‘When we play our game, we can take down anyone’: Ground Zero demolish competition to win XP Esports RL Open

The team now turns their attention to the regional finals of the ESL Rocket League Oceanic Championship.

Ground Zero Gaming rocketed to success in the recent XP Sports RL Open Demolition tournament, knocking aside teams like Canberra Havoc and Cringe Society en route to victory. 

With middling results following their LPL Finals victory back in April, Ground Zero Gaming’s Rocket League team needed to turn up the heat if they were to stand a chance at the upcoming regional finals of ESL’s Rocket League Oceanic Championship.

Thankfully, a dominating performance at the RL Open Demolition tournament has given the team of Tom “Julz” Jullienne, Jonathan “Express” Slade and Luke “Amphis” Riddell some momentum coming into this weekend’s round of sixteen. 

Consistency is key for the team, Ground Zero coach James “Jimmah” Forshaw told Snowball Esports after the Open Demolition victory. “We know that when we play our game reliably we can take down anyone in the competition,” he said.

“We just focused on what we do well and make sure it is the forefront of our minds during gameplay, no matter who we play against.”

After taking down Havoc and Forbidden Gaming in the semifinals and the winner’s finals, the Ground Zero squad faced off against Cringe Society in the final, the team that had knocked them out of the previous week’s first ESL qualifier en route to their own title.

It started well for Ground Zero in the best-of-seven final, taking the first game 2–1 and following that up with two overtime victories to take themselves to match point. However, Cringe Society wasn’t going to take that lying down.

An overtime victory for Cringe Society in the fourth game cut Ground Zero’s momentum in half, and brought the series to 3-1, but it would have required a miracle for them to take the series the rest of the way.

Fortunately, order was swiftly returned as Ground Zero took their fourth and final game 2–1 to win the series and the title, claiming sweet revenge on the way. However, the team wasn’t just focusing on that. Jimmah admitted “it was more reassurance for ourselves that we can play our game when it really matters.”

The win in the RL Open Demolition will certainly give the team a boost coming into this weekend’s regional finals, and the team have set their sights on the championship. 

“We’ve been working a few new things as a team and if we can consistently apply them into this weekend, we could take it all, so definitely. We’re playing for the regional finals this weekend and the goal is to come first” he said.

However in order to do so, they’ll have to fight their way through Oceania’s best.

According to Jimmah, there are a few teams Ground Zero have to keep an eye on if they want to come out on top again: “Renegades and Cringe Society are looking very strong and deserve a lot of respect out on the field. We definitely can’t count out Mindfreak either.”

With potentially a spot at the World Championship on the line, nerves are sure to pop up frequently. However, Jimmah and the rest of the team “make sure we’re feeling confident and prepared before we drive out onto the field.”

“We ride our wave of confidence in our training and make our way over any hurdles that come our way,” he added.

That confidence may prove a boon this weekend, as sixteen teams will be whittled down to eight in the next round of the Rocket League Oceanic Championship’s Regional Finals. 


Ground Zero will play their first match in the Swiss bracket against Vort Central on Sunday, follow them on Twitter for all the updates.

Find out more about XP Esports Intel Gamer Days at xpesports.gg

ProducerJosh Swift
Alex Leckie-Zaharic
Alex Leckie-Zaharic
The first Kiwi addition to the Snowball team, Alex "Alexicon1" Leckie-Zaharic is a keen League player, but will happily watch all kinds of esports given the opportunity. Alex is an up and coming young writer who has written for multiple Oceanic esports publications.

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