valens: "I'm not leaving esports; look to build Cloud9's analytics division"
On Thursday, Timothy "autimatic" Ta revealed to HLTV.org that Cloud9 are looking into the replacement of valens in the coaching position, with Kory "SEMPHIS" Friesen, who is in Portugal with the team, being their top candidate.
On day one of the Portuguese event, we asked valens to comment on the situation and his future in Cloud9. The 29-year-old confirmed to us that it had been planned for him to transition out of the coaching role since after the team's Major win, but the candidates for his replacement did not sign with the squad, in the end:
"Actually, maybe a month or so after the Major win back in January, I talked with Jack [Etienne, CEO of Cloud9] and I just said 'initially, I signed up to do data science work,' so we just started thinking about transitioning and finding a replacement. It just so happened that the coaches that were really close to signing with us didn't work out at the last minute.
"So, the change should have happened a lot sooner, but because of the roster issues we had, with Stewie leaving and then tarik, I just stayed on to help stabilize the team, and then once we found a replacement I was going to step out. It just kept getting elongated just because it's CS, there is always going to be some kind of instability. "
After nearly a full year, the organization made concrete plans for the transition and are currently trialing SEMPHIS to replace valens, who will fill a position in Cloud9's analytics division instead.
"We just made a plan for it, this time, to start trialing someone - we're obviously trialing SEMPHIS. Obviously, me and autimatic have known him for a long time, played on teams with him, so he is a really good fit. That's it, the goal right now is that I'm not leaving C9, I'm not leaving esports, I'm just doing data science work to build out Cloud9's analytics division."