Weldon Green: ‘One of NA’s biggest problems is lack of homegrown talent’

What’s the difference between NA and EU LCS?

One is on track to need player unions, the other has the inmates running the asylum. At least according to Weldon Green.

The League of Legends coach, currently working for G2 Esports, sat down with theScore esports Podcast over Skype to talk about his coaching efforts in the LCS, the mentality of pro esports players vs. traditional sports athletes, and his coaching services and podcast.

Team Liquid’s fight against relegation

After a disappointing Spring Split, multiple roster shuffles and the possibility of relegation on the horizon, Team Liquid are an LCS org on the ropes. Green had some insight into the probable mentality of TL during this difficult time.

“Going into the Echo Fox match, it was probably pretty uplifting,” he said of team’s mood. “Probably now they’re pretty depressed, but focused,” and “incredibly stressed,” he said.

“Everybody probably on the surface is pushing really hard and they’re striving to do every single thing they can and I think there’s a mountain of stress and fear underneath,” he said.

Green noted the incredible stress put on top level esports players is only compounded at the end of a season, when opportunities for rectifying poor play or disappointing scorelines dwindle.

“You get eliminated and then you’re done for the season. Whether that’s relief … or intense depression.”

And if worst comes to worst?

“I think Steve [Arhancet] is just making plans, backup plans for every possible capability because that’s what a good leader does.”

On NA vs. EU LCS

Green is no stranger to the LCS, recently working with teams like TSM, Counter Logic Gaming and Fnatic. On the difference between the EU and NA regions, he told theScore esports Podcast it all comes down to talent vs. infrastructure.

“I think you can tell from the amount of imports … that one of NA’s biggest problems is lack of homegrown talent,” he said. “The skill level is just lower. And part of that comes from just sheer population, just look at the server populations.”

Across the pond, the pro scene is “much more player driven,” Green said. “And so that’s really good on the top end when you have incredible players like in G2 where the players are just phenomenal.”

While EU may have the edge on raw talent, the NA advantage comes in the form of the team and coaching structures already in place, Green said.

“North America professionalized faster and … the coaches and the team administration in the top teams can impact the training environment in a stronger way than in EU,” he said.

“The players have to hand off power to get more efficient at playing and to get better, kind of like how it happens in Formula One. The driver needs to focus on driving, they have to hire somebody to tune their engine and fill the gas and the change the tires and all that stuff.

“In NA they’re more willing to hand away power to get better faster because they realized that they have a challenge,” he said.

But that fast-track to infrastructure doesn’t come with out its own problems, siad Green.

“They’re giving away power," which could create an environment ripe for player abuse, Green said, "and are going to need to more swiftly get to the point where they need a player union.”

On his time with TSM vs. G2

“In TSM my main objective was to build a coaching staff that was powerful and consistent and lived beyond me, train myself out of the job and to create a culture in the team that whenever a new person came in, would take them and operate on them …”

It’s all about making the team structure atmonmous, he said.

“Because the idea is I’m trying to get Andy, Reginald [Andy “Reginald” Dinh], back into the office so he can work on his company but he keeps having to come to the team and like, you know, be a medic in a way.”

G2 is in a different positon, he said.

“The team has a very strong culture and personality, and the way that they operate is really kind of like congealed, so I’m just trying to do a lot of firefighting and then operate my plan of basically building up elite performance skills in G2.”

Colin McNeil is a supervising editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

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