OW Beacon reported late last night that Head Coach of the Chengdu Hunters, Xingrui “RUI” Wang, is stepping down due to health issues. The Hunter announced the departure on Weibo, a Chinese equivalent to Twitter, but have yet to make an official announcement on their English Twitter.
RUI was formerly the coach of the Shanghai Dragons in Season 1 but decided to step down in Stage 3 due to his health. He made his return to coaching only a few months later for Team China in the 2018 World Cup. RUI was later was picked up as a head coach for the Chengdu Hunters for the 2019 season.
— OW Beacon (@OWBeacon) November 17, 2019
The OW Beacon also posted a translation of Coach RUI’s own personal statement regarding the departure. In the report, RUI expresses a lot of his health concerns and apologizes to fans.
He details how he wanted to quit earlier in the season, though he felt it would hurt the team, the players and the fans if he suddenly left again. He decided to stay until the season ended, despite backaches and headaches.
RUI also admits that he had made plans in the off-season to upgrade the Hunters roster and coaching staff. But his plans fell apart as the World Cup started and his health problems returned. He explains, in particular, how hard it was to travel for the World Cup. For the entire trip, he suffered from fevers, numbness and cramps. He goes on to acknowledge that OWL 2020 schedule, which would require him to travel bi-weekly, would be especially hard on him.
As of yet, it is unclear who will become the new head coach for the Hunter. The Hunters have a lot of support staff members, and they may promote one of them. Chang “Ray” Chia-Hua, currently the assistant coach, is a likely candidate.
However, the departure explains why the Hunters have had an unusually quiet off-season. The addition of the DPS player, Huang “leave” Xin, was announced back before the start of Stage 4. But so far, that has been the only roster announcement/change the Hunter’s have made. RUI admitted they had planned to make more changes to the roster, but couldn’t.
A new coach has probably been a priority for the organization. Until a new coach is announced, it is hard to say in what direction the team will head. Or what roster moves, if any, will be announced in the future.
The Hunters are the only full Chinese team and have taken a lot of their talent from China’s Contenders scene. A replacement will likely be from there- unless the organization plans to make massive changes.
RUI left the door open on whether he would return or not, suggesting he might become a caster or a streamer. But he made a point that he would “continue to fight for the CNOW scene in a different way”.
Featured photo credit to Robert Paul For Blizzard Entertainment
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