Shernfire Returns to Dire Wolves as Coach
The OPL’s Dire Wolves have announced the return of Shern “Shernfire” Cherng Tai as a co-coach. Shernfire has spent his entire competitive career as a jungler.
This will be Shernfire’s third stint with the Dire Wolves. Shernfire first joined the Dire Wolves as a substitute in October 2014. He then moved to North America and bounced around the Academy scene before returning to Oceania. From 2017 to 2018, Shernfire became one of the best players in the OPL as the Dire Wolves won four consecutive splits. Shernfire then moved back to North America to compete with Team Liquid Academy and filled in for Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen on the LCS roster during his visa issues.
Shernfire’s career has not been without controversy. After joining NALCS team Vortex in June 2015, he was banned from competitive play for the rest of 2015 for participating in ELO boosting. Shernfire also received a two-game suspension from the 2018 World Championship after he: “exhibited a pattern of extremely toxic and culturally insensitive language in solo queue on the Korean Server.”
Though he came with those red flags, they were not enough to dissuade Team Liquid from signing him in November 2019. Though he had no reported behavioral issues, Shernfire’s star fell after he and Team Liquid struggled to a 2-4 record. After Broxah returned, Shernfire moved to the TL Academy roster and went 7-5 to close the regular season. TL Academy was swept 3-0 by Evil Geniuses Academy in the first round of the playoffs.
Shernfire joins a Dire Wolves team that has struggled since he departed in 2019. After winning four consecutive titles with him, the Dire Wolves finished 1-20 in their first split without him. They have since pulled off consecutive 12-9 seasons, capped with a loss to Legacy Esports in the OPL 2020 Split 1 Playoffs Finals.
Shernfire joins Andy “Cupcake” van der Vyver as co-coach of the Dire Wolves. Considering that it will be his first coaching experience, it’s hard to know what to expect of the union. Shernfire will obviously command great respect as someone who once dominated the league, but he will have to learn how to effectively translate his knowledge to the players. He will likely work closely with Korean jungle import Park “Mir” Mi-reu on jungle pathing.
The OPL Split 2 regular season begins on Friday, June 5th. The Dire Wolves open with a Split 1 Playoffs Finals rematch with Legacy Esports.