OAKLAND, Calif. – The Golden Guardians (GGS), an esports affiliate team of the Golden State Warriors, have finalized their five-player roster for the 2019 Spring Split of the North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS), which is listed below:
Top: Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell
Jungle: Juan “Contractz” Garcia
Mid: Henrik “Froggen” Hansen
AD Carry: Matthew “Deftly” Chen
Support: Joo-Sung “Olleh” Kim
“Coming into this free agency, we knew that we wanted to build out a system that would better enable our young talent in Contractz and Deftly,” said Danan Flander, General Manager of the Golden Guardians. “Their growth throughout last season was encouraging, and we feel that the addition of three veteran leaders who have proven experience at the height of their craft will allow the Golden Guardians to compete at a high level.”
Yarnell joins the Golden Guardians after a three-year stint with Team SoloMid (TSM) where he helped lead TSM to the World Championships in back-to-back seasons (2016 and 2017). A three-time NA LCS Champion, Yarnell has been named to the 1st NA LCS All-Pro Team twice (Spring 2017 and Summer 2016) and has twice earned 2nd NA LCS All-Pro Team honors (Spring 2018 and Summer 2017).
Garcia, a Redwood City native, will begin his second season with the Golden Guardians after earning Rookie of the Split honors in 2017 with Cloud9.
Hansen, a native of Denmark, is a two-time Worlds attendee (2014 with Alliance and 2012 with CLG.EU) and a 2014 EU LCS Summer Split Champion, where he was named Playoff MVP. Hansen most recently competed professionally for Echo Fox during the 2016 NA LCS season.
Chen is entering his second campaign with the Golden Guardians, finishing as runner-up for Rookie of the Split honors in Spring 2018 and leading the league in KDA in Summer 2018 with a kill/death/assist ratio of 7.5.
Kim, a native of South Korea, spent the 2018 season with Team Liquid, securing consecutive NA LCS Spring and Summer Split championships and competing in the 2018 Worlds Main Event, marking his second time competing on the highest stage of professional League of Legends (2017 with Immortals). Kim was named to the 1st NA LCS All-Pro team once (Summer 2017 with Immortals) and 3rd NA LCS All-Pro Team twice (Summer 2018 with Team Liquid and Spring 2017 with Immortals).
Nick “Inero” Smith will serve as the head coach of the Golden Guardians. An esports veteran who was hired as a consultant for the Golden Guardians in August, Inero spent most of last season as head coach of Echo Fox’s NA LCS team. Under Smith’s leadership, Echo Fox finished the Spring Split in second place, earning their first playoff appearance and first international tournament berth in franchise history.
Golden Guardians is the NA LCS affiliate team of the Golden State Warriors. League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena game where two teams of five players battle on Summoner’s Rift with the goal of destroying the heart of the opposing team’s base, known as the nexus, to achieve victory.
For more information on the NA LCS and Golden Guardians, visit lolesports.com.