Ivan “Johnta” Shevtsov is no longer the head coach of FunPlus Phoenix’s VALORANT team, the Chinese organization announced today.
The 33-year-old Ukrainian had been coaching FPX since December and most notably helped them win the VCT 2021 Europe Stage Two Challengers One over Guild Esports in April. The decision to part ways with Johnta comes after the team's early exit at the VCT 2021 EMEA Stage Two Challengers Finals, which was their chance to qualify for the VCT Masters Reykjavík.
This was Johnta's first professional experience in VALORANT, but it was the second time he worked with FPX's in-game leader Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow. They met in 2016 when the Ukrainian coach became the head coach of HellRaisers' CS:GO team.
"Thank you for your leadership and dedication to FPX," the Chinese organization wrote on Twitter. "We would like to wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors."
Johnta, on the other hand, wrote a TwitLonger to tell his side of the story. The 33-year-old said the decision was "pretty shocking" for him.
"I feel that the communication could have been better, and I am sorry that the board did not recognize the full potential of my effort and contribution to the team," Johnta said. "But we had a bad tournament, the needed result was not achieved and they are in right to make any decisions. I think the team had good progress under my leadership and I feel the team was glad to work with me. Anyway, it is what it is. I don’t have any negative vibes about it."
Now that he's a free agent, Johnta wants to continue coaching in VALORANT instead of moving back to CS:GO. The Ukrainian revealed that FPX's analyst Erik "d00mbr0s" Sandgren has been promoted to the head coaching role, but that has yet to be confirmed by the Chinese organization.
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