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With more announcements, some more shocking than others, it’s time to look at what other storylines have presented themselves for RLCS9, which starts in just two weeks on Feb. 1. We already spoke of Renault Vitality, Firstkiller, G2 and Cloud9, and the direct relegation system. So what else has emerged?
Will Mist’s decision to leave Pittsburgh Knights come back to bite him in RLCS9?
Pittsburgh Knights exploded onto the scene, back then known as The Peeps, when they won Dreamhack Montreal ahead of their first season in the RLCS. They’ve been a hot topic over the last six months, and have since cemented themselves as one of the most dangerous teams in the world.
Despite disappointing results at the RLCS Season 8 World Championships, many still consider them to be a solid contender for next season. But then the rumors started: was Nick “Mist” Costello truly off the roster? All came to light when, unexpectedly, Rogue’s Austin “Ayyjayy” Aebi was announced as his replacement.
After their fifth-sixth place finish at the World Championships, team coach Julian “Moopy” Amador explained in a tweet that Mist said another team had asked him for a tryout, and that he wanted to take the opportunity. This meant that PK would start looking for his replacement, even if Mist wouldn’t get a spot on another team. They later found their replacement in Ayyjayy. But now that roster lock is approaching and many teams are confirming their rosters, where does that leave Mist?
The most logical answer is, of course, Rogue, who lost Ayyjayy. But is that a step up? Why did Mist leave a well-performing team? Rumors claim it was Cloud9 who wanted to try him out, but they have since confirmed their usual roster from previous seasons. Regardless of where Mist ends up, RLCS9 will reveal whether he made the right decision.
With Mognus and Metsanauris reunited at TSM, can Remkoe get back on top?
The legendary Finnish duo of Joonas “Mognus” Salo and Otto “Metsanauris” Kaipiainen has finally been reunited. Having split after RLCS Season 5, Metsanauris’ removal from the team was considered the worst roster move of RLCS history. The team subsequently bombed out of the RLCS the following season. Meanwhile, Metsa reached third place in the World Championships with his new team We Dem Girlz (now TSM).
With Yanis “Alpha54” Champenois finding Frencher pastures over at Renault Vitality, TSM had a spot open. Mognus filled that spot, who relegated with his team Complexity and then split up. While Remco “Remkoe” den Boer hinted at retirement after a disappointing season, he is now motivated to give it his all alongside the two Finns.
Having kicked Jordan “EyeIgnite” Stellon the season before, Remkoe admitted that perhaps he should have been the one removed. Can he handle the ever-rising level of the RLCS, or should we get ready to say goodbye to another veteran?
With Alpha parting ways, Metsa and I will be on the TSM roster for season 9. Gonna give it my absolute everything this year, confident we can make it a good one
— remkoe (@remkoe) January 3, 2020
Speaking of EyeIgnite…
Can EyeIgnite prove the doubters wrong?
From winning ELEAGUE and getting third place at the World Championships to losing out on Worlds altogether and getting removed from his team, EyeIgnite has seen significant career highs and lows.
With a completely new team alongside Alex “Extra” Paoli and Maik “Tigreee” Hoffmann, the Englishman made his way back into the RLRS, signed for AS Monaco. He then semi-cruised his way to second place in the league, and finished off the season in style by qualifying straight into the RLCS9. This came by defeating first-place finishers Discombobulators (now Endpoint) in the playoffs.
EyeIgnite is back where he belongs, and he’s as confident as ever. Tigreee also returns to the RLCS, while Extra will be making his debut. But the RLCS is a whole different beast, and the team will have to put everything on the table to keep their spot. Can they?
The RLCS is finally upon us, starting on Feb. 1 for North America and Feb. 2 for Europe. Stay tuned to Daily Esports for all RLCS and Rocket League news.
Michael Kloos is a Dutch esports journalist and enthusiast with a particular like of Rocket League and VALORANT. He is also an avid fantasy/sci-fi reader and writer. He spends most of his time trying not to be in the real world.