Coach Spotlight – May 2021

Coach Spotlight May 2021

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 month’s coach spotlight is ZzLegendary, a coach who’s been with Training Grounds since the beginning! 

 

Q: What is your name?  
A: Sebastien “ZzLegendary” Demontigny

Q: What is your In Game Name (ign) and what is the story behind it? 
A: Well, when I first started playing, I was a big fan of the band ZZ Top, which was my original ign. As I got a bit older, I wanted to keep a hint of my old name in there, but I thought it was a little weird to keep a band name as my ign so I changed it to ZzLegendary 

Q: How long have you been a part of Training Grounds? 
A: I have been a part of TG since the “closed beta” summer of 2020.

Q: How did you start coaching League of Legends?
A: It is sort of a 3-part journey. Back in season 3, I had climbed to high diamond in solo queue, which at that point was the highest rank you could be below Challenger. I had some friends who were big YouTubers, and back then YouTube wasn’t nearly as big as it is now. They helped me make a channel, and I started making tutorial videos. I felt like I knew a lot about the game, and I would walk through live gameplay and give commentary. This was critical for me, because it helped me start learning how to verbalize my thoughts about the game. 

A few years later, I started actually coaching, when I had some friends in college who were on a League of Legends team together. They would send me vods to review, and we would talk about high level drafting and gameplay, just some things like that. I started ‘officially’ working as a coach 3 years ago, at the Montreal Esports Academy, making summer esports camps for teenagers. I had been referred there to create 5-day League of Legends camps, with curriculum, structure for the camps to run, etc. I then  worked under contracts for that company, coaching and making curriculum and discussing game theory. This helped a lot when I started working with Cloud9 Training Grounds! As of now, I work full time as a teacher in a year-long esports-studies program, coaching and teaching a class of 18 teenagers daily. 

Q: What do you like about the game? 
A: This is such a hard question to answer, because it is just a beautiful game. I like how deep it is; there are so many combinations, so many things to do. It is an unsolvable game, even without patches, there would still be evolving metas, but on top of the infinitely moving parts, Riot ‘breaks the game’ every year, and things even change every few weeks. There is a lot of intellectual expression in League, especially compared to many of the other popular games right now. Many of them are very complex, just not as deep. 

Strategies really will come out of nowhere, like when Sona/Taric started being viable in the bot lane, it wasn’t because someone messed with the patch or stats of these champions, it had been possible for a while but started being played even on the pro stage. Another example would be funneling, like Master Yi jungle with Taric funneling, which had been played in Twisted Treeline for literal years before people realized it was really strong in normal ranked play as well. 

Q: What do you love the most about coaching? 
A: There is always a moment where you get to see something ‘click’ in a client. People will show up to coaching and have their own perceived problems and weaknesses, maybe even preconceptions about coaching. Something is always fixable, though, something is always missing, and I get to help them realize what that “something” is. Once they realize, and have this new knowledge, I get to help them learn how to manipulate that knowledge to win more games. Coaching isn’t a very routine thing, which I really like. The first session is always a diagnosis, if you will, of the client; after that, everyone is different, and I get to adapt how I work for every individual. I have my own guidelines and principles, but at the end of the day the job is always different, new, and deep. I love getting to help people interact with the game on a higher level.  

Q: What are some of the biggest lessons your players take away from your coaching? 
A: Through coachings with me, players mostly learn how to think about things, and how to construct ideas about the game. They will learn what they can control, and how to control it, develop a deeper understanding of what their limits are and what they are capable of, and what variables exist in the game. I coach thought processes. I can teach kids how to grab onto knowledge and use it in a predefined context, but League isn’t a predefined context. Instead of learning a formula that they can apply in limited situations, they will learn how the game works, and apply knowledge to improve long term. Simply put, I teach how to learn. 

Q: What is your favorite memory from a Training Grounds camp?
A: Oh, this is such a hard question to answer. In the first camp, summer of 2020, I had a camper who climbed really quickly from Diamond 3 to Grandmaster. All of my campers were climbing, and when they hit their target rank, it was immediately really rewarding, being able to see everyone climb and improve. I felt like I accomplished something, that these kids understood the game more. This happens in every single camp, and I have worked on all of them since the summer of 2020, but I think this first instance was particularly noteworthy. Helping the clients and campers feel proud of themselves is why we do what we do. 

Q: What is the best part about Training Grounds? 
A: The best part of Training Grounds is the community, and the bonds you get to form. I love teaching and playing games, but the best part is that you get to bond over this shared experience. It makes the whole process more rewarding, when you get to really talk to these kids, get to know them, and bond over a mutual love of games. The community makes TG feel like one big, growing family.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 
A: Well, I really like working with Cloud9, and in the short term I am really looking forward to hopefully expanding the work I do here, and I am excited to meet new campers and for our summer programs! In general, I want to keep coaching, and keep pushing forward the idea that positive and thoughtful coaching is the best way to help people improve. I want to keep using kids’ passion to elevate them as players, but especially, to elevate them as people.  

Thank you, Zz! 

If you’re interested in joining the Training Grounds community, sign up for a camp!

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