VaultBoy: A Biographic Look at the Career of Goldenglue


Goldenglue has been something between a meme and an enigma throughout his entire career. From being the professional “gatekeeper” in mid lane to the example of untapped potential, to a reliable mid laner for a world-caliber team, we look at the career of Goldenglue.

Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer, the Cloud9 mid laner is a veteran of North American League of Legends at just 22 years old. Twitch chat affectionately calls him “VaultBoy” due to his resemblance to the emote and he is one-half of the world famous “Swole Bros” with Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen.

He has played for many teams in his five-year career to varying degrees of success. Following the announcement by Cloud9 that Goldenglue will be splitting time with new signing Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer for the 2019 Spring split, I decided to take a biographic look at the career of Goldenglue.

Goldenglue started to play League of Legends professionally in late 2013. His first foray into the competitive scene came in 2014 with the inaugural North American Challenger Series. He was acquired by compLexity.Red, sister team to compLexity.Black, a team which would go on to win promotion to the LCS. The team had a sufficient enough start to qualify for the playoffs with strong performances from Goldenglue himself and also ex-LCS players Evan “Evaniskus” Stevens and Andrew “Nk Inc” Erickson. However, the compLexity mid laner was to be whisked away by Dignitas before competing in the last stage of the Challenger Series. CompLexity.Red struggled with their new mid laner, easily falling to their sister team in the quarterfinals. LMQ and compLexity.Black would ultimately win promotion ahead of the Summer split.

A young player will always jump at the chance to play at the top level, even if it is a risky venture. Goldenglue replaced popular mid laner William “Scarra” Li for the last two weeks of the spring split in 2014. Dignitas had a record of 9-13 which allowed them a tenuous grasp on 4th place, however the team felt that Scarra would serve them better in a coaching capacity.

Goldenglue debuted against a struggling Evil Geniuses team in what amounted to a mess of a game, Dignitas came out on top but this was no high praise. The next day, Dignitas would lose to eventual split winners and Goldenglue’s future team Cloud9 with Goldenglue falling victim to a first blood kill by Hai “Hai” Lam.

More from LCS

Next up was an infamous “super week” where a team has to play four games over the course of two days. It started well for Goldenglue, with two strong Orianna performances against Curse and XDG that netted Dignitas a perfect day one. However, Goldenglue’s first experience in the LCS would end in a whimper.

A shock upset loss against Team Coast followed by a thumping at the hands of Counter Logic Gaming saw Goldenglue exit the team prematurely. Joshua “Jatt” Leesman highlighted the fact that Goldenglue was dead last in CS@10 before what would be his last game for Dignitas. Dignitas decided to bring back in Scarra for playoffs where they would go on to lose against Curse in the quarterfinals.

The young mid laner returned to the challenger scene, unperturbed by his disappointing debut stint in the LCS. Following Coast’s relegation at the hands of compLexity.Black, Goldenglue replaced Danny “Shiphtur” Le on the team ahead of the 2014 Summer Challenger Series.

Joining him was a future LCS player in Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen. This roster proved to be a formidable force in challenger, placing first in both “mini-splits” ahead of stiff opposition in Team8 and Curse Academy.

Despite being outplayed by Team8 in the playoff semifinals, the team looked strong going into the 2015 Spring Promotion Tournament. Bafflingly, Coast decided to sub out both Goldenglue and top laner Keenan “Rhux” Santos in favor of unproven Korean solo queue talents Yi “Miracle” Yong-woo and the aptly named Park “Ringer” Sang-kyun. Goldenglue had been robbed of his shot at qualifying for the LCS.

Coast was easily swept aside by Evil Geniuses, with a particularly uninspiring performance by Ringer who was a complete victim of Eugene “Pobelter” Park in the mid lane. Goldenglue would get another chance. The NA LCS planned to expand from eight to ten teams and as a result, was holding an expansion tournament to decide the last two teams.

Goldenglue returned to the compLexity organization to participate in the expansion tournament, this time for compLexity.White. Despite fighting hard, compLexity.White fell to one of the eventual promotees in Curse Academy whose victory was in no small part due to the signature Hecarim mid pick of Jang “Keane” Lae-young.

After failing to qualify for the LCS, Goldenglue did not compete in the 2015 Spring Challenger split and failed to qualify for the 2015 Summer Challenger split with Frank Fang Gaming. Many players would have given up after consecutive failures but fortunately for Goldenglue, Team8’s mid laner Andrew “Slooshi” Pham had to attend to a family emergency four weeks into the Summer Split which prompted the team to enlist Goldenglue as a temporary replacement. Goldenglue had managed to make it back to the LCS, probably not in the way he would have wanted but it was time now to showcase his improvement on the big stage.

Goldenglue’s debut for Team8 would be in opposition to Gravity, the rebranded Curse Academy that denied him a chance at LCS promotion previously. It was another less-than-stellar performance from Goldenglue as Keane once again got the better of him. However, it was clear to see that Goldenglue improved Team8 overall, with especially impressive performances in wins against Cloud9 and Team Solomid.

Unfortunately, a poor start to the split before Goldenglue joined the team meant their overall record of 6-12 was only enough to put them in a relegation tiebreaker with a struggling Cloud9. They lost this game which would send C9 on their 2015 miracle run through the regional gauntlet and on to Worlds.

Team8 was able to easily dispatch promotion hopefuls Team Imagine in the 2016 Spring Promotion, a testament to their recent improvement with Goldenglue. Team8 had planned to continue in the LCS, even going so far as to announce Goldenglue as a permanent replacement for Slooshi but by the time the Spring Split had rolled around, their spot had been bought out by a new organization, Immortals. Goldenglue was once more thrust into the purgatory of the North American Challenger scene.

As he had now become a known quantity in Challenger, Goldenglue was quickly picked up by Team Ember, a new organization that had acquired the spot of Cloud9 Tempest. Ember put in a strong showing in the 2016 Spring Challenger split, placing second with a record of 3-1-1. The team then had a dilemma, Juan “Contractz” Garcia (the team’s jungler) would not be old enough to compete in the Summer Promotion should Ember make it there. As a result, they signed Goldenglue’s former teammate Santorin to play for them in the playoffs.

Goldenglue was also given an opportunity to step back on the LCS stage temporarily. Echo Fox enlisted the help of Goldenglue and his teammate Colin “Solo” Earnest whilst sorting out visa issues for solo laners Park “kfo” Jeong-hun and Henrik “Froggen” Hansen. The pair frankly played awful during their brief time in the LCS but since it was a temporary arrangement on short notice with an entirely new team.

Ember’s first playoff game was against recently relegated Team Dragon Knights. Goldenglue played decently against European legend Alex “Alex Ich” Ichetovkin despite being heavily pressured throughout the series. Unfortunately for Goldenglue, it was a meta in which the mid laner was generally a glorified second support for the dominant role that was AD Carry. Oh “Ohq” Gyu-min was relentless this series, playing Vayne in all three of TDK’s wins as he heavily outperformed Benjamin “Benji” deMunck (then known as LOD). Following this unexpected loss, Ember released all their players with the exception of Contractz whose contract they wished to sell.

Goldenglue was clearly highly valued in the Challenger scene. He was constantly at the precipice of LCS, too good for Challenger but not yet quite good enough for the top division in North America. This is why he was picked up by Team Liquid Academy who hoped to develop him into the talent they knew he could be.

TLA finished 2nd in the NA Challenger Series Summer split, right behind Cloud9 Challenger. After easily sweeping aside Nova in the semifinals, they met Cloud9 Challenger in the final, the team was famously full of LCS veterans such as An “Balls” Van Le and Daerek “LemonNation” Hart.

The teams were extremely evenly matched which brought the series to a dramatic game five. Unfortunately, an error in champion select where Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin accidentally locked in Rammus stacked the odds against Team Liquid Academy in the final game. They were unable to overcome this adversity despite William “Stunt” Chen piloting Rammus to the best of his ability. An unfortunate setback for the squad but 2nd place still earned them at a chance in the Spring 2017 Promotion Tournament.

This would be Goldenglue’s second time in a Promotion Tournament, but the first time as a potential promotee. Due to Team Liquid Academy’s second place finish, Goldenglue started under the gun; facing off against Echo Fox with legendary mid laner Froggen opposite him.

Goldenglue played decently, including an inspired game one on Kassadin but unfortunately T,LA could not overcome Echo Fox despite forcing the series to five games. Team Liquid Academy did not qualify for the 2017 spring split despite a strong overall showing.

This strong showing in Challenger propelled Goldenglue to Team Liquid’s LCS roster for the 2017 Spring split. He may not have won promotion but Goldenglue would still get the opportunity to play in the LCS once more. Joining him would be his Academy teammate Piglet and expensive new signing Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin while Sam “Lourlo” Jackson and Matthew “Matt” Elento would remain on the team.

This roster flopped spectacularly, with Goldenglue in particular being singled out for his poor performances and apparent nerves on the big stage. Team Liquid opted to role swap Piglet to the middle lane, spawning the popular “Midlet” meme in the process while bringing in Jung “Youngbin” Young-bin to replace him as AD Carry. Goldenglue would not play for the rest of the split and could only watch as his team constantly shifted their roster around before finally finishing in 9th place. Team Liquid would only survive due to the performances of on loan AD carry Yillang “Doublelift” Peng in the Summer Promotion.

This was a crucial crossroads for Goldenglue. He had just disappointed once more during his fourth time in the LCS; many players would have folded at this stage. Goldenglue did not give in, he travelled to Korea to train amongst the best in the world. He had hoped to return to Team Liquid a redeemed player. The organisation rewarded his hard work and announced that he would be the starting mid laner for the 2017 Summer split.

In fact, they curiously decided to start the same five players as the last split despite their atrocious season. After an uninspiring performance in Team Liquid’s week one series against Counter Logic Gaming, Team Liquid made the questionable decision to sub out Goldenglue after just one chance on stage. It doesn’t sound like they were very dedicated to fostering his confidence as they said. His replacement was Slooshi, a man he had replaced himself back in Summer 2015 on Team8.

The organisation subbed Goldenglue back into the lineup after just one lost series from Slooshi. Liquid were defeated by Envy but a win over Team Dignitas gave the lineup their first win. This did not kick start their split however and their poor form continued, going 0-2 in week 3.

Goldenglue was once more subbed out for Slooshi briefly but was brought back in to the lineup once more. This roster couldn’t make any combination work as they continued to lose series after series. Goldenglue was subbed out of the lineup for the last time in the final week, with newly signed mid Son “Mickey” Young-min coming in for that week and the inevitable Promotion Tournament. Team Liquid did manage to stay in the LCS but without Goldenglue.

In the mind of the community, Goldenglue was an undesirable player entering the 2018 Season. After multiple runs in the LCS he had been unimpressive, if not outright poor at times. With franchising being introduced in 2018, was there a place for Goldenglue in the new NA LCS?

Initially, not quite. The tenured mid laner was picked up by Cloud9 Academy and would be competing in the 2018 Academy Spring split. Cloud9 Academy quickly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with, with Goldenglue cementing himself as a top player in his role. His KDA, GD10 and CS10 were in the top three among mid laners for the regular split.

C9A met eventual winners FlyQuest Academy in the semi finals where they fell victim to a surprising 3-0 sweep despite a strong individual performance from Goldenglue. They may have been defeated but there was no denying the talent in the line-up and that became clearer to see as Summer rolled around.

Evidently, C9 recognised the talent it had on its Academy roster and as a result promoted Goldenglue, Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam and Yuri “Keth” Jew to the main roster for the beginning of the 2018 NA LCS Summer split. This was met with great concern by fans as Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi and Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen were seen as the team’s best players.

This experiment famously failed, after three weeks of the split Cloud9 had a record of 1-5 and were dead last. Goldenglue and Keith were taken out of the lineup and would stay on the sidelines for the remainder of the regular season.

The pair returned to the Academy League where they established that Cloud9 Academy was firmly the dominant team in the competition. For the remainder of the regular season, they only dropped one game with Goldenglue placing highly on the primary metrics for his role; KDA, CSD10, XPD10 and GD10. The Cloud9 main roster also turned their season around in Goldenglue’s absence, climbing from 10th place to finish the regular season in 2nd.

Both rosters now faced the playoffs with each roster having a bye to their respective semi finals. Cloud9 Academy was up first, they were faced with defending champions FlyQuest Academy who squeezed past Clutch Academy in the quarters.

Despite a shaky start to the series, Cloud9 Academy were able to overpower their opposition thanks to strong performances from Goldenglue, Keith and Svenskeren. Their final hurdle came in the form of CLG Academy who they would face just one day before the main roster faced Team Solomid Academy in their semi final.

The finals were a triumphant victory for Cloud9 Academy. Goldenglue was especially on form,  solo killing Jean-Sébastien “Tuesday” Thery on one occasion. Cloud9 Academy had done it, they were the best Academy team in North America having been crowned the victors of the competition humorously referred to as “Academy Worlds”. This was Goldenglue’s first ever trophy in his almost five year long career. Perhaps the constant struggle was worth it for this moment. However, this was not the end of the 2018 season for Goldenglue.

Due to a rule change by Riot in the run up to the NA LCS Summer playoffs, teams could now field two subs rather than just one. This allowed Cloud9 to add Svenskeren and Goldenglue to their active roster ahead of their bout against TSM.

Cloud9 had fallen behind 2-1 to their long time rivals TSM. Their play was sluggish, Jensen and Robert “Blaber” Huang were not putting in the performances we had come to expect. Many will remember the iconic shot of Svenskeren and Goldenglue walking down the hallway towards the stage in the LCS arena.

The duo became known as “The Swole Bros” due to their impressive physiques. Cloud9 were gambling on the strength of this Academy winning duo when they decided to sub them both in for game four. Their gamble paid off spectacularly, Cloud9’s macro game improved dramatically as soon as the pair came in, they won a back and forth game four and a comfortable game five, sending Cloud9 through to the finals. Goldenglue, a perennial choker on the big stage, had been thrust into the spotlight once more; he dealt with the immense pressure fantastically and his quality finally shone through.

The finals would be against Team Liquid, the current powerhouse of North American League of Legends. After falling behind 1-0, Cloud9 put in Goldenglue and Svenskeren to try and recapture the magic of the semi finals.

Goldenglue, once again on Malzahar, had a tough time in lane against Pobelter which set him behind in tempo for the rest of the game. After another comfortable victory for Team Liquid, Jensen would be brought in once more. In the end, Cloud9 could not find a combination of players to best Team Liquid’s core five.

Goldenglue’s performance in this series was underwhelming but Team Liquid were clearly a cut above Cloud9 at the time. Cloud9 had to compete in the regional finals in order to qualify for worlds, as they were the first seed they would only have to win one series. They easily dispatched TSM, allowing them to qualify for the 2018 World Championships. As Jensen was in astonishing form, Goldenglue did not get a chance to play against TSM. Goldenglue would also not get to play at the World Championships as the competition only permits one sub and C9 opted to take Svenskeren.

dark. Next. Tyler1 Championship Series Finals Recap

It was a regrettable final game for Goldenglue but it should not cast a shadow over what was the best season of his career. A top 4 finish in Academy Spring, champion of Academy Summer and a large part of Cloud9’s semi final victory over Team Solomid.

If Goldenglue can build on his breakout season and continue to establish himself as a formidable mid laner in North America then his future will be bright. With Jensen’s transfer to Team Liquid, this is a perfect opportunity for Goldenglue to stake a claim as the primary mid laner of Cloud9. Of course, Nisqy will be thinking the same thing. His career may have been slow at the start but the story of Goldenglue has the potential to be a heartwarming story of growth.

What do you think of Goldenglue’s career? Will he only continue to rise from here or will he return to mediocrity?