A New South Korean Superteam In The Works?
We said the offseason was going to get chaotic and we’re just getting to the tip of the iceberg. At the start of December, ESports Connected–a brand new South Korean VALORANT roster–began to spin its wheels. And as we near the start of the new year, the team already is showing signs of some serious potential. Can they hang with the domestic giants or are they cursed to play second-fiddle?
First, we have to examine their roster thus far. As of December 27th, ESports Connected has former Cloud9 Korea support, Yoo “Moothie” Seung-woo, the former F4Q duo Kim “GodDead” Sung-sin and Kim “zunba” Joon-hyuk, and has acquired Lee “k1Ng” Seung-won on loan from Vision Strikers. Without taking into context the players’ histories, on paper, this team looks to be a contender domestically.
F4Q should be a name most western fans can recognize. Their performance during and leading up to Masters Berlin, the plucky force from South Korea stood opposed by their peers as a team of streamers and content creators with a drive and tenure for competitions. GodDead fought and assisted in their Cinderella story with spotty attendance but was present for Masters 1 in 2021. GodDead was instrumental in F4Q’s early success, but that isn’t the only member that is set to grace ESports Connected’s roster.
Rival and contender for the best Astra in South Korea, zunba brings a pedigree of multi-title esports success to the budding VALORANT roster. Obviously, a prominent member of F4Q throughout the year, zunba also was a legendary Overwatch player. Within VALORANT zunba has showcased incredibly potential. With competitive matches against top domestic talent and with showcases against the best international competition, zunba is going to be the foundation this roster built upon.
While Vision Strikers did not perform up to par during VALORANT Champions, k1ng still brings a pedigree that is difficult to find. His sentinel expertise is something to take note off. Even past his recent results, being able to consistently find results on such a successful team in such a competitive region should account for something.
And the accolades continue to pile up. Even when you add on top Moothie’s tenure on Cloud9 Korea and Lag Gaming, and you take into consideration their newest member, Park “Bazzi” Jun-ki’s experience on Crazy Racoon and within the Overwatch League as a stand out hitscan DPS, you begin to realize the level of experience this team brings to the table.
Looking at the coaching staff, one name stands out amongst the crowd; NUTURN Gaming’s former support, Jung “peri” Bum-gi.
After helping NUTURN Gaming reach Masters Reykjavík and his history in Counter-Strike, peri is a modern tactical FPS legend in Asia. Now hanging up the mouse and keyboard, for the time being, he’ll lead this budding VALORANT roster extremely well.
With an open position and the new year approaching, ESports Connected could easily stand against some of the best South Korea has to offer and could bolster the region’s strength after their fairly disappointing Last Chance Qualifier. ESports Connected could be the boon the region needs as more and more talent begins to search for opportunities internationally.
Teams like DAMWON Gaming and TNL Esports have to take note; there is likely going to change in the domestic hierarchy coming in 2022–and ESports Connected looks to benefit in a big way.
Images via Riot Games