After falling just short of winning the LCS 2019 Summer playoffs, the Golden Guardians travelled to the land Down Under during their offseason to attend the Melbourne Esports Open (MEO).
With them came the Golden Guardians Academy coach, Nick ‘Inero’ Smith, who boasts a rich history coaching international talent from all over the world. From his work behind the scenes in the Oceanic Pro League to his big break taking the helm of Echo Fox in the LCS, Inero has seen it all. During all that, he’s even found time to become a champion of bringing Oceanic and wildcard talent to the North American stage.
Inero opened up to Snowball Esports about his thoughts on his Academy team’s performance and his plans for the off-season – which mainly includes many hours of grinding World of Warcraft Classic.
Welcome back, when was the last time you were in Australia?
Inero: Exactly one year ago, I was here for last year’s MEO. I was consulting with Order but since they weren’t in the finals at the time, I was able to attend MEO and watch the OPL finals as a fan.
Do you have much planned after the exhibition show match?
Inero: We’re planning to play some mini-golf at our hotel and meet up with some friends for drinks later.
How do you feel your split went this year in Academy?
Inero: I think GGA did really well. It was disappointing we came second, especially since we were destroying 100 Thieves in scrims. We lost on stage but that sometimes happens and I was happy with everyone’s progress.
Did you think the difference between scrims and stage cost you the loss?
Inero: There’s a lot of differences that come into effect when playing on stage. It doesn’t mean scrims are necessarily bad or good but it is a different kind of pressure and it’s good to see how people adapt under that.
Since you’ve picked up FBI and Lost, do you think there has been much progress made in terms of our region’s performance?
Inero: I think individually, it’s always getting better. When Victor (FBI) came over here (NA), there was so much to learn and there was so much he wasn’t expecting but that’s how it goes. There aren’t many regions to learn from here.
What are your plans for the offseason?
Inero: Planning for next year started immediately after our split ended but before I flew out here, I was grinding Classic WoW for 24 hours straight. Between that, I’ve been planning roster stuff, hoping to work individually with the guys and watching other regions.
How do you think NA will go at Worlds this year?
Inero: This is a tragic question, I don’t think it will be too amazing. I hope Cloud 9 and Team Liquid do well but I think whoever will make third seed will be doomed… Teams like G2 are literally having fun and I hope stuff like that will open more people to have more fun with the game. Teams like that don’t have me too confident about NA.
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