Coach Profile: Rusty
With the return of the Oceanic Pro League approaching, we welcome back Zack "Rusty" Pye to our organization after his departure to persure an amazing opportunity in China's LPL; finding huge success by casting not only a highly competitive competition, but also having the opportunity to cast the World Championships twice.
Moving forward into this year, we have welcomed Rusty back as our Head Coach for the season to come. With that being said, we wanted to learn more about who he is and what he plans to do with our roster to help find success. Below is a list of questions that focus solely around Rusty's ambitions for 2019, attached with his answers found below each question.
Captured: Rusty at the OPL before departing to the LPL (source)
- What was the biggest factor behind leaving casting in the LPL to becoming the Head Coach for Avant Gaming in the OPL?
"For me, the biggest factor was about expanding my skill set to be able to learn and become a much more valuable person for the local esports community. Aside from that, it’s an opportunity to give back to a region who enabled me to be where I am, which is something I care very much about."
- With that being said, what attracted you to joining Avant Gaming over the other organizations in the region?
"Avant were very quick to agree with my core philosophies and principles I want to uphold when coaching. I’m from a very traditional sporting upbringing, so to have an agreeable team back my decisions and choices and most importantly trust me, is something I value very highly in Avant."
- You have fielded a roster filled with a lot of rookie players and a couple of veterans for the upcoming season. Do you have a reasoning behind this decision?
"Rookies make the world go round, simply put I want to build a team that can become great and I think this is the correct timing to achieve exactly that in Oceania. An unbelievable amount of players have shifted around pretty wildly, and I think the time is ripe to develop new players from the ground floor into champion players."
- How do you plan on improving the talent you have acquired and do you have a set game plan to execute success for the 2019 season?
"A lot of the things I want to work on with my players involves proper goal setting, strong work ethics and team culture. These three things (among more) instill a champion mentality that is required almost before we can improve the rest. With this mentality in mind, the growth should be rapid."
- Just off of what you have planned in your head for this roster, how do you think they will matchup against the other rosters in the competition?
"It’s hard to say for certain just how this roster will matchup until we start to see the games and results. As mentioned before there have been so many roster shifts that we don’t really know how strong any of the teams truly are, my job is to make our own as good as possible."
- The Oceanic Pro League has taken an interesting turn this year in terms of the competitive atmosphere; with some teams building “super” rosters and some taking the route of building talent. What are your thoughts on this and how do you think these strategies will play out?
"I have a lot of thoughts on this, but to boil it down into something simple: I like that there’s movement, however I would personally think this is a little too much movement. Some rosters will be super strong, built on friendships that I hope stick together for their sake, some built of hungry rookies who I hope will put in the work to achieve their own greatness. Again while I can write down theoretical tier lists, I want to see them competing on the rift and so I will withhold final judgement."
- Do you have any personal and competitive goals set for next year, if so; what are they?
"I want to win, that goes without saying that if I can win, I will work my hardest to achieve that goal. Personally I want to learn and develop my own skills to be considered a good coach by the end of the year. It is my hope that the players will learn and grow from this experience with me and we can all walk away content, but I’m a very competitive person so it’s still a major goal to win."
- Anything you would like to express to either your fans or the organization?
"I do sincerely hope that all of the Avant Gaming fans who followed the org can continue to rally behind the new direction we have taken, there’s a lot of shifts, a lot of the faces and star players gone - but ultimately we’re still going to work our hardest to give you all a reason to support us. These players are good kids and we can do great things together."
We are extremely excited to have Rusty onboard with our organization and we look forward to seeing where he takes us moving into 2019. Be sure to stay connected with him via hia platforms below!
Article written and produced by Benji.