The period of change known as the preseason is just getting going, ladies and gentlemen. While some teams shore up their rosters with better players in the roles which are their weakest, other organizations look to make their coaching staff stronger. In some other teams, the changes are seemingly involuntary, when staff members or players elect to take a Split off in order to recuperate after several years of competition in a coaching or playing capacity.
The first news of this nature dropped when Team SoloMid’s Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng announced his intention to take a break from competitive playing to take some time and live life a little, while growing his brand through YouTube and live streaming. Now, Origen announced that their coach, Alvar “Araneae” Martin chose to follow in Doublelift’s footsteps. In the official post on the matter, Origen maintains that Araneae is stepping down due to personal reasons rather than the team’s disappointing results in the EU Summer Split 2016.
“I’ve been coaching teams for more than two years, and played as a professional for four years before that. After all this time, travelling around the world constantly, my body needs a break and my family needs me to be here in Spain. I would like to thank Origen for the opportunity and all the fans for the support I received while working here. My love to all of you guys and #keepsimiling,” said Araneae in the official announcement.
Without a Bot Lane, Origen are currently far from having all of their ducks in a row, ready to play the 2017 Spring Split. Of course, keeping in mind that the LCS should begin sometime in the Winter of 2017, they have a lot of time. With a well known brand and the Superstar owner, Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez heading it up, many prospective Bot players should be lining up to help out the limping org, which had to go through a relegation crisis after finishing the 2016 Summer Split in 9th place with a 2-8-8 record.
Now, the team lost their coach. Trying to replace him, Origen decided to go with someone they know instead of hiring a complete unknown quantity. They replaced Araneae with Titus “LeDuck” Hafner, the guy who has coached the team already in 2015, culminating in both sides mutually deciding that it would be best if he left due to their differing opinions. While it is pure speculation, the friction between the coach and the org probably came from the fact that the role of a coach is massively underrated by the Origen owner and his players. It’s been reported that if the LCS rules didn’t require teams to have coaches, Origen wouldn’t have one at all. Speculating further, the only situation where LeDuck might consider resigning with Origen should involve that changing.
Concerning the whole matter, LeDuck said in a statement: “The fact that I’m joining Origen might strike many as an odd move, but any differences I had with Origen have been resolved and I’m really excited to work with Origen once more for the next season. As head coach I plan to involve more people in the staff to help us gain an extra edge not only in the analysis department, but also to pay attention to the lifestyle of the players. We will learn from the most successful teams out there and establish new training methods to make players get full benefit out of their practice. It might not be smooth sailing from the very start, but with hard work, dedication and a positive mindset we are confident that we will be able to compete with the strongest in Europe again. A special thanks to all the fans who stuck with Origen throughout the hard times, you mean the world to the players and I hope you will continue to cheer for us in the upcoming season.”
It might be just us, but it certainly looks like Origen is finally abandoning their bullheaded player-focused mindset and embracing the assistance of staff who want nothing more than to help them grow and be the best team they can possibly be. Of course, you can “intend” all you want, that doesn’t mean that it will necessarily work. We will just have to wait and see, won’t we?