SANDBOX Gaming’s new head coach Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi is on his way to South Korea after getting his visa approved.
My VISA is approved and I fly in less then 24 hours. I’ll miss our game against Afreeca but I’ll be supporting the team from Frankfurt during my layover.
Very excited to take this next step in this journey.
— YamatoCannon (@YamatoMebdi) June 16, 2020
According to the original signing announcement, YamatoCannon has been remotely working with the team since early May. In the offseason, SANDBOX signed support Jeong “Kabbie” Sang-hyeon to complete its 13-man roster. SANDBOX has seven trainees that could be called up to the main team at any point during the season.
A broad roster will give YamatoCannon opportunities to experiment throughout the LCK summer season. The LCK uses a best-of-three format, so teams get the chance to test different players with less risk than teams in the LEC and LCS who play best-of-one matches.
SANDBOX is one of the teams going for a franchise spot in the LCK in 2021. The team made its way to the LCK from Challengers Korea in 2019 and earned the reputation as one of the innovators in the league. SANDBOX found success in the LCK and in the 2019 KeSPA Cup, where it finished in second place behind only Afreeca Freecs.
2020 has been a very different story for SANDBOX so far. In the spring, the team struggled and was forced to go through the LCK 2020 Summer Promotion tournament where they risked relegation. SANDBOX had a mediocre performance in the spring and cannot afford to repeat the same mistake in the 2020 LCK Summer Split.
SANDBOX players need to stand out from the bunch. A position in the LCK in 2021 is no guarantee for this organization, so they must shine if they want to carry on at the highest level in Korea. Even if SANDBOX remains in the LCK, the team might attempt drastic roster changes should its current squad fail to live up to their billing.
For SANDBOX as much as any other team in the LCK, this summer will be an opportunity to prove that they belong.