A new star-studded new team has formed in Korea. Can ESportsConnected challenge the likes of Vision Strikers and DWG KIA in 2022?
Korean organization ESportsConnected have finalized their VALORANT roster. The team features a star-studded cast of Yoo “Moothie” Seung-woo, Kim “GodDead” Sung-sin, Kim “zunba” Joon-hyuk, Park “Bazzi” Jun-ki, and former Vision Strikers player Lee “k1Ng” Seung-won, who’s joined on loan. Former NUTURN player Jung “peri” Bum-ki and coach Jeong “Jaemin” Jae-min have also joined. Korean VALORANT has been lacking in investment lately, but it seems that this new roster is here to stay.
Fans of Korean League of Legends will know ESportsConnected as a number of different names – ESC Ever, bbq Olivers, and Seorabeol Gaming among them. The same ownership group has bounced between a number of different names and is now entering VALORANT.
ESC Ever are well known for their shock 2015 KeSPA Cup win, beating every tier 1 team as a tier 2 roster to earn that. They’d ultimately win promotion to the tier 1 LCK as well. As bbq Olivers, they brought over the first Western figures to ever work for a team in Korean esports. Lastly, as Seorabeol Gaming, they nearly requalified for the LCK with a roster featuring a Korean LoL legend, Lee “KaKAO” Byung-kwon.
While they’ve been controversial over the years, ESportsConnected are still pretty successful and have some money to play with. They’ve shown that with this new VALORANT roster, and we’ll see how it all comes together.
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The lineup ESC have put together should challenge the best in Korea this year. First, we have GodDead. He was the star duelist, later swapping to Sova for streamer team F4Q for several stages. He wasn’t part of the Stage 3 team that made Masters Berlin, but is still one of the deadliest players in the region.
Bazzi and Moothie both come over after having played in Japan. Moothie is a former Apex Legends pro, and Bazzi a former Overwatch pro. They played together in Japan under the mostly unsuccessful Lag Gaming team for a while. Moothie has been unsigned since that team got dropped, while Bazzi moved over to Crazy Raccoon, participating in Champions.
zunba is well-known as a former Overwatch player. A popular Off Tank player who found tremendous success in the earlier days of the game, he’s done well for himself in VALORANT too. He helped lead F4Q to Masters Berlin, and will continue to be a leader for ESportsConnected.
k1Ng, of course, needs no introduction. A mainstay of the Vision Strikers roster ever since it was announced, he’s one of the most successful players in all of Korean VALORANT. He can always be counted on to play his part on the sentinel role, and will be a key piece if ESportsConnected want to be successful. It’s worth noting that he’s only been loaned from Vision Strikers for a stage (as far as we know), so things could change going forward.
Finally, we come to the coaches. Jaemin was the head coach behind NUTURN’s success for all of 2021, while peri was one of their players. An experienced Counter-Strike player in his own right, this is peri’s first foray into professional coaching.
ESportsConnected have what is, on paper, a roster that can challenge the best in Korea. We’ll find out in Stage 1 whether they can challenge the likes of Vision Strikers and DWG KIA.
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