CBLoL teams are heavily investing in import players from the South Korean region. Jordan “Grey” Corby experienced coaching Flamengo eSports for the year, sharing his experience in the Brazilian League of Legends esports scene.
Tell me a little bit about the work you did with Flamengo eSports in CBLoL this year.
When coaches from Asia have previously come to Brazil, they have done very poorly. When I came to Brazil, I wanted to kind of keep things the same as how they’re typically done in CBLoL, so they was one thing we had to figure out. I didn’t do much besides handle personality conflicts. When you have players like Robo; brTT; even Goku is kind of a big name, it’s all about team environment. The game itself isn’t as big of a deal when you have veterans, so I was a lot more focused on structure and how he handle things. The game was secondary for us.
How do you think all of the imports coming to Brazil this off-season will affect CBLoL?
I think you need imports. When you look at regions like Brazil; Oceania; NA a few years ago - if you are isolated and can’t practice against other regions, you need to import players from other regions. I think every team should import 2 players and coaching staff, and I think that the CBLoL as a whole will get better.
What is it like to introduce an import player to a team in Brazil?
I’m kind of numb to this question since I joined a team that already had imports and already had great English. Both brTT and Goku speak great English, but from knowing the culture in Brazil, I think bringing in imports will be really hard. The way players view their responsibilities on a team and how they conduct themselves on a day-to-day basis is very different culturally, and I think that could affect import players a lot when comparing how things are run in South Korea to Brazil.
What are the main differences as to introducing players anywhere else?
Looking where I’ve worked in Korea and Taiwan, it’s a lot more disciplined and demanding of respect. You’re in an office environment, and your coaching staff and management are aware you’ll be putting in 15-17 hour days. Not a lot of things are questioned, which is both a positive and negative. If a coach or a manager tells a player to do something, they do it blindly. In Brazil, every player is very opinionated on how their team should be run, so it can be more difficult to get everyone on the same page. Still, if a player has their heart set on what they think, then that is the most important thing.
How do you go about approaching a situation where a player disagrees with a coach or manager?
The dynamic was kind of cool, which is why I was really happy to be brought on to Flamengo. My other coaches at the time, Gabriel “Von” Barbosa and Seong "Reven” Sang-hyeon, are not as direct as me. I’m very straightforward - no bullshit - so we were really good at having team meetings at the end of the day and saying, “Guys what the fuck are we doing? This is going wrong.” We were very straightforward in calling out our problems, and players like brTT were very straightforward about putting things out in the open for the team to discuss. It worked for us in terms of getting people on the same page. We would fight at the end of the day, but after 30 minutes of arguing, we would come to a mutual understanding of what is best for our team. When you’re on a team that has a hierarchy, however, and all of the players have varying degrees of experience, I think that’s much harder to navigate than on an all-veteran team like Flamengo.
BrTT said he did not agree with how things are being run in Flamengo Esports in his most recent twitlonger. What do you think the future of Flamengo is going to be like?
It sucks that brTT is getting a lot of flack for what he said. Goku and Ranger re-signed, and the roster Flamengo is rumored to have looks pretty strong, so fans don’t understand how things could be run poorly. However, it’s not all about results. The Flamengo roster can still win without the team being run well. When you look at a team that’s how being run by the management of Team oNe eSports, how could you not be a little scared of how things are run? This team went to Worlds last year and then was relegated twice in a row, and I think that opens up questions about their management structure.
So, what’s on the horizon for you?
One thing I can say publicly is that if I do coach again, I pretty much only want to coach in Brazil. If my coaching career continues, it’s in Brazil, baby!
What do you like so much about Brazil then?
I like Brazil as a place. The country is very nice; the Flamengo fans are insane; the food is really good *laughs* other stuff, too. Also, I love my players: I absolutely love Goku; Shrimp even though he has left Brazil; I have a lot of respect for brTT, and players on all of the other teams are really cool.
What do you have to say to your audience?
Brazilian fans, I love you. You guys call me Emo Safado and I accept. You guys are amazing, very beautiful people, and if I coach again, it will be in your region. I love you.