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Announced on Twitter on Saturday, May 2nd, Joe “Innerflame” Elouassi has stepped down as Managing Coach of SK gaming. He has also made clear that he will only be pursuing a management position.

 

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Citing differences of opinion in direction of the team, as well as potential roster changes, Innerflame had this to say:

 

Hey Guys,

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I stepped down from my position as Managing Coach in SK Gaming after a year and a half of working for the organisation. I’m going to give some insight into my decision:

First of all, one thing that you should know about me is that I have built my career off scouting talent. I had mindset differences with certain members of the team about how younger and more skillful players have the potential to be better than older/smarter players. There was a certain stubbornness about this and it eliminated the usage of subs or maybe even future starting players in the future. This is not something I liked and I almost felt helpless not being willingly able to do so.

From the start of the split, we never really felt like a team. Some have publicly said it was 1-1-1-1-1-1 but I actually felt it was more like 2-2-2. We wouldn’t really go and do stuff together to be honest. Not necessarily because people couldn’t be bothered to, mostly because people didn’t have motivation to do something with people they particularly get along with. This caused an atmosphere that was almost awkward at times and people were too stubborn to not hold grudges. Eventually this built up and everyone has seen the result of this. The worst moment was the week before Madrid just after we lost 3-2 to UOL. I think most of the team was in disbelief after we lost, but that still doesn’t warrant not actually giving a shit whether we finish in 3rd or not.

Personally the laziness in general has climaxed and I find it very hard to motivate myself when not everyone (some I cannot doubt the effort from) around me is working to finish first.

When I took the job offer, it was to Manage the team. Something I have been doing my whole career and when I had the coaching part added to it, I was already unsure but I wanted to give it a shot. At least if things went wrong, I would know what to look for in a coach in the future. I was a good manager, I wasn’t that good of a coach. I was a valid 6th opinion in drafting but I wouldn’t go further than that. I would say my game knowledge is above average, however not what is required to coach a team that is aiming to compete on the highest international level.

I won’t go too much into detail, but I was kept in the dark largely about what is going to happen to the team next split. I had a vision for what the team needed next split, some in the team agreed with me. However, what is going to happen is in the opposite direction and deeply saddens me that SK chose that direction over mine. I have always thrived with authority and making smart changes here and there in my career, to not have any say is not in order and was the last straw for me. I’m not sure how well the guys will do next split, however I do hope they perform well and I wish them the best for next split.

I would like to go out of my way to thank Fox who has stuck by me the last year and been everything that I would want from a professional player. The guy barely touched another game this year and when others were playing those games, he was sitting there watching replays of apdo, faker or watching vods of his next midlane opponent. What a tremendous talent. Thank you for not only being a perfect professional but also being one of my best friends outside of the game too.

I wish everyone in SK the best and I hope everything with the team works out next split. I am considering doing an AMA in the upcoming days for people who have any questions.

Thank you SK for the time I had there. It almost feels weird not being a part of it anymore.