Less than four months ago, League of Legends manager Romain Bigeard would become the general manager of OpTic Gaming. Now, Bigeard confirms that he is leaving the team and seeking another job elsewhere.
Due to a difference of opinion regarding the future of the LoL department, I'm parting ways w/@OpTicGaming.
I'm now a free agent.
Ive been doing international esport for 5y and I still believe in LoL.
DM on/RT welcome
— Romain Bigeard (@RomainBigeard) October 8, 2018
One of the more popular non-player personalities in League of Legends, Bigeard would gain popularity with European team, Unicorns of Love. His on-stage antics and fun personality would capture the hearts of League fans around the world. However, it wasn’t only his on-stage persona that would make him one of the best managers in the scene. His passion for the game, as well as his patient and understanding nature, made him one of the most well-liked managers in Europe.
He would transfer over to North America for the 2018 season, when OpTic would announce their venture into the world of League of Legends. He would also bring over Thomas “Zaboutine” Si-Hassen from Europe, to become OpTic’s head coach. In June, he would become the General Manager of all of OpTic. He would speak on his vision for the future in a statement:
The long-term goal is obviously 2019. As soon as we have an efficient working environment – structure, coaches, things like that – it’s easier to plug-and-play players into it. I have good faith that we are going to develop a couple of the guys from the academy. I really hope we can keep working with some of our best talent – and by that, I mean PowerofEvil and Arrow, for example.
Unfortunately, his vision doesn’t seem to be panning out in a way they anticipated. What could have gone wrong with the team in the last four to five months?
There are a few possible problems that could have arisen in Bigeard’s time with OpTic Gaming. If we look back at OpTic Gaming’s inaugural season in the NA LCS, it is safe to say it was pretty lackluster. In the Spring Split of 2018, they would finish with one of the worst records in the league and ending in ninth place. The next season, they would find a bit more success, barely missing the Playoffs after finding their groove in the second half of the split.
OpTic Gaming had a promising end to their year. They had something to look forward to and something to build upon. Their top laner Niship “Dhokla” Doshi was improving as a rookie top laner in a league with many great top lane talents. They had a decent jungler in Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham. Of course, they had their centerpiece of the future in Tristan “PowerofEvil” Schrage. Things were definitely looking up for the Green Wall in the NA LCS.
Unfortunately, Romain’s words hint to a problem within the organization pertaining to the League department. Saying “I still believe in LoL” will obviously make people think that maybe OpTic does not believe in League of Legends. Prominent League of Legends figure and ex-pro player William “Scarra” Li would state that many teams that made NA LCS franchising are now trying to sell their spot. This only fuels the fires that maybe, OpTic would be one of the teams looking to sell their spot.
However, popular esports journalist Jacob Wolf would later contradict this idea. He’d state that Scarra’s statement had “nothing to do with OpTic or Infinite and are completely unrelated to Romain Bigeard’s departure.” As one of the most trustworthy news sources in esports, it is easy to take Wolf at his word. However, the question remains: what made Romain Bigeard leave, only four months into his OpTic Gaming stint?
Another possibility is that OpTic Gaming had a different vision for their League of Legends team. Bigeard seems to have plenty of faith in the growth of the team from the ground up. However, a brand as big as OpTic may not have the same patience. With the departure of former ADC Noh “Arrow” Dong-hyeon, it seems that OpTic wishes to get better now rather than later. That does not seem to fit under the gameplan of Bigeard’s.
What are your thoughts on Romain’s departure from OpTic Gaming? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! If you want more League of Legends content, check us out here!
Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.