Sweden’s Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi is set to become coach of SANDBOX Gaming, which would make him the first European or North American to lead a team in the League of Legends’ League Champions Korea (LCK), ESPN reported Thursday.
YamatoCannon, 24, has coached several League of Legends teams, including Team ROCCAT (2015-16), Splyce (2016-17) and Team Vitality (2017-19). He spent the past several months as a League of Legends European Championship analyst for Riot Games.
According to ESPN, YamatoCannon will start on the job from home in Europe until the coronavirus pandemic eases enough for him to be able to move to Seoul.
The coaching high point for YamatoCannon was taking Vitality to the 2018 League of Legends World Championship, where the team posted a 3-3 mark and just missed reaching the quarterfinals.
He also was selected Coach of the Split after guiding Splyce to second place the 2016 European League of Legends Championship Series’ Summer Split.
Per ESPN, only one other Western coach came close to taking charge of an LCK team. Rhode Island-born Nick “LS” De Cesare led BBQ Olivers in 2018-19, but the team was in the Challengers Korea circuit, not the LCK.
YamatoCannon is facing a major task in reviving a SANDBOX team that tied for last place in the 10-team LCK during the spring split that concluded last month, going 5-13.
SANDBOX placed third in the 2019 LCK summer split before coming in fourth in the playoffs. In the 2019 LCK spring split, the team finished fourth in the regular season, fifth in the playoffs.
YamatoCannon was a League of Legends player from 2011-13, with stints on 11 teams in that brief span.
—Field Level Media