The Cloud9 Training Grounds Community Spotlight Series showcases a great coach in the C9TG community each month who embodies the values of Cloud9 Training Grounds! Learning, Passion, Excellence, and Trust. This coach spotlight is Kyle “Kman” Workman, the Coaching Lead for League of Legends at Training Grounds!
Q: What is your name? A: Kyle “Kman” Workman
Q: What is your In Game Name and what is the story behind it? A: My IGN is Kman because of two reasons. When I was 7 years old, my cousins, my sister, and I created a superhero home movie where I was a superhero named Kman (like Superman but K for Kyle.) I used that as my IGN for my Xbox live gamer tag to create “TheKmanIsABeast”, because saying “beast” meant something was really cool back then. When I heard about players like Bjergsen and Jensen having their IGN’s be their last names I wished I could be similar… and then I realized… it WAS my last name. The last four letters of Workman are Kman, so I decided to forever go by Kman!
Q: How long have you been a part of Training Grounds? A: I have been a part of Training Grounds since the Fall of 2020! I was brought on as a team coach for the second-ever training grounds camp. I coached two teams that absolutely popped off and made me fall in love with coaching for TG and made me want to work as hard as possible to be the best coach so my players could be the best players! When the Spring of 2021 came around, I was asked to take a more administrative role and become the League of Legends coaching lead and help other coaches become as smurf as I am!
Q: How did you start coaching League of Legends? A: I started coaching League of Legends in 2018 as the Head Coach for multiple Amateur teams as well as coaching viewers of my Twitch stream! My drive for coaching started with my very first YouTube upload on November 28th, 2013. I created educational content for YouTube and instantly saw a lot of views and feedback, so I continued to give the people what they want to this very day! I transitioned this into being the starting Jungler for multiple Amateur teams as well as the University of Cincinnati team. All of this has also led to me creating my own series of free-agent tournaments called The Kman Cup, which has allowed me to be a tournament organizer, color caster, and analyst. These are all things that as a coach, I’ve always dreamed of being a part of, and thanks to my experiences coaching, these opportunities have been there for me!
Q: What do you like most about the game? A: I like how the game is so complex that even after years and years of playing and studying the game at the highest level, I still can learn new things every day! The game is permanently evolving and has such in-depth ideology which makes it so I’m never bored. There is so much theory crafting and room for skill expression within the game that it can be hard to truly play “objectively correct.” So many professionals, coaches, analysts, etc. have studied the game at every single aspect and still come to disagreements on the perfect play. The true beauty of League of Legends is that it will NEVER be solved because even when you think you know what’s best, they pull out the pocket-pick tank Rengar and your whole gameplan goes out the window!
Q: What has been the most rewarding part of your job as Coaching Lead for League of Legends? A: We have an incredible staff of coaches who are not only amazing at their job, but also incredible people. It’s very rewarding to see their growth as people and coaches throughout their sessions and training. While we hire the best of the best, everyone always has room for improvement, and to be entrusted with that responsibility is incredibly rewarding. The most amazing part is that oftentimes, I learn just as much from our coaches, as they learn from me!
Q: What do you love most about coaching? A: Truthfully, I’m one of those people who finds happiness within other people’s happiness. Throughout my entire life, I’ve always found a new hobby here and there that would achieve the goal of making others happy. First, it was home movies, then it was stand-up comedy, next up was being a magician, then YouTube/streaming, and now coaching. I’ve stuck with coaching because it truly seems like the best way to not only make others happy but to actually have a lasting impact on someone’s life, rather than just a fleeting moment of joy. The sharing of intellectual thoughts, having productive discourse, and teaching someone something they didn’t already know are some of my favorite things in life and coaching encompasses all of them and more!
Q: What are some of the biggest lessons your players take away from your coaching? A: My players learn from the very start learn that they aren’t just going to be taught how to become a better League of Legends player. Through my coaching, the players learn how to learn. While it may seem simple, learning how to learn is an incredibly important skill for all people to have. I was fortunate to be taught how to learn at a very young age due to my parents teaching me. My ability to learn how to learn is one of the many reasons why I’ve always been a “jack of all trades.” Whether it was soccer, baseball, chess, magic, filmmaking, League of Legends, coaching, etc. I was always at an advantage compared to everyone else because I knew how to improve. Regardless of your intentions with Esports, with me as a coach, you will gain the tools needed to excel at whatever you want in life.
Q: What is your favorite memory from a Training Grounds camp? A: As a coach, it’s important not to forget that we are also mentors. Our players look up to us and will often time mimic us in an attempt to be just like us. I find this to be incredibly heartwarming but also incredibly funny! I specifically remember in the first TG camp I coached, I had a player who LOVED to speak with my same patter and rhetoric. Whenever I attempt a gank, I always jokingly say to my teammate (regardless of if it’s true or not), “I’m on my way, they are so dead, they’re literally dead on my screen.” During one of our scrims, we had a 5-man dive bot lane and as we all dove in, unironically in unison my campers said, “They’re dead on my screen!”, and I had the biggest grin on my face. It was definitely a proud dad moment for sure.
Q: What is the best part about Training Grounds? A: The best part about training grounds has to be the community. I’ve never been a part of such an inclusive, fun, and interactive group before! I can always hop on the discord server and have someone to play games with, give tips and tricks to, or just have an insightful discussion with. There’s a bond you make with your players as a coach and unfortunately in most cases, that bond is short-lived. Whereas in TG we make bonds that not only last but are tighter due to our shared love of video games and Cloud9.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? A: Cloud9 has given me so much and I hope to continue giving back to them! I want to take Training Grounds to the next level and impact the lives of so many more gamers. Esports is such a thriving scene and there is very little education on how to get into the scene. I want to change that and offer Esport lovers the chance to pursue their dreams, just like I’ve been able to pursue mine! In 5 years, I’ll be standing on the Worlds stage taking a photo with the World Championship Cloud9 League of Legends team who will all have been Cloud9 Training Grounds campers!