When Brandon “Saintvicious” DiMarco unexpectedly announced his retirement last week, a move to a coaching position seemed natural for the knowledgeable veteran player. He understands the game well and proved an avid shot caller for Gravity Gaming. He’s already teaching League of Legends with his “LoL Lessons with Saint” video series.
Today a team announced DiMarco as their new head coach. It just wasn’t the team most were expecting.
DiMarco is joining Team Coast, the recently relegated former League Championship Series (LCS) side that put together one of the worst seasons in LCS history, as their new head coach. That means DiMarco truly is leaving Gravity Gaming.
“I am really excited to work with the Coast organization and start building a stronger team from the ground up to make it into the LCS and shoot for worlds,” DiMarco said. “I think this is a great opportunity and an excellent chance to prove that I have what it takes to be a strong coach in the LCS.”
In many ways that statement is as canned as they come, but DiMarco is one of the few players who can boast he’s done just what he claims: built a team from the ground up that made it into the LCS.
Doing that again with Team Coast will certainly be a challenge. The squad is slated to compete in the Challenger Series, assuming they keep three players from last season’s team on the roster. That currently leaves them with Cristian “Cris” Rosales in the top lane, Brandon “DontMashMe” Phan at AD carry, and Kevin “KonKwon” Kwon at support. But considering the team’s history and 1-17 LCS record last split, DiMarco may be better off with a full rebuild.
Ownership, for their part, seems committed to DiMarco.
“We have a lot of work to do to rebuild the team, and regain the trust of the community,” Coast’s owner, David Slan said. “Saintvicious will be given the authority he needs to make those changes, and improve Team Coast. We can’t think of a better person for the job.”
Team Coast wasn’t the veteran’s first choice. DiMarco notes that he inquired about the Counter Logic Gaming coaching spot, but the team had already made a selection by that time. Coast, which has struggled to find its footing in the LCS, doesn’t have the best reputation among fans. But while DiMarco said this was a concern “concern,” he also thinks that earning three months of valuable coaching experience outweigh the risks.
It’s an unexpected turn for one of League’s veterans, but it sounds like the right one.