In about a month’s time, RLCS9 will kick off, and storylines are developing as roster lock approaches fast. Usually, we have a longer off-season, but with the Olympics-related event coming up later this year, RLCS9 was pushed up. This means we’ll probably see a lot of roster announcements coming soon. But until then, here’s the first batch of storylines you’ll want to make sure to keep an eye on for RLCS9.
Will Kaydop’s roster change bear fruits for RLCS9?
In what many would consider a shock announcement, Renault Vitality’s Kyle “Scrub Killa” Robertson revealed he was no longer on the team. Having won RLCS7 and lost out on back-to-back world championships by a single goal in RLCS8, Scrub was one of the best players in the world throughout 2019. However, his teammate Alex “Kaydop” Courant is known to only accept wins. Every time he has not won RLCS, he’s made a roster change. This time, it’s Kaydop himself who is staying, but rumors are floating about that he wants to exchange his Scottish teammate with a French-speaking one. Yanis “Alpha54” Champenois is the most likely candidate for this role.
So far, every time Kaydop has made a roster change, it’s worked out for him. Will it this time? And where does that leave Scrub? Can he continue to shine with a new team?
Will Firstkiller live up to expectations in his first RLCS season?
Scrub Killa was the prodigy in 2018 when he turned 15, and now that role falls on Jason “Firstkiller” Corral, who has finally come of legal RLCS age. He bears a lot of resemblance to Scrub as one of the best 1v1 players of his region and is a coveted player for many teams looking for an upgrade. Scrub, of course, lived up to the hype, albeit a season later. Can Firstkiller do the same? And which team will he join?
How will Cloud9 and G2 Esports get back on track?
One of the biggest shocks of the year was the bottom-two finishes of Cloud9 and G2. As the RLCS Season 6 winners and RLCS7 runner-ups, respectively, these two suddenly underperformed in Season 8 and faced relegation. While both teams managed to keep their spots for RLCS9, the question is what they will do to bring themselves back into the conversation of being the favorites.
Does the last-place finisher deserve direct relegation?
RLCS9 introduces direct relegation for the first time. With an upgrade to ten teams in the league, the last-place finisher will now directly relegate to the Rival Series. Previously, one bad week could mean disaster for your final placement, but now there will be more time to fix your bad results. However, with single round-robin, there are still only nine series to play during the regular season. Is this enough to determine that the 10th-place finisher doesn’t belong?