Dan Dinh to coach Cloud 9

Dan Dinh to coach Cloud 9

In an exclusive interview with lolesports.com, Cloud 9 owner Jack Etienne revealed Dan Dinh would be leaving TSM to coach and mentor the team as they move from San Jose to Los Angeles. There will be no roster changes at this time. We followed up with the parties involved for comments.

“With Dan Dinh leaving TSM, I saw an opportunity to work with him again," said Etienne. "I talked to [TSM owner] Reginald to make sure I wasn’t stepping on his toes and he gave me the green light. I’ll be bringing Dan on as the team’s coach. He understands the game at a level that no other analyst I’ve talked to does and he’ll be able to guide the players when they move to LA.”

Dinh says mentorship will also be a part of his responsibilities for the team.

“We were having dinner when Jack mentioned he wanted to move C9 to LA," he said, "but he didn’t want to move them without someone there to make sure they’ve got sponsorship and other obligations taken care of. He also wants them to have a mentor – someone to make sure they get out a bit, you know, go to the gym every once in a while. “

The team is still looking for analysts and Dinh will be responsible for them as well.

“Jack will be bringing on a group of analysts to gather data. Once he has those people in place, they’ll report to me.”

We asked LCS commentator Rivington 'Riv' Bisland III for his thoughts. "Since Epik Gamer, Dan Dinh has been focused mainly on the jungle, which makes him a great analyst since he deals with every role in the game," said Riv. "The amount of professional stage experience that Dan Dinh has seen will also assist Cloud 9 greatly in that department since their only road games were MLG and LCS qualifiers and finals.

"Dan also goes a bit beyond his role as an analyst, as you sometimes saw with TSM," he continued. "He acts as somewhat of a mentor and caretaker to ensure that the players have a good mental and physical state to strengthen their game skills."

Alex Penn, Cloud 9’s analyst during the Season 3 summer split, will not be returning to the team for the 2014 season.

“Alex will no longer be an analyst for Cloud 9," said Etienne. "We’re excited for some of the opportunities he’s considering right now. We were extremely fortunate to work with him during Season 3 and we wish him the best of luck.”

When reached for comment, Alex Penn had the following statement:

“Thanks to Cloud 9 for the opportunity for me to play a support role for the best North American League of Legends team of 2013 and I wish them the best going into IEM Cologne and the 2014 LCS season. I plan to use the knowledge gained in preparation, team dynamics, marketing, and management to continue moving forward in the LoL eSports scene for 2014, whether that be in a team management, content creation, operations, or a sponsorship marketing role. This was my first step into a team environment and I hope I can play a more active leadership role if I continue down the path of a high level coach or analyst. On Wednesday, I'll be flying back home to Austin, TX to spend time with my family and actively seek out my next move.”

In its inaugural LCS split, Cloud 9 achieved the best record in the history of LCS at 25-3, but was dispatched quickly in the World Championship 2-1 by Fnatic in the quarterfinals. While it's unclear if the changes were made for performance reasons, it seems that Cloud 9 has taken steps to ensure their LCS success will continue for the foreseeable future.

Jessie Lawrence is the esports Social Media Coordinator for Riot Games and loves carne asada. Find him @hitstreak on Twitter.

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