Slater "Retals" Thomas, who last season turned out for the Pittsburgh Knights will be playing his Rocket League for Spacestation Gaming after the North American organisation confirmed his signing.
He had previously played as a stand-in for Alexandre "AxB" Bellemare, who he will now be officially replacing.
Retals joins Spacestation Gaming at an interesting time, they are firmly a top 3 side after reaching the Season 9 Regional Championship Grand Final, to be beaten by G2. Finals appearances in the Fusion RL and Codename: Covert, the former of which they won, cementing their status at one of the best teams in the game.
A poor showing in the BTS Summer Shuffle spelt the end for AxB though, moved to the bench and Retals coming in to take his place. Retals had found himself trying out for a number of teams after Season 9 wrapped up, he took to the field for Team Envy for the Fusion tournament, Rat Enterprises for Codename: Covert and The Peeps for the first qualifier of the ASTRONAUTS Star Circuit.
(Picture: Spacestation Gaming)
Whether Retals is a definite improvement on AxB though, is surely up for debate and with performances, on the whole, being so good over the last year it wouldn't be out of line to question if Spacestation might look back on this move and think of that old adage "the grass isn't always greener on the other side."
After all, AxB who is rumoured to be teaming up with ex-Cloud 9 members Kyle "Torment" Storer and Jesus "Gimmick" Parra for RLCS Season X, finished last season 6th in goals scored in the league(33), 10th in saves(69), and 3rd in MVP awards, behind only Massimo "Atomic" Franceschi and Justin "jstn." Morales, picking up no less than 12 throughout the season.
Retals does have the credentials though, he was the outstanding player for - an admittedly poor - Pittsburgh Knights last season, who never quite found their form after bringing in Austin "ayyjayy" Aebi to replace NIck "mist" Costello in the offseason. It should be noted though that since Retals has stood in for AxB they won the second qualifier of the ASTRONAUTS Star Circuit. defeating Rogue 4-1 in the Grand Final, though much tougher tests await.
We will find out if SSG has made the right move with this weekend's ESPN Invitational the first chance to see Retals as an official player, and that is of course before the start of RLCS Season X which will kick off next month.