Today, in a bid to avoid another disappointment, the team revealed a new coaching staff.
Chris “Blurred Limes” Ehrenreich will take over as Head Coach, with the team’s analyst Tony “Zikzlol” Gray moving up to the Strategic Coach position.
If you’ve never heard of Ehrenreich, that’s no surprise. He comes from a background in sports management, studying at Clemson University, where he worked with the school’s football team. That doesn’t mean he isn’t intimately familiar with League of Legends—he’s a Diamond player, after all—but his expertise comes in coaching itself.
As the head coach, Ehrenreich will take an overarching role in managing the structure surrounding the Counter Logic Gaming team.
That leaves Gray to handle the nitty-gritty in-game dynamics. He’ll be the man appearing on stage behind the team during the pick and ban phase at LCS matches.
It’s a setup somewhat similar to those of American professional sports franchises. In the NFL, for example, the head coach is often more in a managerial position, while the offensive coordinator and position coaches handle the details. That’s no accident considering Ehrenreich’s background. He’s well positioned to lend an authoritative hand to Counter Logic Gaming, something the team has lacked over the past few years.
In a video introduction, Ehrenreich outlines his vision for the team:
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“CLG has brought me in to basically try to replicate what traditional sports in north America do, and what they do right, is most important,” he explains.
“A lot of people talk in esports about copying what Korea does. you always hear well SKT has two mid laners, we should get two mid laners. When I first spoke to CLG i proposed we do more than that. Do everything. We want to bypass copying just Korea and copy organizations in America that are already more successful. They brought me in to really flesh out our infrastructure here at Counter Logic Gaming.”
One thing he wants to focus on is “player health,” enforcing a strict workout regimen in addition to gaming practice. Counter Logic is taking a more hands-on approach to practice, making sure the players are focusing on improving specific things every time they play—whether it’s in scrims or solo queue games.
“They wasted a lot of time in the past, and we are making sure that is no longer an option for the players,” Ehrenreich says.
“There’s a million different things that we can take from regular or more traditional sports and apply it to esports athletes, to really foster a great environment for them and help them progress way beyond esports. We’ve only got so many years of being athletic whether that be on the football field or in the gaming chair, so we really want to makes sure we’re fostering our athletes and growing them.”
We’ll have to wait and see if Ehrenreich can make good on his ambitions. But it’s encouraging to see Counter Logic Gaming trying something new to fix the issues that have plagued them for years.