The Golden Guardians esports team have promoted their League of Legends head coach, Nick “Inero” Smith, to the position of general manager.
The franchise broke the news via a video posted on the team’s Twitter page weeks after announcing the departure of Danan Flanders, the organization’s former general manager. Flanders and Golden Guardians parted ways in August after another unimpressive year for the organization’s LCS team.
While parting ways with Danan, the Golden Guardians revealed that there needed to be a staff overhaul, after which the organization would begin making changes to the roster in preparation for the 2023 season.
“We believe a change at GM was needed to find the success we are looking for next year and beyond,” the esports organization wrote.
The Golden Guardians posted a 13-21 record for this year’s regular season across all LCS spring and summer splits. The squad were able to qualify for the spring playoffs as the sixth seed earlier this year. However, Cloud9 finished them off in the first round of the tournament.
The former general manager was the organization’s first-ever, and he was brought on at the same time Inero was made head coach. Flanders previously worked as the senior general manager of Cloud9 and held the position for four years.
According to the announcement post, Ji Eun, who previously held the position of team operations specialist, would help Inero as the new assistant manager of the company. The organization are yet to reveal who they have in mind for the recently vacated position of head coach.
“Please join us in celebrating our long-time Guardian, @inero, as our new General Manager! Nick has been with us for over 4 years, and we’re excited to be taking this new step with him,” the post read.
“We are also thrilled to announce @oniononsail as our new Assistant General Manager!”
Inero also talked about the new appointment, revealing that he was excited about the future, then went on to thank everyone who supported him during his years as head coach.
“Excited to be moving into new things. Will have more content out in the future talking about plans for 2023 and onwards,” Inero wrote.
“Thanks to everyone for the years of support while I was coaching.”
Inero joined the North American esports team four years ago and has functioned as the squad’s head coach ever since. The Golden Guardians signed Inero as the squad’s head coach after earning a last-place finish in the NA LCS in 2018.
The former coach joined the team in August of that year and headed their second season of competitive play. Under Inero, the Golden Guardians’ best results in the League of Legends Championship Series include the team’s top six finishes during the 2019 Spring Split playoffs, 2020 Spring Split playoffs, 2020 Summer Split playoffs, and the recent 2022 Spring Split playoffs.
Prior to his time in Golden Guardians, Inero coached Echo Fox from May 2017 till deciding to venture towards the Guardians. He also notably helped Echo Fox finish third place in the Spring Split.