Los Angeles Valiant CEO Noah Whinston today announced the team’s coaching and performance staff for the upcoming Overwatch League inaugural season, which formally begins on January 10, 2018.
“For our coaching staff, the Valiant sought out dedicated esports professionals who strive for competitive success while sharing our core values,” said Whinston. “Those values encompass not only treatment and development of players and promoting a competitive team culture, but also being accessible to fans and creating deep relationships between team, fans, and players.”
The team’s head coach will remain Henry “Cuddles” Coxall. Coxall will be joined by assistants Julien “daemoN” Ducros and Jordan “Gunba” Graham and Dr. Doug Gardner, the Valiant’s Director of Player Performance.
Join the Valiant in welcoming the newest members to the #VALLA family.
Julien “daemoN” Ducros, Assistant Coach
daemoN started his professional career by playing League of Legends LANs at a national level in his hometown of Perpignan in the South of France. He made the switch to Overwatch upon the release of the open beta. With Overwatch, daemoN could pursue his passions of MOBA and FPS. As a part of DEUS, daemoN transitioned from player to coach. He proceeded to work with GamersOrigin, Movistar Riders, and finally the legendary Overwatch team, Rogue. daemoN is excited to join the Valiant and to be reunited with former Rogue players, Soon and Unkoe.
Jordan “Gunba” Graham, Assistant Coach
Gunba is a former professional Overwatch player with Blank Esports, hailing from Perth, Australia. Previously a Software Engineer working in Western Australia State Government, he began his Overwatch career in the closed beta, culminating in achieving playoff finishes in the Pacific Contenders region, APAC 2017, and the World Cup. Originally, hired as an Analyst with the Valiant, his success working with the team combined with the results of the pre-season of the Overwatch League, saw his elevation to the role of Assistant Coach. He now seeks to take the experience gained as a player and transition into becoming a top tier coach in the Overwatch League.
Dr. Doug Gardner, Director of Player Performance
Dr. Gardner will provide strategic leadership in the build-out and management of a professional development department for Valiant players, coaches and staff. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Gardner has worked with athletes and coaches in MLB, NFL, Olympic sports and individuals participating in competitive youth sport pipelines. Dr. Gardner received his Ed.D. from Boston University (1998) and his BA from UC Irvine (1991). He is a Certified Mental Performance Coach through the Association of Applied Sport Psychology and is considered a leader and innovator within the discipline.
We also want to offer our sincere thanks to Dongwook “Ookz” Kim. While he will no longer be with the organization, we are grateful for the time and effort he has put in working with the team.