By Ken Serra, @GGXChaobo
The off-season holds plenty of critical decisions to be made for Team Curse moving into the 2015 League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) season after finishing fourth last season, one spot away from a trip to the World Championships. Moving into the new season the organization has decided to renew the contracts of Joedat “Voyboy” Esfahani, Diego “Quas” Ruiz, Christian “IWillDominate” Rivera and Alex “Xpecial” Chu until October 20th, 2015. The team has also decided to restructure the support staff for the roster, and has added former LMQ Head Coach Peter Zhang and Sports Psychologist Jim Aphremow to better prepare our players for every match.
“Around mid-season, it became clear to me that coaching and structure are as important as individual skill, regarding overall performance of the team,” says Team Curse owner and CEO Steven “LiQuiD112” Arhancet. “This next season, I've decided to lease office space for the guys, hire a coach, retain our current analyst and add a sports psychologists to replicate a more traditional sports structure/management methodology for training. If the team does not perform well I'll hold the support staff responsible.”
Arhancet continued, “I’ve seen League of Legends evolve as an eSport, from a game of individual skill to a team based game. Simply outplaying in lane or making big plays won games a few years ago and that isn't the case anymore. The game has evolved to be more about teamwork: shared responsibility amongst teammates to improve, crisp and directive/informative communication, quick and smart strategic decision making from high in-game IQ. All of these things have become vital and can only develop with hard work and studying the game. Being mechanically proficient has become a requirement, not a differentiator. I’m of the belief that the quality of the support staff will define the success of teams in 2015 season. I hope those individuals I’ve chosen will represent and direct the team to victories on the rift.”
Team Curse began to take a positive turn in the middle of the 2014 LCS Summer Split; practices were taken more seriously when management stepped in and guided the players in the right direction and results were seen immediately, with the team finishing the season on an 8-2 run against eventual play-offs teams. “In the 2014 Season, we did some great things as a team and I felt like my individual playmaking and calls helped us go far,” says Team Curse solo laner Voyboy.
While a fourth place finish is heart-breaking, the team agrees that they can use it as motivation for the 2015 season, and with changes to the coaching structure and extra time to grow accustomed to the changes, Team Curse is in a position to become one of NA’s top teams.
“We fell short of reaching the World Championships and that was tough to deal with,” said Voyboy. “After all the hard work that was put in, the fact that we came so close and couldn't close it out in the end was difficult to come to grips with.
Voyboy continued, “Having had some time to reflect, I think that it's pretty clear that even if we had made it there, we still would not have been on the level needed to win the world championship. As that is my ultimate goal in playing League competitively, I will continually work hard and improve my own play while learning how to better make decisive game winning calls and plays for my team so that we can compete with the best. I don't just want to make it to the World Championships, I want to dominate and win it for everyone who believes in me. I will do everything in my power to see that happen.”
Team Curse was up 2-0 against LMQ in the match to decide a position at Worlds following their 3-2 loss. While it’s tough to handle a loss like that, rather than using it as a source for negativity, the team is using it as a tool for motivation. The decision to retain most of the current roster spawns from the direct improvement seen in the last stretch of the season that carried into a strong playoff performance.
“As for why I re-signed with Team Curse, I love my teammates and I believe that once we pick up a top tier ADC and put our best efforts into improving as a team, we will be in a prime position to take the world by storm next season,” says Voyboy in response to re-signing with Curse.
Quas echoed Voyboy’s message of positivity and advancement. “It’s a good opportunity to prove myself even more to the team and I’m excited to work with the new staff we are bringing in.”
The replacement for David “Cop” Roberson has not yet been finalized but Team Curse has negotiated with plenty of prospects and should hopefully have information for our fans in the coming weeks.
“We are looking for an ADC that has a lot of talent and is willing to work very hard,” said Team Curse support Alex “Xpecial” Chu. “I still believe the team has the potential to perform extremely well. With what we have in store for the next season, we can be a strong team, even by international standards.”
Team Curse has big plans for the future and the team wants to thank all of the fans that have continuously supported them. The team’s ultimate goal for the 2015 season is to break the “forever fourth curse” and bring home the Summoner’s Cup.
Our updated support staff are as follows:
- Head Analyst: Mark Zimmerman @CrsMarkZ
- Head Coach: Peter Zhang @CrsPeter
- Sports Psychologist: Dr. Jim Aphremow @goldmedalmind
- Manager: Steve Perino @Jokatweets
- Owner: Steven Arhancet @Liquid112
- Analyst: Chris White
- Analyst: Eetu Heiska
Note: The original post of this article had the title as "resigns" instead of "re-signs." It was a mistake by the editor and will not happen again.