Vitality extend LCS coach YamatoCannon’s contract through 2020

Vitality's unexpectedly strong results in their first LCS year are the signs of a solid coaching job from the LCS veteran.

Photo via Riot Games

Team Vitality are the hottest team in the EU LCS right now. After a strong showing in the Spring Split when the roster of mostly-rookies made playoffs, they head into this week’s Summer Split semifinals as the second seed.

That continues a long trend of teams improving quickly under head coach Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi. Today, Vitality announced that it will reward the colorful coach with a two-year extension to helm the LCS squad through 2020.

This is the latest bold move for a team that likes to be aggressive. It’s also a sign of how much faith Vitality have in their coach—and themselves.

After years of helming good-but-not-great teams like ROCCAT and Splyce, YamatoCannon finally found a roster that can execute his preferred style of play. Vitality know how to finish games with a 1-3-1 split push that has been a hallmark of his teams. And with strong mid lane control from first-year player Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro, the team can get to that late game stage with tempo, something YamatoCannon’s never had before.

As for the team, despite their strong results, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding their future in the EU LCS. The franchising process is underway for next year, and judging by the results from the NA LCS, no team is guaranteed a spot. It’s unclear whether YamatoCannon’s new contract includes a buyout provision in the event the team doesn’t make the LCS. But either way, this is a strong show of faith to Vitality’s fans that the organization is built to stay dominant in the EU LCS for years to come.