Coach YamatoCannon to leave Sandbox, didn’t re-sign after contract expiration

He left the team due to "personal reasons."

Photo via Riot Games

Sandbox Gaming’s Swedish head coach Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi has left the League of Legends team due to “personal reasons” following the expiration of his contract, the LCK team announced on Twitter earlier today.

YamatoCannon commented on the situation, saying he chose “not to re-sign with Sandbox” and that he was thankful for the experience. “I will keep the memories very close to my heart and I am sure that our paths will align again to finish our story,” he said.

Sandbox also released a four-minute video showing key moments of YamatoCannon’s journey with the team, including when he met the players after they experienced a five-game losing streak in the summer and when they grabbed their first victory of the split after he arrived.

YamatoCannon even gave one of his trademark inspirational speeches before leaving the team. “I know that no matter what comes next, they will be great. They will be good. They will grow, and I’ll be watching and I will be proud,” he said.

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In May, YamatoCannon became the first Western coach to sign with a team in the South Korean league for the Summer Split. After he was able to fly to South Korea despite COVID-19 lockdown measures, SB went from a 0-5 record to grabbing four wins in a row, including a victory over KT Rolster.

They ended the 2020 LCK Summer Split in seventh place with a 7-11 record, which was an improvement compared to the spring where they placed ninth at 5-13.

YamatoCannon became well-known when he signed with European team Vitality ahead of the 2018 EU LCS. They performed a dream run throughout the year, going from a string of fourth-place finishes to grabbing two spots on the podium in the playoffs of both splits. They also qualified for the 2018 World Championship, where they beat LCK team Gen.G twice and Royal Never Give Up despite not getting out of the group stage.

Yamato then left the team and worked on the LEC analyst desk for the 2019 season before joining Sandbox for the 2020 LCK Summer Split. Now that he’s a free agent again, it’s unclear what position he’ll take on or what region he’ll work in during 2021.

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