Coach Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi has chosen not to re-sign with LCK organization SANDBOX Gaming.
SANDBOX announced through social media that the organization and the European coach mutually agreed to part ways. SANDBOX and YamatoCannon cited personal reasons for the coach’s decision not to re-sign with the organization.
I’ve chosen not to re-sign with @SBGaming_KOR – I will be forever grateful for everything and I will elaborate further in the future. I will keep the memories very close to my heart and I am sure that our paths will align again to finish our story.
— YamatoCannon (@YamatoMebdi) October 13, 2020
YamatoCannon became a pioneer as the first European head coach to join an LCK organization. Due to the ongoing global situation, the head coach couldn’t join the organization until week three in the summer season. Up until that point, SANDBOX had a negative record with five losses and no wins.
Hello fans. This is SANDBOX Gaming.
We have some sad news for you. We have decided to part ways with head coach YamatoCannon who led our team this past season. pic.twitter.com/k5yh4kXmqp
— SANDBOX Gaming (@SBGaming_KOR) October 13, 2020
With YamatoCannon fully onboard, SANDBOX went on a wining streak. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to get the team to playoffs. SANDBOX finished the season in seventh place with seven victories and eleven defeats. The difficulties stemming from YamatoCannon’s trouble getting to Korea undermined the team’s chances in the summer, but SANDBOX was still significantly better than it was in the spring where the team had to play its way back into the LCK through the relegation tournament.
It was great to work together. I wish you happiness!
— Beom Hyun Kang (@lolGorillA) October 13, 2020
The LCK is adopting a franchise model in 2021 similar to the LCS and LEC, and teams are getting ready for it. Riot Games is yet to confirm the 10 organizations that will be part of the league next year. SANDBOX’s willingness to re-sign YamatoCannon may be a hint that it’s one of the organizations set to stick around in the LCK.
Most of SANDBOX’s roster is under contract through 2021, but the team still might make some big roster changes ahead of spring 2021.
YamatoCannon is yet to announce his plans for 2021. The former head coach is now part of the 2020 World Championship broadcast team as an analyst.