Head coach Shih “Chashao” Yi-Hao has stepped down from his position at Suning.
The Chinese League of Legends team announced the news earlier today, stating that they “regret” to announce his departure. Chashao was with the team for 571 days, experiencing both the lows and highs of the team’s journey.
“Thank you for your contribution and efforts to Suning,” Suning stated on Twitter. “Wishing that your next stop brings you closer to your dream.”
We regret to announce that Chashao has stepped down as head coach of Suning.
Together for 571 days, together experienced the trough, but also hand in hand to see the scenery high.
Thanks to your contribution and efforts to Suning.
Wish you the next stop closer to your dream. pic.twitter.com/PmnWmnrsbQ
— SUNING (@suning_gaming) December 7, 2020
Suning started out the year in a very underwhelming fashion. At the start of the LPL Spring Split the underdog team found itself in 11th place.
With Chashao’s direction, Suning was able to make it all the way to the 2020 World Championship, something League of Legends fans didn’t expect. But Suning wasn’t done yet. They beat G2 Esports in the group stage and then JD Gaming and Top Esports in the playoffs. Suning made it to the finals, but lost to DAMWON Gaming 3-1.
Even though fans didn’t expect such a successful run from the team, they should have known that Chashao would have a positive impact on the squad. He started off as a commentator for Garena Taiwan before moving to coaching in 2013 when he took a position with Taipei Assassins. The next year, Chashao moved to Flash Wolves, and then Suning.
Chashao has not announced where he is planning to go next, but League of Legends teams in the LPL and beyond will most likely be after his expertise after Suning’s turnaround last season.
Suning, formerly Suning Gaming, was founded by the e-commerce company Suning.com. It’s a Chinese esports organization that competes in the LPL in its home country of China. While League of Legends competitors eventually play other regions, Suning starts each season competing solely against other Chinese teams.
Suning was formed in 2016 and competed in the LSPL Spring Season the following year. They finished that first competitive split in second with a 17-5 record. This qualified them for the LPL. They came in fourth in the LPL Summer Season, sporting a 7-9 record. It was a good start for the new team.
Since then, Suning has continued to compete in the LPL. That means they are one of the top League of Legends teams in China, although they never proved themselves to be quite as popular and successful as Top Esports, LGD Gaming, Vici Gaming, and Royal Never Give Up. But that all changed at 2020 Worlds when Suning made it to the finals in part thanks to Chashao’s leadership.
Despite great run, Suning fell to DAMWON Gaming in the finals of Worlds earlier this year. DAMWON is a Korean team that has consistently performed well. Even though the team is talented, the audience at Worlds didn’t seem too excited about their victory. The small Chinese crowd was most likely hoping for Suning to take the title.