Andy "Reginald" Dinh is one of the most well-known names in all of League of Legends, and Jerry Jones is one of the most well-known names in all of football. Although the worlds of the NFL and esports are vastly different, the two are more similar than their professions might suggest.
Not in their childhood, or their rise to own one of the most popular brands in esports and sports, respectively, but in their hands-on approach to the game and the detriment they can cause by sticking their hands in too many cookie jars.
One of the main separations of the two is how they became in control of their respective teams. Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys in 1989 for $140 million and then proceeded to fire one of the most decorative and popular coaches of all time, Tom Landry. He brought on a former college teammate, Jimmy Johnson, and took sole control of the general manager position after firing Tex Schramm. In a short period of time, Jones made himself the center of the universe when it came to the storied Cowboys franchise. While his predecessors in the past took a back seat to the players and coaches, Jones went the opposite direction. He was the Dallas Cowboys.
His ownership didn't start well, as the team went 1-15 in his first season, but he did bring home three Superbowl trophies in his first seven seasons. The Cowboys haven't been back to the NFC Championship or the Superbowl since 1995.
Jerry, I’m not gonna beat around the bush, you do suck, your job should be signing players, and hiring an actual GM to run football operations, you’re just like the orange dumpling in the WH. https://t.co/fDTBKmMPAA
Reginald was at the forefront of League of Legends esports and started the Team SoloMid brand in 2011 after a dispute with his brother Dan Dinh. Unlike Jones, who simply bought the Dallas Cowboys, Reginald started TSM from scratch and grew it into perhaps the most popular American esports brand. He was a former League of Legends player that eventually became the manager and coach for his team.
Although Team SoloMid had coaches and general managers before, Reginald always made the final decision. TSM had a carousel of coaches come through the door with Reginald always stepping in to change things up when he felt the team was struggling. This was most relevant when TSM hired KC "woodbuck" Woods.
Woodbuck had barely any game knowledge or experience handling a group of professional esport athletes. His hire was one of the biggest blunders in the organization's history. TSM then had to rely on Weldon Green, who focused primarily on sports psychology, for coaching. That left Reginald to strategically lead the team with the help of Parth Naidu.
Even during the times with Choi "Locodoco" Yoon-seop as coach, Reginald constantly inserted himself into the picture to overrule Loco when he thought the team needed to be run in a different way.
Reginald never separated himself from team operations (as a businessperson should) and hired individuals better qualified to coach and manage the team. Just like Jones inserted himself into a role that most owners hired others to do, Reginald did, too, and he was the one making changes.
Every roster decision was finalized by Reginald. He brought on Lustboy, Santorin, KEITH, WildTurtle, kaSing, Doublelift, Biofrost, and every former member of Team SoloMid. His one greatest achievement was snagging Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg, though most give credit to Leena Xu for signing Bjergsen to a five-year contract.
.@Bjergsen JUST GOT APPROVED FOR a 5 year visa !!!!! Hes flying back on the 18th for sure now!! ;DDDDD
After signing Bjergsen, he brought in plenty of supporting members who could never work quite right with Bjergsen. The team has had an unprecedented amount of success in the NA LCS, but it has failed to find much success internationally.
Much like Jones languished his failure to provide a Super Bowl caliber team around Tony Romo and Jason Witten, Reginald will have failed as an owner if he cannot bring home a League of Legends World Championship trophy with the best mid laner -- and player -- the West has seen.
Reginald could finally be making the right steps in order to lead Team SoloMid to a world title.
This year, TSM doesn't have a coach promoted from a prior position, one which Reginald has already had control over. He this time added Kim "SSONG" Sang-soo, the first time Team SoloMid hired a high-end coach to lead the team. TSM also signed Ham "Lustboy" Jang-sik as the strategic coach for the team, and Parth moved to the general manager position.
The outlook should be different with SSONG as head coach, though TSM fell short in the NA LCS spring playoffs. But Parth has already shown as a coach that he will agree and conform to Reginald's wishes. Will Parth be able to hold his own when it comes to player acquisitions? Will he be able to make the final decisions?
These two icons have stamped themselves into the history books. Jones hasn't won a Lombardi trophy in more than 20 years and still made it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His legacy isn't filled with disaster or disappointment, but rather a difference of approach that has only sometimes worked out. The same goes for Reginald. His decisions have directly impacted Team SoloMid and have blatantly been an obstacle at times. But will this year be different? For the first time, TSM didn't make the finals of an NA LCS split. Will Reginald allow his staff to continue its vision moving forward? Will he continue to trust SSONG and Parth, or will he step in, yet again, to implement a new plan?
Let's see which Reginald shows up for the rest of 2018.