This London Spitfire news update has the team announcing that Head Coach Justin “Reprize” Hand has retired from coaching competitive Overwatch. Additionally, they have announced that Assistant Coach Mads “Fischer” Jehg has been promoted to fill the vacant position. In the video announcement, General Manager Ysabel “Noukky” Mueller details what the changes will mean for the team moving forward.
— London Spitfire (@Spitfire) May 21, 2021
The video essentially is just telling fans of the coaching changes, alongside the reasons as to why Fischer was promoted to lead the team. An interesting tidbit near the end, however, is that Noukky revealed that a new coach may also be joining the team shortly. So keep an eye out for a possible new addition to the squad.
In his twitlonger posted earlier today, Reprize gave clear reasoning for what led to this difficult decision:
Stepping down from coaching..
While there are many reasons why I have decided to step down as head coach, I want Spitfire fans to know that it has nothing at all do with my faith in the players or staff currently there. If anything my faith in them has encouraged me to make this decision sooner rather than later, because I have seen first hand how amazing they can be. They are some of the smartest most hard working and passionate group of people I have ever had the pleasure of working with and it breaks my heart to make this decision, but I believe it is ultimately for the best.
Along with my decision to step down, I’m going to be retiring from Overwatch coaching all together.
There are also some key points I want to make clear:
– Ultimately my decision came down to the fact that I didn’t live up to my own expectations in several areas and was not as effective of a head coach as I want to be or should be
– My coaching style is not what this team needs to succeed at its highest potential, and I care about this team too much to let the wrong person lead it
– This was not a sudden or reactionary decision and not a decision I would make at all if we did not have a smooth transition plan in place
– There is no drama or bad blood or anything like that. I love working with these people and we have shared many fond memories together. I wish them all the best and I know for a fact that with the right person at the helm, this team can do amazing things
Fischer Named New Head Coach
In dark times, there is still some light. After his dominant stint as Head Coach of the British Hurricane Fischer had been brought up to the Spitfire, finally achieving his dream of making it to the Overwatch League. Now he finds himself leading the squad, and he has released a video detailing his goals, and a taste of his vision for the team moving forward.
— London Spitfire (@Spitfire) May 21, 2021
Fischer talks of how this has been a fast transition for him. Talking of how it will take a bit of time to ease into the new role. Additionally, he asks fans to keep supporting the team and the players as they deal with this change. In regards to the team’s performance so far, Fischer speaks of how the team is filled with rookies. Players who have not competed at this level prior to this season. The May Melee was a necessary eye-opener to the level of play required to compete, and he believes that the team will take the lessons from this past tournament and become stronger moving forward. Fischer as well touches on Hero Pools and the team’s grueling strength of schedule for the June Joust.
This is a major change for the team to undertake so early into the season. Yet after a disappointing May Melee, it may be just what the team needs to correct their course. Reprize is and was a tremendous coach. Yet sometimes, as he detailed in his twitlonger it can just be the wrong fit. His style just wasn’t working to give the team their greatest chance at success at this level of play. Fischer on the other hand could be just what the team needs. He has extensive experience working with most of these players. Having been their coach during their most dominant times in EU contenders.
As he says though, these changes will not magically make the team start winning. There is still work to be done to turn the team’s season around. His familiarity with the Hurricane core, however, and his record as a Head Coach should give beleaguered Spitfire fans some hope. Already the results are promising. Their game against the Florida Mayhem showed a much-improved team. One capable of standing up to some of the more powerful foes the league possesses. Keep the faith Squadron, a bright future may be on the horizon.
Follow Ethan on Twitter @EthanButler for all your London Spitfire, Overwatch League, and Esports needs.
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