The Story of Origen’s Collapse: Why xPeke is the man to Question

It wasn’t that long ago when the world was raving about Origen and their semifinal run in the Season 5 World Championship. Unfortunately for Origen, their past means nothing as it pertains to today. Origen are now the 9th best team in the European LCS and have accumulated 1 win out of 12 series this split. The collapse of Origen has been a long and slow one that began around a year ago. So let’s start there.

2015 Summer Split, Playoffs, and Worlds

In the summer of 2015, Origen was recently promoted from the Challenger scene and burst onto the European LCS scene with a 12-6 regular season record (2nd place) and a first round bye in the playoffs. However, during the season Origen went through their first coaching change. Titus “LeDuck” Hafner stepped down from the organization in September of 2015. Hafner commented on the organization saying it was, “very player focused / protective, which makes it difficult as an authority figure to push changes and break old habits.”

To give some clarity to his statement, Origen was founded and is run by Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez. It wasn’t until a couple weeks ago where Origen announced they had hired a CEO. So xPeke was running Origen for the entirety of 2015 and the majority of 2016. xPeke was also the starting mid laner for all of season 5. LeDuck had almost no control over the players or team’s habits because the player he was “in-charge” of was his boss. One could assume that the rest of the players listened to xPeke instead of LeDuck which led to LeDuck’s exit.

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Origen’s former coach Hermit at Worlds with the team

After LeDuck’s departure, Tadayoshi “Hermit” Littleton was promoted from his analyst position to the head coaching role. Hermit coached Origen to an EU LCS finals appearance where they lost to the undefeated regular season Fnatic team, 3-2. Origen then defeated Unicorns of Love in the European Worlds Qualifier to earn the #3 seed from Europe for the World Championship. Origen then reached their peak by making a surprising run to the semifinals of Worlds. They lost their semifinal matchup to the eventual champions SKT T1 3-0, but their run was considered a huge success for their team and also Europe. After worlds, Hermit left the organization and joined North American side, NRG, where he still works as their coach. Nothing was really made of this move, but he may have also been tired of the lack of authority he could have over his players.

The Off-Season Before Season 6

Origen went into the off-season without a coach and competed at IEM X San Jose with xPeke as their coach. The team had picked up mid laner PowerOfEvil to play mid lane as xPeke announced his retirement from playing. After their IEM title, Origen had a very counter productive off-season. It was reported that the Origen players did not practice often and were unable to set up scrims against other teams due to their internet issues at their gaming house. During the off-season, a couple of Origen’s players responded to the criticism that they were “uncoachable” with tweets. Origen’s top laner Paul “Soaz” Boyer tweeted out his feelings about having a coach.

Origen’s jungler Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider also tweeted about his opinions on coaching in the eastern part of the world in general.

The Origen players were claiming that they were better off without coaches and that no coach could help offer anything of value to their team. Their fellow player/boss xPeke started this mindset with the team and let fellow players adopt this opinion. The fact is, every player in the world could improve some aspect of their game. A coach can identify problems, and offer the needed help to fix them. That is if the coach has the authority to fix them and not be overruled by a player that just so happens to be his boss.

2016 Spring Split and Off-Season

To start the spring split, Origen hired Nicolai “Hazel” Larsen as their coach and were heavy favorites heading into the season due to Fnatic’s roster changes. 4 weeks into the season, Hazel stepped down and continued the coaching carousel at Origen. The team was not living up to expectations with a 4-4 record and the organization thought a change was needed. Xpeke stepped in as an interim head coach, but his job lasted a month and a half. Nicholas “NicoThePico” Korsgaard eventually took over as Origen’s new coach, this allowed xPeke to come out of retirement and play for Origen in series down the stretch. Origen finished 4th in the spring split, which was a disappointment, but they made another great playoff run and ended up in the finals. Origen eventually lost 3-1 to G2 Esports and ended up losing even more to G2 in the off-season.

zvenMithy

In the off-season after the spring split, Zven and Mithy were rumored to be leaving Origen after being “fed up” with the way the organization runs itself. They disliked the attitude the other players had towards the game and wanted to practice more and see changes. Zven and Mithy ended up leaving Origen and headed to G2 Esports. The organization came under more scrutiny for the way it was being run and xPeke continued his ways.

The Disaster Known As Origen’s 2016 Summer Split

To replace Zven and Mithy, Origen picked up Forgiven for the ADC position and former G2 Esports’ support, Hybrid. Forgiven didn’t last long, as he stepped down after the first week where Origen went 0-4. He stated that he stepped down because a lack of motivation. One can insinuate that a good coaching staff/organization could have helped Forgiven fix his motivation issues or at least get him to play Leauge of Legends more instead of Overwatch. Forgiven even tweeted today in response to the hate messages he has been receiving.

Forgiven also stated that his time at Origen was a try-out. Just another example of a bad organizational move to not come out with this information instead of hiding it if it is true. Origen announced that xPeke would fill in at ADC until they could find a replacement, but he still remains their starting ADC after 6 weeks. xPeke has failed to bring in an ADC replacement and his lack of skill and experience at the position has affected Origen in a negative way.

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EU LCS Standings after 6 weeks

Before week 6 of the EU LCS began, Origen made yet another coaching change and brought in former substitute jungler, Alvar “Araneae” Martin Aleñar, to be the coach of Origen. LeDuck, Hermit, Hazel, xPeke, NicoThePico, and now Araneae. On average, a coach at Origen is getting about 2 months before there is a change. All these coaches and none of them have actually done coaches work according to many people close to the pro scene. They have all been more of an analyst for Origen. The Origen core has a reputation of being uncoachable and that’s exactly what their founder xPeke wanted. He wanted to call the shots and that is exactly what he and the veteran players have been doing. The problem with that approach is that one day, their way of doing things will fail. It has failed. xPeke and the players have not changed though. Even with 1 win in 12 series this split, they hire Araneae, who isn’t a coach. Araneae is a friend, a former player of the organization, who won’t be able to change a thing because he has no power to overrule xPeke. Araneae will not make the players practice more, expand their champion pools, or come up with different approaches to the game. He won’t do what a coach should do, coach. xPeke has cut out the path that he wants for his team, but that path could lead directly back down to the Challenger series if something meaningful does not happen in that organization.

By: Jeff “Gravy” Miskin

Twitter: @BigBadGravy