In the build-up to RLCS Season 9, we have seen a good number of roster changes, although fewer than previous seasons.
As always, we can expect there to be some drama but it should be no surprise to see NRG stick together for this season… after all, they did win Season 8. A few teams decided to follow on in similar fashion: Afterthought, Cloud9, G2 Esports, Eunited and Spacestation have all not made any changes to their teams.
With that said, here are the North American teams who have made roster changes for the start of Season 9.
Flight Esports — formerly RBG Esports — was made up of newly-promoted Jalen “rapid” Parker, Sebastian “Sea-Bass” Becerra and Daniel “Aeon” Dunfee.
However, after qualifying for the RLCS through the Rival Series, they decided that Aeon was not working out for them, leading to Aeon’s removal from the team: a decision which came with a lot of criticism from the RLEsports Reddit.
RBG then let go of their remaining players, rapid and Sea-Bass, who formed Flight and brought in Michael “Memory” Moss, who was most recently benched on Ghost.
This team is not expected to make much noise. Only time will tell if they can show up when it matters or not.
After Ghost benched Memory, they decided to pick up North American prodigy, Jason “Firstkiller” Corral.
Any honeymoon period was short-lived as, after Firstkiller had been part of the roster for one month, Ghost decided to give him the boot, possibly due to some older twitch clips DramaRLert found.
Firstkiller has removed @GhostGaming from his profile 🤔— Drama RLert (@DramaRLert) January 18, 2020
Needing a third for RLCS, Ghost acquired Nick “mist” Costello, who was recently released from the Pittsburgh Knights.
This is a promising roster for Ghost Gaming, who for the past four seasons in the RLCS have failed to qualify for LAN despite making a roster change each season.
After a successful debut in the RLCS, this off-season, mist decided to try out with other RLCS teams.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. #PKRL is cleared for the 3PM EST RLCS game. Expect clear skies with a bit of turbulence this evening and enjoy the boys taking Flight for the first match of 2020:— Pittsburgh Knights (@KnightsGG) February 8, 2020
🦁 #PKRL #KnightsNation pic.twitter.com/U20k4ImWiX
Although his teammates Jirair “ExplosiveGyro” Papazian and Slater “retals” Thomas said they were fine with this, they stipulated that mists’ spot might be at risk (more information on this for those interested).
After mist took tryouts with other teams, the Knights took this opportunity to start practicing with new thirds. They decided on Rogue’s Austin “AyyJayy” Aebi who has now joined the Knights full time.
This new iteration of the Knights is going to be a big threat to NRGs number one position in North America. No doubt they will make some noise next season.
After the Knights poached Ayyjayy, Rogue’s remaining two members, Nicholas “Wonder” Blackerby and legend Cameron “Kronovi” Bills, took advantage of Ghost releasing Firstkiller and signed him for themselves.
Last season, Rogue went quickly downhill from Week One. In the end, they pulled through with two big wins over Cloud9 and NRG in the final week to avoid the promotion tournament.
Being AyyJayy’s replacement, Firstkillers has big shoes to fill. But there can be little doubt that he is the right choice for this squad. The young talent also gets the privilege of being under RLCS veteran Kronovi’s leadership.
As for the rest of the NA RLCS teams — G2 Esports, NRG, Cloud9, Afterthought and eUnited — they have all decided to stay together for another season.