If you ask an NA CRL player who the best EU collegiate team is, most will say the Berlin Phoenix. Since their formation in 2020, they have come first place in four Uniliga seasons and two European University Rocketeers’ Championships. Berlin swept their group and finished second in the playoffs of the most recent 2022 EURC. This high finish qualified them for the first ever Collegiate Rocket League World Championship in Dallas, Texas.
An Effortless Start
The Technical University of Berlin Rocket League team made their first appearance with Tigreee, Gnagflow06, and Dot in the Uniliga Winter Season 2019-2020. They secured first place to qualify for the second season of the European University Rocketeers’ Championship a few months later.
At EURC 2020, Berlin took another first place spot by sweeping four out of five of their opponents.
The updated roster of Tigreee, Gnagflow06, and quint took on EURC 2021 where the team placed first again. This time, though, they weren’t able to sweep most of their opponents.
Going Through the Washing Machine
The 2022 EURC came next, and TU Berlin were looking to continue their 2 year win streak. They started by sweeping through the Group Stage over the course of 2 weeks. Illness struck the team for their last match against Amsterdam Carball Esports. They managed to play and win but quint was unhappy with his performance and wanted to not have the matches be a “2v3 + me”.
This sparked a conversation within the team where quint expressed how helpless he feels on the pitch compared to his pro-level teammates. His team was supportive as always which encouraged quint to push himself in solo practice for the 3 weeks leading up to Playoffs.
Berlin fought through the bracket and found themselves against Portsmouth in the Grand Final bracket reset. Berlin swept through the first Best-of-7 and looked like they were going to take their 3rd EURC ship. The Portsmouth Paladins found their footing in the second series, coming back and winning 4-2 to send Berlin to 2nd place for the first time in their EURC history.
The Announcement of CRL Worlds
So what happened to Berlin? The answer is, maybe nothing. The Collegiate Rocket League expansion to include EU teams was announced in January 2022, midway through the Uniliga season and before EURC. The typical EURC prize pool before it became a Psyonix sponsored event was less than $1500. With the sponsorship and Worlds qualification slots added, the EURC prize pool skyrocketed to over $11000.
Suddenly, playing in EURC was more than just for fun and a bit of cash. Every competitive EU Uni team began grinding in hopes of securing one of the 6 Worlds slots reserved for them.
These motivations led to a new era of extra competitive EURC with Portsmouth, Keele, and KIT SC scrambling to improve and take the spot that Berlin once held.
Quint reminisced on Berlin’s early days and how because they beat their opposition, “pretty comfortably, there was no extra work put into the team.” That was a reasonable strategy for early EURC where TU Berlin farmed tournaments.
But as the EU collegiate scene grows, so must the teams within to remain competitive.
After realizing this, Berlin were done coasting on their old wins and ready to grind towards new ones.
Berlin is unable to scrim regularly, setting them apart from other top CRL teams. Tigreee is often busy with his RLCS commitments and Gnagflow prefers to play ranked.
The team doesn’t let their situation get in the way, though, as quint joins Gnagflow in his ranked 2s to get some team practice in.
“Now a month has passed [since EURC] and we feel ready,” says quint. “With a bunch of replays watched and a lot of 2s games played, we are now ready [to] show what we are made of, and are proud to represent Europe at the CRL Worlds Championship.”
Follow the Action
Technical University of Berlin begins Worlds with a Group Stage Best-of-5 against Oakland University. Watch it on the Rocket League Twitch on June 3 at 1 p.m. CT (6 p.m. UTC).
Match results and brackets will be posted on both the College Carball Twitter and the Rocket League Esports Twitter.
Check out the schedule so you don’t miss a beat!