Following a seemingly sudden move to release Javier “Thinkingnade” Escamilla, Spacestation has signed Alex “Skys” Magor as its fifth player for the upcoming stage of the NAL and beyond.
In an interview with SiegeGG, Spacestation head coach Justin “Lycan” Woods mentioned that despite Thinkingnade’s “hiccup of commitment”, there was realistically only one person they would’ve made a change for; Skys.
Skys mentioned in an interview with SiegeGG that he had been contacted for this position after the Mexico Major, during which he had served as a desk analyst for the broadcast. He had most recently played for DarkZero Esports at the Six Invitational 2021, where the black-and-purple-clad team was bounced from the tournament in the first round of the lower bracket.
Following the event, Kyle “Mint” Lander moved into a coaching role and Skys stepped down.
Skys says he had six offers to return to playing -- good for two-thirds of the NAL. He wasn’t interested in four of them, as no “rebuild” teams were considered. Initially, he wasn’t interested in returning, but the timing and roster were just right.
“I always wanted to play with [Dylan] Bosco again, and getting to play with [Matthew “Hotancold” Stevens] was really enticing,” Skys said. “The roles made sense, and it’s a team I believe in”.
Spacestation finished first in NAL Stage 2, but was knocked out of the Mexico Major in the quarterfinal round. While Liquid was the dominant pre-Major choice to win the tournament by casters, analysts, and SiegeGG staff, several had predicted that Spacestation would win the tournament.
The move to replace Thinkingnade with Skys is more than a tad controversial. Lycan had said that the decision to move on from Thinkingnade had been out of an abundance of caution, but Spacestation has now picked up Skys, who also recently retired.
“I think that was a completely different issue,” Lycan said of Skys recently moving on from DarkZero. Additionally, both Skys and Lycan independently concurred that a large part of the decision hinged on the ability to reunite with Bosco and Hotancold. “After spending some time with him [Skys], he’s not someone that holds any desire to retire again any time soon.”
Spacestation’s seventh-place finish in Stage 1 makes this upcoming stage crucial to its hopes of qualifying for the Six Invitational. It needs a top-four finish and potentially a solid Major run to qualify for SI 2022. The NAL will return on Sept. 7.