SEMPHIS joins Gaimin Gladiators as coach
Gaimin Gladiators have signed Canadian former IGL Kory "SEMPHIS" Friesen to coach their recently acquired lineup. The move marks the 32-year-old's return to activity after a nine month break from competition following the dissolution of SKDC.
It also marks the first time a core helmed by Carson "nosraC" O'Reilly has brought on a coach in any meaningful capacity, potentially signaling the team are looking to get serious after being more known for their indiscretions and lackadaisical approach to the game as ChocoCheck.
While his tier one playing days are many years behind him, SEMPHIS is still well known in the community for his contributions to a number of early North American CS:GO teams. In his first major role in the then-new game, SEMPHIS reached top four at the first Major, DreamHack Winter 2013, while playing for Spencer "Hiko" Martin's compLexity lineup. That squad would later go on to be signed by Cloud9 as part of their initial foray into CS:GO, staying under that organization for eight months before being cut alongside Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan.
Post-Cloud9, SEMPHIS roster hopped for a few months before landing on TSM where he found success while playing with a young Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken. Following his time on TSM, SEMPHIS's professional playing career began to reach its twilight on Splyce as the squad struggled to stay relevant in a highly competitive North American scene.
It is worth noting that although SEMPHIS' individual level began to decline at this time, the Splyce organization did the team no favors by allegedly failing to acquire players SEMPHIS recommended or follow through with bootcamps. To cap off this period in his career, in a "fun" coincidence SEMPHIS played with a young Zack "XotiC" Elshani who has deep ties with this current Gaimin Gladiators lineup.
SEMPHIS' final professional team was Envy, which turned out to be something of a non-event as SEMPHIS was benched from the deeply troubled lineup after a month in favor of Matt "Pollo" Wilson.
While SEMPHIS played for a number of Premier and Advanced level lineups post-Envy, the Canadian has eyed becoming a coach for a number of years. In 2018, SEMPHIS was briefly evaluated to become Cloud9's coach before the team elected to hire compLexity's former coach Ronald "Rambo" Kim.
SEMPHIS has a lot of work ahead of him in his new home, as Gaimin Gladiators recently replaced Anthony "CLASIA" Kearney with Otto "garfield" Netteberg and are working to become a serious contender after previously being mired in a number of controversies. In Gaimin Gladiators' announcement video, SEMPHIS said his lofty goals are to help "make NA great again" and in time help the organization claim a "tier one" and/or "top ten" spot in the world rankings.
With SEMPHIS leading the project, Gaimin Gladiators are now:
Carson "nosraC" O'Reilly
Dominick "JazzPimp" Dimpfel
Jeorge "jeorgesnorts" Endicott
David "cynic" Polster
Otto "garfield" Netteberg
Kory "SEMPHIS" Friesen (Coach)
SEMPHIS has already made his debut with the team in the ESEA Winter Cash Cup 6, with Gaimin Gladiators being eliminated in day one against Valors2.