Soon after the former Luminosity Gaming lineup of Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, Fernando “fer” Alvarenga, Marcelo “coldzera” David, Lincoln “fnx” Lau, and Epitacio “TACO” Pessoa won the ESL One Cologne 2016, the second $1M Major of the year, their coach, Wilton “zews” Prado, announced that he’s leaving the team to join the next strongest Brazilian team, Immortals (formerly Tempo Storm). The kicker is that he won’t be coaching them. Instead, he will be the team’s In-Game Leader, replacing Gustavo “SHOOWTiME” Gonçalves.
In the organization’s announcement concerning the surprising roster move, zews explained his choice to leave the coaching position on the best team in the world to join the other team in a playing role. He said, “Like most, the dream to play is always there. After getting news that the Immortals players wanted me to lead them, that dream was rekindled instantly. Immortals is the kind of organisation that doesn’t make hasty decisions. Every detail is analyzed before something like this is decided and the fact that they believe in me to this team just makes me more confident in myself and what I can do. I feel Immortals has everything that a winning team needs. Their pure, raw talent and incomparable passion have already lead them to high moments in their careers. Still, they didn’t feel it was enough, and trusted me with helping them to take the next step. I will not let them down. I leave SK a two time major champion and no one can take that away from me. I have worked insanely hard for that, but now it’s time for a new challenge and a chance to live out my dream of playing. Now it’s time to prove myself again. I will not let myself fail.”
It’s hard to know whether zews can hack it as a player immediately, however, his strategic understanding should certainly be up to snuff, having led the best team in the world. His experience and leadership qualities should more than make up for any shortcomings on the server, especially when you remember that he always dreamed of being a pro player. He will probably train himself to the bone, until he is not a detrimental part of the Immortals puzzle as a player.
After hearing about the roster move, I immediately thought about what is going to happen with the current coach of Immortals, Rafael “zakk” Fernandes. One possible outcome is that the authority zews brings with him hailing from his position as the coach of SK Gaming will drastically reduce the authority of zakk. This would be bad because it’s extremely hard to coach a team you play in yourself, the playing roster needs the objective opinion of their coach to function. Zews’ opinion might be valued over zakk’s by the rest of the players, though. Another possible outcome is that the two coaching experts meet each other in the middle, talk their problems out and work together to make the team the best it can be, with zews bringing the players’ problems to the coach, talking it out between them and making the right decisions together, with no ego in play. I would vastly prefer this outcome. It would result in great results for the newly refreshed Immortals roster.