Golden Guardians finalizes 2020 Academy roster - Upcomer
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North American esports organization Golden Guardians have announced their final academy roster for the 2020 North American League of Legends season. Shortly after the main roster was revealed, the academy lineup sees the addition of two new players and more coaching staff as well.

Golden Guardians enter 2020

The esports organization of NBA team Golden State Warriors has added assistant LCS coach Aaron “ChuChuZ” Bland and Academy head coach Barento “Raz” Mohammed in a two-way contract. Jimmy Harrison will move from a League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) head coach and two-way player coach position to a player performance coach role instead. 

Previous Academy head coach Nick “Inero” Smith has moved to the main roster. ChuChuZ joins from a former position on Oceanic Pro League (OPL) team ORDER, where he led the team to 5th place finishes in both Spring and Summer Splits. Raz is most well known for his casting in the Tencent League of Legends Pro League (LPL), with previous experience in coaching roles on Dignitas during the 2017 NA LCS Season. 

The Golden Guardians roster for the 2020 Academy season consists of top laner Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaya, jungler Anthony “Hard” Barkhovtsev, Nicholas “Ablazeolive” Antonio Abbott, AD carry Alex “Gorica” Gorica, and support player Jae-Hyun “Huhi” Choi. Ablazeolive and Gorica are new additions from Team SoloMid (TSM) Academy and the North American Scouting Grounds, with the latter also competing in the collegiate League of Legends scene with the University of Western Ontario.

Many in the community have criticized Golden Guardians for their lackluster LCS lineup, which includes Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell, Can “Closer” Çelik, Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer, Victor “FBI” Huang, and Yuri “Keith” Jew. Their Academy roster also doesn’t look too strong either. However, the addition of Raz and the possible intended goal of a long-term system to nurture North American amateur talent may help the Guardians excel in other areas.

Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.