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Splyce Manager Grant Rousseau on the life of a LoL manager and forming the 2018 Splyce team

A clear strategy from the beginning is key to picking the right roster and having a successful season. That was Splyce’s plan going into off-season and they got what they wanted.

LIFE OF A MANAGER

It’s fair to say the life of an LCS manager is a varied one, as the role is vastly different from team to team. But on Splyce, you’re on call 24/7, and every day there’s something new to do.

The basics include making sure players are paid, they have a roof over their head, their computers work, there’s food available and that they’re happy outside the game. Those jobs may seem simple, but their impact is huge. I learned over my career that completing those tasks efficiently doesn’t go unnoticed and leads to a happier team.

Backstage

Backstage during the 2017 EU LCS

That’s the easy part. Outside all that administration is where my job gets tricky. At Splyce I have to be the authority for the players. It is my job to make sure they’re on time for practice, that they take practice and scrims seriously, and to let them know when they’re not reaching expectations. Over the years, I have certainly given out my fair share of verbal and written warnings. This aspect of the job can sometimes make me seem like a villain to the players, and is by far the worst part of my job- but is a necessary evil to help them reach their true potential.  Nobody wants to get their players upset or angry, but if it means that in the long run they'll be happier due to better performing better on stage, then I'll take on that challenge.

However it’s the little things that happen every day that bind us together as a team. I help when something in their room breaks, when they receive a letter they don’t understand, and when they lose their keys at 2 AM and need to get into the house. I have so much respect for our players and what they do, and I feel that a little bit of kindness goes a long way in keeping our relationship strong.

Keeping your players’s basics covered, keeping them happy so they can focus on the game, and consistently pushing them to be better every day is what managers do- and while their work isn’t often visible, over the course of a split, it does make a difference.

 
BTS

Behind the scenes: Practising in the Splyce gaming house

SPLYCE'S OFF SEASON

Peter Dun

Peter Dun

Going into this offseason, Splyce CEO and co-owner Marty ‘Lazerchicken’ Strenczewilk and I decided to build our team around our coach. Finding the figure who could be a leader and had serious analytical ability was a challenge. We vetted a lot of candidates and received a lot of recommendations, but we were lucky enough to come across Peter Dun, a coach who is not well known in Europe and North America but was strongly recommended due to his success in Brazil and China. It took just two interviews to know he was the one for us. Any success that comes of these next two splits will certainly be in large part down to him as we mould this team to his style and design of play.

With him onboard, designing the correct squad and balancing that against the team’s budget was the most difficult task. We gathered all of the Splyce staff together and discussed everything from whether we wanted to keep the old Splyce roster, or if we wanted to recruit some new imports, and everyone’s opinions came into play while we put together our strategy. I remember being awake until 4 to 5 AM every day once free agency opened just to keep a list of who was available, who was talking to which teams and more. Peter was with me all the way, as it was the only way to know where Splyce stood against other teams in terms of offers. I hadn’t quite appreciated just how much work and how crazy the off season would be once player contracts ended. I lost track of the hours I was awake that week for sure- but I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. It’s the most exciting time of year where you really come alive as a manager.

PICKING OUR SQUAD

So with Peter’s ideology of how to run a team, we wanted to create three pillars of balance:

  1. POSITIVE MINDSETS: We wanted all five players to be easy to work with, and to have a positive approach towards learning.

  2. GROWTH POTENTIAL: We wanted two younger players who held massive growth potential, and three more experienced players to support them.

  3. DEFINED ROLES: We wanted a balance of two large voices and shot callers who were reliable and could perform consistently well under pressure. We also wanted one more mechanic-focused player who could carry. And the final two could fit into either of those roles according to what was relevant to the team.

This wasn’t an easy task when we put all three of those objectives forward as we looked to build the team. What was clear though is we had a strong strategy going into off season and we knew who we wanted based off of this design. I’m incredibly happy with the five players we chose - Odoamne, Xerxe, Nisqy, Kobbe and kaSing - and they fit our plans perfectly. I’ll let you figure who fits into which pillar!

With that in mind, I believe this team has huge potential under Peter’s leadership. Our goal for this year is simple - seeing the Splyce name competing once again at Worlds.

 

Splyce Squad

The 2018 Splyce Team. From Left to Right: Peter Dun (Head Coach), Odoamne (Top), Xerxe (Jungle), Nisqy (Mid), Kobbe (ADC), kaSing (Support), Grant Rousseau (Manager)

 

SPLYCE WILL TAKE ON FNATIC IN THE FINAL MATCH OF THE DAY ON FRIDAY JANUARY 19TH AT 18:00 CET.

TUNE IN ON WATCH.LOLESPORTS.COM TO SEE THEIR NEW ROSTER IN ACTION!