Team SoloMid fires head coach
The second League Championship Series (LCS) team in a week has lost its head coach.
Team SoloMid has let KC “Woodbuck” Woods go, notifying the coach that his services are no longer required last night.
Woods, 26, was hired in November thanks to the combination of his maturity and experience as a pitching coach for high school, brought on to facilitate the players learning League of Legends rather than teaching it himself. Team owner Andy “Reginald” Dinh believed an older voice was needed over the youth present on his previous coaching staffs. Apparently, he’s now changed his mind.
That could be thanks to results, a harsh reality facing any coach in any sport. Team SoloMid is currently 7-3 and in second place in the LCS. That’s a great position, but not the spot Dinh hoped they’d be in after bringing together an all-star roster of players at some time considered the best in their positions in Western League. But the team is on an upwards trajectory, posting back-to-back 2-0 weeks, showing signs that they’re improving after a slow start.
The team has not yet commented on Woods’ dismissal. And until they do, it’s unlikely we’ll get a clear picture. But SoloMid’s VP of marketing and League general manager Leena Xu tweeted and deleted a comment that implies there’s more to the story than simply poor results.
Fans have a fairly unique perspective on what might be happening behind the scenes at SoloMid thanks to their documentary series TSM: Legends, including some conversations between Woods and players. But the coach, who left a job as a student counselor at USC to come to Team SoloMid, has been diplomatic about his ousting, quelling fan speculation that conflict with specific players led to his dismissal.
Earlier this week, Nicolai “Hazel” Larsen from Origen. Unlike Origen, the American side still features a coaching staff, including the Strategic Coach they hired alongside Woods, Josh “Jarge” Smith.
The dismissal leaves a checkered past for coaches with experience in sports. In May, Counter Logic Gaming hired Chris “Blurred Limes” Ehrenreich, who had experience on a football coaching staff, to head their operations. But they released him in October just after the World Championships. Woods, with his baseball background, has now followed a similar trajectory, but lasted even less time with Team SoloMid.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr