In the beginning, there were players. Then, Rito the Wonderful decreed that players must have coaches and coaches appeared. But the coaches sucked. Players didn’t respect their coaches, not seeing the use. And then, out of the mist at the base of a mountain, Weldon-sensei appeared and all was good. Literally all, because Weldon-sensei helped everyone who paid him. So much for altruism. Then, Reginald-sama, who loved his players more than anything, got his greedy little paws on Weldon-sensei and all was bad. For everyone but Team SoloMid, which had Weldon-sensei all to themselves. And then, the Master went off the rails and mouthed off about the Koreans. Reginald-sama had to distance himself from Weldon-sensei, for Koreans were powerful, Koreans were great. Reginald-sama needed Koreans more than he needed Weldon-sensei. At least that’s how the story goes. What really happened? Let’s try and figure out what really happened to make TSM agree to part ways with their eSports coach, Weldon Green.
Okay, to be serious for a second, coaching has been a serious issue in eSports for a long time. Usually, eSports teams are coached by former or high elo players who can’t hack it as professional players. Due to this, everything they know is often self-taught. Is it any wonder that coaching in eSports could be improved? Enter Weldon Green. With a background in sports psychology and coaching, he may not have been the most knowledgeable where it comes to League of Legends, however, his traditional skillset noticeably helped several teams to improve following him starting to work with them. After the 2016 Spring Split, where Weldon’s input helped TSM to come back from a disastrous regular season to place 2nd in the Playoffs, Andy “Reginald” Dinh made the decision to hire the coach full-time. What followed was a Golden Age for TSM, they had their most dominant split.
Everything wasn’t roses, however. The coach got into some hot water following around the time of Worlds, drawing the ire of Koreans after referring to them as psycho level nationalistic. In the official statement from TSM, where it’s announced that Weldon Green will no longer be a permanent TSM coach, it was said that, “We actively choose to remain on good relationships with our Korean scrim partners because we find that they are extremely beneficial to our team’s development as a whole. The statements that were made do not reflect the organization’s stance and beliefs towards them whatsoever, and we strive to keep these partnerships strong and healthy for the benefit of all.” Could it be that the coach is getting fired because these comments made it much harder for TSM to be able to scrim Koreans? It seems quite likely.
The decision to release the coach was also probably fuelled in part by the fact that permanent psychologists aren’t really needed most of the time. According to the statement, TSM “found that working with him in short periods of time proved to be more effective and will instead continue to consult and work with him for bootcamps. We are extremely grateful for all the work he has put into helping the team, and the lessons he has taught us will still be applied in his absence.”
Good luck, TSM, good luck, Weldon.