What’s Next for Goldenglue
On June 6, Golden Guardians (GGS) announced that Tanner “Damonte” Damonte would replace Greyson “Goldenglue” Glimer as the starting mid laner in the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). Goldenglue would compete with Nicholas Antonio “Ablazeolive” Abbott for the starting spot in the Golden Guardians Academy (GGSA) team.
On July 3, Goldenglue announced that he and GGS had parted ways and he was a free agent looking for opportunities as both a player and a coach. The veteran mid laner debuted in the LCS in 2014. Since then, he has struggled to find a permanent spot on a starting roster for an LCS team. Now, teamless once again, it is time to examine what lies next for this North American player in his home region.
The Current State of the Golden Guardians
The Golden Guardians joined the LCS in 2018 as a franchise new to League of Legends. In 2018, GGS finished both Spring and Summer seasons in the last place at tenth. The following season, GGS finished fifth in Spring and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, then finished seventh in Summer. In 2020, GGS finished sixth in Spring and once again lost in the first round of playoffs.
GGS is unlikely to be content with this history of poor to middling results. Especially for an organization that debuted in 2018 with an emphasis on relying on domestic North American talent. Goldenglue fits with this image, but so does Damonte.
Damonte was an American mid laner who had finished 2019 at a high point in his career. With Clutch Gaming, Damonte had finished fourth in Summer and won the regional qualifier. This also earned him a shot at representing North America at the World Championship. In particular, Damonte had been praised for his mechanical skill.
Goldenglue’s greatest career accomplishment was finishing second in LCS 2018 Summer with Cloud9. However, he did not play the majority of the games that season. In the six games in which he started, Goldenglue won once and lost five.
As a starter, Goldenglue’s best result was his most recent Spring performance: finishing 6th after tiebreakers. He has otherwise regularly finished high in the Challenger/Academy league beneath the LCS.
For GGS, Damonte is simply a better Goldenglue: a domestic North American mid laner with a higher peak.
What Led to Goldenglue exiting GGS?
In a TwitLonger post, Goldenglue explained how he and GGS parted ways.
Goldenglue stated that after LCS 2020 Spring, he was competing with Ablazeolive for the starting spot. He added that, GGS decided that Ablazeolive would start and he (Goldenglue) would play in the Academy league. A few days later, Damonte received permission from Dignitas to try out for LCS teams. GGS then chose that Damonte would start for LCS. Goldenglue now had to compete against Ablazeolive again, this time for the Academy starting spot.
Goldenglue stated that GGS helped him connect with other LCS teams to look for a starting position and were even willing to waive the buyout fee. Still, Goldenglue was unable to find a team. He also gave his opinion on why GGS chose to go with Ablazeolive over himself:
“We were both playing very well but, in the end, the org made a close decision to use Ablazeolive in Academy since he had less experience playing and was a younger player. Also the team was already filled with players (Darshan, Keith, and Hard) who had a lot of experience playing in Academy like me. To be honest, I was somewhat expecting this since he was younger than me and has never played in the LCS before.”
This is a major mark against Goldenglue. After many years in LCS and its development leagues, he is a known quantity. Even at peak performance, he is unlikely to ever win LCS or accomplish great things internationally.
As a player, Goldenglue’s career is probably over. North American teams have a long issue with recycling old talent. This extends beyond keeping players who were once great and have now dropped off. This includes sticking with players who are known quantities with peaks that were not and never will be enough to finish high.
Greyson would instead look into coaching, citing his personality and long playing experience. While possible, there is no guarantee that this translates into essential coaching skills such as authority, conflict resolution, commanding respect, or strategizing.
Goldenglue may be better suited for a managerial position. He could do well working as an assistant coach to build experience working on a team’s staff and then transition to a general manager position.
Being a coach requires a strictness that Goldenglue seems to lack. Instead, becoming a GM who can relate as a former player and is familiar with the development scene could do wonders for talent scouting and building player support structures in North America.
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