The Overwatch League is in the midst of a spectacularly frantic off-season. Players, coaches, managers and everything in between are being thrown around from team to team. So much so, that no more than a handful of teams are likely to even slightly resemble their 2019 selves. Because of that and the growing urge of team owners to field a mixed nationality roster — the importance of a good coach has never been so essential to success. Teams still have a long off-season ahead of them, so here’s a list of the top coaches still available to be signed, that will help whip their players into shape.
Lee “Arachne” Ji-won
Arachne is a former player for the legendary team Mighty AOD. Whilst not being a team with a spread of successes, this Korean Apex team has birthed the careers of many top tier OWL talents. Since departing this team, he began his coaching career with a brief stint in European competitions with an Israeli team. More recently, and most notably, Arachne held the position of head coach with the Talon Esports organisation. Talon has been poleaxing the competition in the Pacific region of Contenders for quite some time now and recently took their success to an international level at the Contenders Gauntlet.
Having coached a Pacific Contenders roster with a very diverse mix of nationalities to international success is a great indicator that Arachne has the potential to lead an OWL team to similar heights.
In a recent post made by this team on Twitter, it seems likely that Arachne has already found himself a position in the big league.
Xiong “nightmare” Jiaqi
Nightmare is one of the most experienced and well-qualified coaches in the entirety of the Overwatch scene. He has coached Chinese teams since late 2017, back when there was barely a Chinese Overwatch scene to speak of. His most notable coaching gig came in 2019, where he was given the assistant coaching role of the Chengdu Hunters’ academy team, LGE Huya. He left that team after they finished in first place during the most recent season of Chinese Contenders, to coach a mysterious new Chinese team named Neutral Break Gaming-Youth.
Not much is known about this team, but it’s not uncommon for teams to pop up out of nowhere in Chinese Contenders and perform well, à la Bubble Burster Gaming in 2019. There doesn’t seem to be much of a change within the Chinese OWL teams, or at least compared with the other teams, so despite his strong qualifications, this may not be a likely signing.
Cas “Casores” van Andel
In his relatively short coaching career, it doesn’t seem as though Casores has put a foot wrong. Scouted from the semi-successful European team One.PoinT, Casores spent his next two years as a player development coach for the Atlanta Reign. During this time with the Reign, he was constantly praised by every one of his peers for being hardworking and creative. According to this tweet by Reign head coach Brad “sephy” Rajani, Casores is an “amazing coach” and was only let go due to a change in the priorities of the organisation.
Recently, van Andel was at the helm of a surprisingly convincing run of performances in the Overwatch World Cup with Team Netherlands. There are quite a few English-speaking rosters that should be in the market for a coach like Casores. Because of this, his transfer back to the OWL should be on the cards.
Kim “nOrU” Jae-dong
As a long-time coach of the most successful Overwatch dynasty, nOrU deserves to be given a shot in the OWL. However, despite the team’s successes, he remains somewhat underappreciated by fans and pundits. Since joining RunAway, they have won two seasons of Contenders and two international tournaments in China. So despite falling just short of making Gauntlet finals this year, the team has achieved so much under the guidance of nOrU. With rumours circulating that the Florida Mayhem are interested in many of the RunAway roster, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some of their coaching staff go with them.
Lee “WhyNot” Ju-hyeop – Former player and Seoul Dynasty coach, deserves a second chance.
Kim “Coach815” Kwang-bok – Current head coach of Element Mystic and former London Spitfire coach.
Lee “Zelgadiss” Si-woo – Head coach and manager of the Korean Contenders team Gen.G.
Jung “Zinc” Kyung-ho – Young creative coach of the bombastic Chinese team Bubble Burster Gaming.
Dillain “LegitRc” Odeneal – Long list of coaching experience at all levels of competition.
Steven “Flubby” Coronel – Current head coach of European titans Gigantti.
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