We have our first complete roster confirmation that will compete in LCS.
In the midst of roster rumors and speculations, Golden Guardians didn’t get too much attention from either the reporters or the fans. Despite making playoffs in five of the last six LCS splits, Golden Guardians never had too much impact in the post-season. Maybe with the exception of their 3-0 win against TSM during the LCS 2020 Summer Playoffs, but even then they still got knocked out by TSM during their Lower Bracket run to victory.
So the organization decided to make some changes coming into the 2023 LCS Season, starting with the long-time head coach of the team Nick “Inero” Smith’s promotion to General Manager. Inero has been with Golden Guardians since August 2018 and held multiple other positions like consultant and assistant coach. And in a video the organization shared on their Twitter yesterday, Inero announced the five-man roster for the 2023 season:
- Eric “Licorice” Ritchie
- Kim “River” Dong-woo
- Kim “Gori” Tae-woo
- Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes
- Choi “huhi” Jae-hyun
*Pending Riot Approval* pic.twitter.com/YyhCFUioYL
— Golden Guardians (@GoldenGuardians) November 23, 2022
The roster consists of three players from last year, Licorice, River and Stixxay, with two new additions. Licorice and Stixxay were on the team from the start of the 2022 Summer Split, with River joining later in the Split for a heavy playoff push. Unfortunately, the veteran jungler couldn’t find the impact he was looking for in his short first stint with the Guardians. But River was apparently looking to run it back for better results, as we learned from Inero that signing Korean mid laner Gori was his suggestion. Gori previously played on teams like EDG, FPX and Nongshim RedForce. He spend the Summer Split with PSG Talon in PCS and despite not making it to Worlds, PSG Talon was first in the regular season, with Gori winning the PCS MVP award.
Golden Guardians rounded out their new roster with a familiar face. Huhi was the support of the previous Golden Guardians core, which joined 100 Thieves and won the LCS 2021 Summer Split. Huhi also has previous synergy with his lane partner Stixxay, as they were on the Counter Logic Gaming team that made it to the MSI Finals in 2016, albeit with huhi in the mid lane. Inori talked about huhi in the video where he introduced the squad by saying, “[he] naturally brings a shotcalling presence to the team. And with [huhi’s] ability to speak in both Korean and English should help to connect our mid-jungle duo with the rest of the team.”
At the same time Golden Guardians also announced their new coaching staff and Academy team. The new head coach who will be Inero’s assistant coach, Samuel “Spookz” Broadley, with Brandon “Swip3rR” Holland as the Academy head coach. Golden Guardians new Academy roster will have five native players and will compete in the newly formed North American Challengers League. Full roster:
- Michael “Concept” Su
- Tae-ho “RoseThorn” Kim
- Young Ho “Young” Choi
- Jackson “Array” Moldenhauer
- Jacob “Prismal” Feinstein