over every game

I think the latter is ridiculous as a long lower bracket run that gives you more games isn’t any better than consecutive sweeps in a dominant upper bracket run to win the tournament. But while the former is interesting, it’s hard to argue that the season’s Major MVP is someone who only appeared in one Major.

Between the two extremes, a sensible option is to sum the scores for each Major. Thus, each Major is weighted equally, and you get more credit for appearing in (and performing well in) more Majors. No series or game count leading to unfair shenanigans either!

Summarizing once again, I’ve calculated SPV and OBC values for all players in all games, averaged them a couple of times so we have SPV and OBC scores (between 0 and 100) for all players in every Major. I then take the average of the SPV and OBC score so every player gets a single overall score for each Major (again between 0 and 100). For every player, we then add up their individual Major scores to get an all-Majors score

So, who tops our table?

I wanna feel your love

Honourable Mentions

Fever at 27th is the top OCE player, and ReaLize at 62nd is the top APAC player. (Interestingly, all OCE players got exactly 2 appearances, while all APAC players got only 1 appearance.)

Archie, Chicago, Ahmad, BeastMode, AYYJAYY, RelatingWave, Vatira, Daniel, Torment, and Joreuz round out the top 20. All of them, barring Chicago, AYYJAYY, and RelatingWave, did it in only 2 splits.

ajg and Aztral in 38th and 41st are the highest-rated players making a single appearance. This is unfortunately actually higher than the lowest 3-split player, Metsanauris at 43rd.

Vatira at 17th, rise at 25th and Joyo at 28th are extremely respectable placings for only 2 splits. Especially 2 splits where they made it far and faced many extremely capable opponents.

The top 10

M0nkey M00n189184194

Special shoutouts to trk511 and mist for making the top 10 with appearances in only two splits!

It’s nice to see that the top 3 form a tier of their own, and the 3 after them form another tier as well. The best performers across the Majors of the RLCS 2021-2022 season, in a league of their own: yanxnz, Firstkiller, Seikoo, M0nkeyM00n, Atomic and JKnaps!

OBC against SPV, summed over all Majors of the RLCS 2021-2022 season

Final words

As the RLCS 2021-2022 World Championships start, keep your eye out for these players. Can yanxnz follow on from his standout performance in a recent tournament? Can Firstkiller lead FaZe to their maiden LAN victory? Can Seikoo find the synergy with the M0nkey M00n and Extra to help BDS perform to their obvious potential?

Or will we get wet?

To end off, I’d like you to look at the top 3 in the table once again: yanxnz, Firstkiller, and Seikoo. Notice that none of them won a split. I leave you to imagine if they formed a team…