Former Griffin coach Kim ‘cvMax’ Dae-ho has explained the circumstances surrounding his shock resignation right before the League of Legends 2019 World Championship, saying that the team turned against him.
Griffin shot up as League’s biggest rising stars in 2018, going from Challengers Korea winners to the top of LCK in a matter of months. Since then, they’ve secured another two second-place finishes in Korea’s top league, and got a spot at their first international tournament.
Behind the team was coach cvMax. He was a figurehead behind the team’s success on the Rift, having taken the young roster from being completely unknown to stardom. However, in a shock decision two weeks before the biggest event of their careers, cvMax parted ways with the team.
While the circumstances of his firing weren’t clear at the time, cvMax told all on an October 15 stream while watching his team play at Worlds. The former coach was quick to point fingers at a slew of mismanagement and internal conflict being behind his departure.
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According to a translation by Reddit user ‘R_CtrL’, the former coach said that there was a lot of conflict after the team were runners-up to SK Telecom T1 in LCK Spring 2019.
“After losing the Spring finals, there were a lot of conflicts with management,” he said. “One week before the Summer finals, there were issues about the quality of scrims. Manager Cho Kyu-nam accused me for the poor quality of scrims, and that other teams didn’t want to scrim Griffin because of me.”
After the organisation’s third grand finals loss in a row in Summer, cvMax was told by the team manager that he was going to be fired.
“I’m not withdrawing the fact that you are getting fired. I wouldn’t bring you here if I were to. We need to get rid of you for Griffin to win the championship,” the manager said.
The manager also said that the team “have a higher goal, so technically we can lay you off by not meeting our high standards.
“Griffin was meant to be like this and you were a lucky coach. Any coach other than you should have won the championship at least once.”
He was also butting heads with benched top laner Choi ‘Sword’ Sung-won. The oldest player on the team was replaced by rookie Choi “Doran” Hyeon-joon for the end of LCK Summer 2019, but has since returned to the Rift in cvMax’s absence.
The top laner said that cvMax has been spreading rumors about the team, and it’s made the team nervous heading into Worlds.
“We like him and his stream, but we found something uncomfortable from there. Therefore, if you really like this team, please stop making claims about us,” he said in an interview with Fomos Esports.
Bot laner Park ‘Viper’ Do-hyeon was also critical of the former coach. In an interview with Naver, Viper said that cvMax had been making “a lot of false claims,” and asked that cvMax would stop making comments about the team on stream.
Griffin have been using Byun “Chaos” Young-sub as a coach since late September, with his first major appearance being at the World Championship. While there’s only a small sample size to go off - with Griffin currently sitting 1-1 in their group - the team look to be slowly settling in to their new environment.
Griffin’s next game at the international tournament will be against Cloud 9 at 10am PST on October 15. You can keep up with all of the action via our coverage hub.