Image by Riot Games
Team Vitality have announced on Twitter that they have extended Jakob "YamatoCannon" Mebdi’s contract by two years, effectively signing him until the end of the 2020 season.
The move provides stability at the coaching position ahead of Team Vitality’s franchising application for the 2019 season. It also attests of YamatoCannon’s confidence regarding the status of the latter, in a similar vein to Misfits Gaming’s three-year contract extension with Steven "Hans sama" Liv.
With the coach on board, Team Vitality survived the 2017 EU LCS Summer Split in an on-the-fly rebuilding effort, but was unable to qualify to the playoffs in a Group B that featured the Unicorns of Love (with Zdravets "Hylissang" Galabov and Kiss "Vizicsacsi" Tamás still playing), H2k-Gaming (with Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski and Andrei "Odoamne" Pascu still in tow) and Splyce’s mostly Danish roster at the time.
The team then proceeded to take the European region by storm during the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split, with rookies Daniele "Jiizuke" di Mauro, Amadeu "Attila" Carvalho and Jakub "Jactroll" Skurzyńskishowcasing skills and poise beyond what their experience at the top level would have suggested. Lucas"Cabochard" Simon-Meslet, Berk "Gilius" Demir and later Mateusz "Kikis" Szkudlarek cemented the squad as a Top 2 team in Europe during the regular season of the 2018 EU LCS Summer Split.
The signing is momentous for YamatoCannon who sees his efforts rewarded in a tangible manner. Vitality are on pace to reach the World Championship should they win this week (and should Fnatic beat Misfits), and that would allow him to return to the world stage for the second time in three years (his first time being with Splyce’s Challenger-to-Relegation-to-Worlds squad in 2016).