Where does the hype come from with Rocket League Championship Series rookie Daniel? Daniel Piecenski entered the professional Esports world in 2020 when he was just 13 years old. He reached Rank S in Rocket League 6 Mans, putting him at RLCS level. The minimum age to play in RLCS events is 15, so Daniel wouldn’t join the league until this year. He signed with Spacestation Gaming and is already competing at what many would say is at a “Rookie-of-the-year” level.
Despite his fanfare, Daniel has stiff competition for Rookie-of-the-Year. Daniel may be a top prospect, but other rookies like Seikoo and Vatira are performing well above what many would say is prospect level. Seikoo led Team Endpoint to wins in two of the three Fall regional events, making his team the top seed in Europe. Meanwhile, Daniel’s stellar play culminated in a peak of second place at the Winter Regional Event 1 – X Games Open.
During the Winter Europe Regional Events, Vatira made his case for Rookie of the Year. Team Queso took first place in two of three regional events, including a win over Team Endpoint in event three’s Grand Final. This matchup saw Vatira come face to face with his Rookie of the Year competition in Seikoo. Although Team Queso walked away with the victory, Vatira did not massively outplay Seikoo. Seikoo’s score across seven games was the highest on his team, with many asserting that Vatira got more production from his teammates.
Where was Daniel in all of this? Spacestation Gaming was bounced out of the playoffs in round one of the third North American Regional Event. The squad finished in 10th place, which is a bit of a regression from their performance in the Fall regional events before Daniel joined. Daniel has put together a great first showing, especially considering how young he is and the improvements he’ll be able to make from playing at RLCS level. But compared to others in the Rookie of the Year race, his team hasn’t accomplished enough to overtake players like Vatira and Seikoo.