Joey “YoungBuck” Steltenpool was announced as Excel’s new head coach on Thursday, one day after stepping down from Fnatic.
The weather in LA is nice but I’ll stick around Europe for a little while longer
— Joey Steltenpool (@JoeyYoungbuck) November 13, 2019
With Excel, YoungBuck replaces David “DLim” Lim ahead of the next LEC season.
“I am very excited to join Excel,” YoungBuck said in a statement. “As a relatively new organization to the LEC, with many young and talented players, I feel like this is the best place for me to use my experience and ability in regard to developing talent. I hope to help Excel grow and become a powerhouse team in the LEC.”
Excel also parted ways with strategic coach Alex “Baby Zeus” Warren.
“This is an extremely exciting time for us at Excel and I am very proud to be welcoming the six-star general, Joey, to our organization,” said Grant Rousseau, Excel’s head of operations. “Unfortunately this means that David and Alec will be parting ways with us. They were valued members of our team and I wish them all the best in whatever comes next.”
YoungBuck is one of the most successful coaches in LEC history. Under his leadership, G2 Esports won four straight LEC titles. He joined Fnatic as team director in 2018, then became head coach this year.
At the recently completed 2019 worlds, Fnatic finished in 5-8th place after a quarterfinal loss to eventual champion FunPlus Phoenix.
“We found ourselves quickly swamped by internal issues in Spring that we could not overcome as players and coaching staff by the year’s culmination,” YoungBuck said in statement on Fnatic’s website.
“2019 would have been an easy fix if this was the fault of an individual, but the problems became complex to where no solutions for our problems became clear in time. As a result of that, while ending 2018 as my best year, I’d consider 2019 as the worst in my esports journey.
“Leaving this season behind, I’ve decided to move on to another team and hope to remain a Head Coach at a professional level for many years to come.”
Once more thanks for the tremendous 2 years! https://t.co/e1JPUkXhIG
— Joey Steltenpool (@JoeyYoungbuck) November 12, 2019
It did not take long to announce what that next opportunity would be.
Excel made it’s first LCS appearance in the spring, finishing ninth out of 10 teams with a 5-13 record and a minus-8 game differential to miss out on the playoffs.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)