Team Liquid have signed Joshua “Jatt” Leesman as the new coach of their LCS squad. The former caster, analyst, balance team member, and pro player was revealed as the team’s newest member in a post late on Monday evening.
The news means one of the most well-known figures in League of Legends has now joined the coaching core of Team Liquid. Jatt started his career as Jungler for Rock Solid and Team Dignitas, before retiring from professional play in December 2011 to become an on-air talent for Riot Games. After over six years of casting, Jatt joined Riot’s balance team in January 2019, before returning to casting in June. His next step sees him take a step back into the heart of the competitive scene with a coaching role on one of the LCS’s most storied teams.
With him, Jatt brings a wealth of experience from close to a decade of experience in League of Legends. Team Liquid finished the season a disappointing ninth place in the LCS 2020 Spring Split, missing out of playoffs for the first time since 2017. This new coaching acquisition is just one element of a host of changes that will need to be made to see the team return to competitive relevance.
However, this new coaching move is tinged by other personal controversies affecting both Team Liquid and former player Doublelift. The pro ADC departed the team on April 26 after a cash deal between TL and Team Solo Mid was reached. But the seemingly simple trade was complicated by allegations of foul play and conflicts of interest, due to Doublelift’s relationship with TSM President Aileena Xu.
Riot Games conducted an independent investigation of the allegations but deemed the trade within the rules of the league.
Despite this shadow looming over competitive League of Legends in North America, the move of one of the region’s finest casting talents to a coaching role is hugely positive news. Whether Jatt, with his years of League knowledge, can help TL emerge from their slump remains to be seen though.