Melany M. February 4, 2020
Team Liquid’s support Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in has extended his contract with the team through 2022.
Team Liquid has locked down its star support for two more years. The organization extended CoreJJ’s contract early, an interesting choice considering the team’s tendency to make big roster changes every year. CoreJJ, that first joined the team ahead of the 2019 season, is the only player whose contract was extended this early.
The decision demonstrates CoreJJ's importance to the organization and its championship aspirations.
CoreJJ is a former world champion that took Team Liquid to new heights when he joined the team. He became one of the core pieces of the team alongside bottom lane duo and North American legend Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng.
The Team Liquid bottom lane duo is arguably the best duo in North America, even if the team’s current standing suggests differently. Team Liquid started the 2020 LCS Spring season without its jungler Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen. Instead, the team was forced to start Australian import Shern "Shernfire" Cherng Tai.
There is a clear difference between the 4-time LCS champion and the 2020 version of the team. Even if things are looking bad for the team, CoreJJ and Doublelift remain as the strongest players on the roster.
The contract extension guarantees that CoreJJ will stay with the team for two more years. The same cannot be said about the rest of the roster, whose contracts expire in November 2020.
What’s the next roster upgrade for Team Liquid?
Team Liquid is known for its offseason changes. Every year, without missing a beat, the team makes at least one big roster change. Last year, it was the signing of Broxah, the year before the double signing of CoreJJ and Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen.
By the end of this year, if Team Liquid doesn’t get the better results, the team might look to get another upgrade. The question remains, which role is up for an upgrade? It doesn’t make sense for the team to get rid of Doublelift or top laner Jung "Impact" Eon-yeong.
Impact was the best performing player in the team in the second half of 2019. He’s also a former world champion and a North American resident. The players under the magnifying glass are Jensen and Broxah, and the latter hasn’t set a foot in North America yet.
If Broxah gets denied his visa, Team Liquid will be forced to find a different jungler somewhere else. Is it too late to get Jake “Xmithie” Puchero back from Immortals?
If the team secures a good domestic jungler, perhaps it will be in the market for another mid laner. Jensen, while solid as a player, had a performance in 2019 that was arguably below the standard set by his teammates.
One thing is for sure: TL fans can enjoy CoreJJ’s superior gameplay for two more years.