Funded by venture capital money, Immortals, a new organization, which bought the Team 8 LCS spot, signed some of the best free agents in the scene and catapulted itself to the highest echelon of NA League of Legends. Despite dominating in the Regular Season, Immortals choked hard in the Playoffs of the 2016 Spring Split and once again in Summer, missing the boat on the World Championship. Following the disappointing result, the CEO of the team, Noah Whinston, announced that the org is allowing their players to seek opportunities elsewhere, while working to recuperate and get ready for the next season. Hiring of a new coach, David “Hermes” Tu, is a part of this campaign.
According to the official announcement on immortals.gg, Hermes should join the team’s performance coach, Robert Yip, to strengthen the infrastructure of the team. It seems like Immortals’ management has realised that it is not enough to have one of the strongest rosters in the region, at least not if you want to get farther than the Semifinals. It remains to be seen what the complete roster is going to look like in the Spring Split, however, keeping in mind what the org managed to build last year, the fans of the team should be hopeful.
The new coach is no spring chicken in the competitive League of Legends scene. He has coached teams like Renegades, EnVyUs, and NRG Esports. While his squads weren’t very successful overall, the talent he had to work with was not really close to what he is expected to have on Immortals. With a stronger roster comes a bigger skill ceiling, opportunities for strategic innovation open up. Hopefully, Immortals will manage to gather a roster as strong as they had in Spring 2016. After all, the constant battle of attrition between Team SoloMid, Counter Logic Gaming, Cloud9 and Team Liquid has been getting stale for a while prior to Immortals exploding onto the scene.
As far as the jump off point for building a team goes, announcing coaching staff before players seems to be a great idea. Unless the roster is locked in, Hermes should be able to provide some input on which players should work in his schemes. After all, there’s nothing worse than getting brought in to coach a roster which has already been locked in and finding out that one or even several players vehemently disagrees with your strategic vision. It remains to be seen how the next season is going to go for Immortals; however, let’s wish them the best of luck!