Including Ghost Gaming & Rogue
We’ve already looked over the Rocket League EU roster moves, the good bad and the ugly, so let us do the same for NA. Four sides entered this season with new rosters so let us see how these new rosters fared.
Flight - rapid, Sea-Bass, Memory
The deck was already stacked against the former RBG roster even with Aeon, and who knows, maybe they would ultimately be a one-season wonder even with Aeon. However the decision to kick him with no replacement in mind left Flight picking up whoever was available, and that turned out to be Memory. Now what made Aeon the key to Flight’s promotion to RLCS was his playmaking ability, to set up Sea-Bass & rapid to succeed with little resources. Memory, while talented in his own right, isn’t what you’d call boost efficient, or clutch playmaker material. Therefore given the team cohesion, or the lack of it rather, all three players had very lacklustre seasons. Memory found himself this past season spending the most time on zero boost, a stark contrast to teammate rapid who was 3rd in boost consumed per minute. This resulted in one of his statistically poorest seasons since the SetToDestroy days, bottom five in goals per game and lowest in shooting percentage. In terms of setting up his teammates, he couldn’t even lead his team, tied with the already super aggressive rapid, who arguably given the teams circumstances, played for himself than the team. With only passing plays Flight would ever pull off were clears downfield, it was no wonder they demoted back to RLRS.
Rogue - Wonder, Kronovi, firstkiller
After AyyJayy departed for the greener pastures of Pittsburgh Knights, and mist ended up going to Ghost Gaming, it left Rogue with little choice but to snap up the recently eligible firstkiller. Now while he’s not adapted to RLCS with grace, he’s established himself as the star player on Rogue by a mile. While high saves per game is a sign of a team constantly on the back foot and at the bottom of the table (which Rogue are), unlike saviour of the season Hockser, who has his two eUnited teammates 5th & 6th in saves, firstkiller who is second in that stat, has his teammates both in the bottom ten. So while he’s saving the squad n the backline, he’s a match for both Wonder * Kronovi’s strongest aspects simultaneously. He is tied with Kronovi in assists per game while being not too gar off Wonder’s team-leading 0.65 goals per game.
Overall, despite Rogue finally succumbing to the relegation tournament, its a fate they would honestly not have avoided with AyyJayy anyways, they arguably should be there twice by now already, however with both honestly solid showings from Kronovi & Wonder, this might be Rogue’s most consistent season yet. Ultimately firstkiller had big shoes to fill, and while he does not have that miracle solo carry form in him yet, he has the makings to lead Rogue forward and usher in a new era.
Pittsburgh Knights - ExplosiveGyro, Retals, AyyJayy
When mist declared intentions to tryout for other sides, the Knights took no chances and were quick to snap up AyyJayy. Often touted as a player too good for Rogue, many were excited to see him on a roster worthy of his quality. Unfortunately, his addition has dragged PK outside of even playoffs contention, as his famed inconsistency has plagued the entire roster now. Mist was the anchor, the third man for Knights, while AyyJayy is a very aggressive player. His arrival forced Gyro to play 3rd man this season, and quite frankly he didn’t do a stellar job at it.
But you would think AyyJayy’s explosiveness would aid the Knights on offence? Well, he did on occasion, but he isn’t the primary goalscorer or playmaker for his side. He fits the bill of a “100 boost player”, someone who needs a full canister to play effectively, and when Retals is on your team, boost is a premium, and while Retals did perform well this season, he ultimately had to come back to aid on defence far too often, as AyyJayy & Gyro combined could not fill mist’s void. The inconsistency of AyyJayy really shone through in matchdays six and seven. Two game five losses to the Soniqs & NRG have hope to the then 2-4 side to still push for playoffs, but the next weekend they were falling flat to AyyJayy’s former squad in Rogue. It is a shame for a roster that is obviously talented, but ultimately we learned this season that AyyJayy’s talents only go so far, and it's a mid-tier RLCS talent at best.
Ghost Gaming - Allushin, Atomic, mist
The arrival of mist was as the move to propel Ghost to new heights. Ironically, the next truly great third man or anchor left PK to find a squad where he could be more involved on attack. However, he has slotted into Ghost with no issues as they achieved their best season yet. While Atomic is the bonkers clip hitting attacker, mist and Allushin seem to alternate who’s getting the rest of the goals based on the day, while the other slots into the third man role. Despite this, mist outperforms Allushin on both sides of the pitch, near the top of the savers per game leaderboard while second in his team for both goals and assists, impressive for someone spending 52% of time in the defensive third.
Of course, mist isn’t the sole reason for Ghost’s success. Atomic has gone nuclear with some of his performances and Allushin continues to go under the radar with solid to great showings week in week out, but should those guys fall short or need covering, mist is on hand more often than not save Ghost, being the rock to Ghost finally being consistent, making mist to Ghost Gaming the best NA roster move this season.
Image via Psyonix