2021 LCS Off-Season: Guilhoto to Team Liquid, Mithy to 100 Thieves
Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez, former Fnatic and Cloud9 head coach, will reportedly join 100 Thieves and work alongside Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu as an assistant coach. Additionally, André “Guilhoto” Pereira Guilhoto, perhaps best known for coaching Origen, Schalke 04, and (most recently) Immortals, will move on to Team Liquid and assume the role of head coach.
These are hugely important signings, and even though they might not be as bombastic or exciting as, say, Martin “Rekkles” Larsson’s decision to sign for Karmine Corp, they’re nonetheless incredibly impactful and are more than worthy of our time and attention.
It’s easy to get carried away by unexpected twists and multi-million dollar contracts — we’re all guilty of getting swept by the big headlines and signings. Still, one could argue that coaching staff changes deserve equal amounts of attention — these individuals set the whole team up for success and yet rarely do they get enough credit. They’re the ones crunching the numbers, going over tons of data, reviewing VODs, coming up with unique strats and team comps, and keeping track of what’s popular in different regions across the globe. It’s no coincidence that the most successful teams often have the most stacked coaching staff with nutritionists, analysts, cooks, strategic coaches, sports psychologists, and so on.
And, well, a seasoned head coach with a proven track record is worth his weight in gold, especially if he’s a pedagogue and a mentor, someone who truly understands what the players are going through.
So, needless to say, if you’re a fan of 100 Thieves or Team Liquid, it’s the signings like these that carry a ton of weight, and they often fly under the radar.
Guilhoto to Team Liquid
This one was to be expected; Guilhoto’s approach is a perfect match for how Team Liquid wants to play the game: slow, subdued, macro-oriented, and, well, perhaps a bit boring. It’s all subjective, of course, but it’s not exactly the most entertaining style of play, especially in today’s skirmish-heavy meta.
Be that as it may, the man’s got a stacked resume and is well known for his game knowledge, so it’s not like he’s a bad pick-up — far from it. How well he’ll handle Team Liquid’s upcoming line-up remains to be seen, though. There’s a lot of potential with the former four-time LCS champions, but things will need to “click” for them to reclaim the North American throne.
Mithy to 100 Thieves
This change, however, came out of nowhere. Mithy did great work with Cloud9, so it was only natural to assume that the two parties would continue their working relationship. Still, it seems that 100 Thieves gave him an offer that was too good to refuse. They’re the reigning LCS champions. The assistant coach role is not only less taxing on one’s psyche, but it’s also a lot more forgiving — no one’s writing hate mail to the assistant coaches, that’s for sure.
Moreover, Mithy will surely learn a ton from a veteran like Reapered, nay, a legend whose reputation and stacked trophy case speak for themselves. An opportunity to observe such a master at work seldom presents itself. And, well, with Mithy aboard and absolutely no roster changes whatsoever, 100 Thieves will rightfully be considered as the biggest frontrunners to win the 2022 LCS Spring Split.
Who’ll take over Cloud9 remains to be seen, but rumor has it that Nick “LS” De Cesare might be assuming the role of the head coach, which, in all fairness, sounds pretty darn exciting. In any case, we’re bound to find out in just a few days, so stay tuned!