Golden Guardians Niles / Maryville Esports

Golden Guardians completes its 2021 LCS roster with rookie talent

Melany M. November 25, 2020

Golden Guardians has finalized its LCS roster for the 2021 season, and it’s full of new faces.

Golden Guardians started the offseason by releasing all of its LCS players, leaving the fans wondering what the roster would look like in 2021. Just a couple of days later, fans got their answer. Golden Guardians, unlike the other LCS teams, is betting on up-and-coming talent with three rookies and one player from a minor region.

The core of this roster is veteran bottom laner Trevor "Stixxay" Hayes, who recently parted ways with Counter Logic Gaming after five years. Stixxay will be laning with Argentinian support Leandro "Newbie" Marcos. Newbie played under All Knights in the LLA before being signed by Golden Guardians. Newbie won two domestic MVP titles and one LLA championship, but the team couldn’t qualify to Worlds in 2020.

In the mid lane, Golden Guardians is promoting academy player Nicholas "Ablazeolive" Abbott. Ablazeolive is regarded as one of the best mid laners competing at the academy level and is finally getting his shot at the LCS.

The top lane-jungle duo is joining directly from the Maryville University. Aiden "Niles" Tidwell will start in the top lane with Ethan "Iconic" Wilkinson in the jungle. Maryville, which is located in St. Louis, Missouri, has a successful League of Legends program that has achieved multiple titles through the years. Iconic and Niles are the first duo to be picked up as starters for an LCS team.

“We look at the human behind the keyboard. One of the best things you can do with a team is get five players in a room that actively want to work together, who are motivated. When that mentality is carried by all of the players, you’re able to get so much better, so much faster. It’s really exciting to be at the very start and kind of be the spark that lights the flame of someone’s carrer,” Golden Guardians general manager Danan Flander said.

Coach Nick "Inero" Smith will be in charge of the squad for the upcoming season.