British esports manager Joe ‘InnerFlame’ El Ouassi has stepped down as general manager for SK Gaming and transitioned to an agent.
SK had a difficult season in the LEC, finishing ninth in the Summer 2021 LEC Season. Before that, they finished sixth in the Spring Season.
They made headlines prior to the Summer Season, after moving star League of Legends support player Treatz to the jungle, benching starting jungler TynX and bringing back head coach Jesiz as support.
InnerFlame has been working in esports for over a decade, having started out in League of Legends season one by running tournaments from his bedroom.
He built up a ton of experience working with organisations such as G2, Dignitas and Misfits over the years.
InnerFlame went into detail around his time in League of Legends and esports in this post:
He said: “The reason why I have decided to retire is down to a realisation I had this season. I want to build something sustainable for the rest of my life and figured I should start earlier rather than later. I’m in my late twenties now, and the priorities in my life have shifted. I’ve started thinking about what my life will look like at 30, and beyond. Things like starting a family.
“This industry is very cutthroat at the top. A bad season can see you out on your arse, and that is not the sort of job security that allows you to plan for the future. In any sort of competitive environment, your position is only secured with constant success. There is no room for failure and very little time to implement a process. Unless you are [current Arsenal FC manager] Mikel Arteta, apparently.
“General manager salaries in Europe are better than they have ever been but nothing close to what various other positions earn. I doubt it will get to a point in the near future that makes it worthwhile in the long term. That being said, I have no regrets other than not winning EU at least once. I managed to live my dream for 10 years, how can anyone be sad about that?”
InnerFlame thanked several people and bosses he has worked with, as well as players, coaches, friends and family.
While he is leaving his role of general manager behind, he’s not leaving esports entirely. InnerFlame has become an esports agent for Proxy:
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.