T1 completes their VALORANT roster by signing former Crazy Raccoon and Cloud9 Korea Duelist, Byeon “Munchkin” Sang-beom.
The Munchkin signing continues the trend of T1 bringing on experienced, Korea based players. In a coordinated effort to assemble top tier Korean talent, Munchkin, who has years of LAN experience as a previous Overwatch League player and Masters qualifier with the Japanese team Crazy Raccoons, provides a tried and tested background.
Munchkin brings fragging power and familiarity to T1
Moreover, he's got a history with newly signed Son "xeta" Seon-ho and head coach Yoon "Autumn" Eu-ddeum. The two were brought over from Cloud9 in a surprising trade. The trade sent Rahul "curry" Nemani to C9, and shifted T1 away from a purely North American based roster. Munchkin started his VALORANT career with the Korean based Cloud9 roster, featuring DRX's superstar Yu "BuZz" Byung-chul and the two former C9 employees, bringing a level of familiarity to this brand new roster.
On top of that, Munchkin brings in high-level fragging prowess. After C9 Korea dissolved in late 2020 due to the Riot ruling on single organizations owning multiple teams in different regions, he sought employment in Japan. He quickly become considered one of the best players in the developing region. Even when facing the fire starter top three Masters finisher ZETA Division in the Champions Tour Japan Stage 1: Challengers Playoffs Finals, he put up a monstrous performance. He ended that match +15 in opening duels and the most kills in the server in a loss.
T1 setting up for VCT franchising
Nonetheless, for an organization retooling its roster in a different region, Munchkin is a necessary type of building block. It's uncertain whether or not T1 will continue to pursue Korean talent with half of their current roster being located elsewhere. However, it's clear they're strengthening and restructuring the team before franchising begins.
For Munchkin, this will be his fourth time signing a new contract in two years of VALORANT. After a brief stint testing the free agent market to no avail in April 2021, Munchkin re-upped with Crazy Raccoons for 2022 and looked to make it back to Reykjavik. Unfortunately, the team ran head first into the runaway ZETA train and fell one spot short of qualifying.
Moving ahead, T1's VCT season is officially over after losing to VIRTUOSO in the Open Qualifier #2. The goal now is less about qualifying and more about presenting the best possible roster. Riot will need to see clear commitment to building a sustainable roster when it comes to picking franchise partners.
T1, a South Korea based organization, might see fit to market themselves as purely an APAC region team. Rather than a small fish in a sea of North American organizations all vying for a small number of partnered spots.
The current T1 roster makeup:
- Entry: Munchkin
- IGL: Joshua "steel" Nissan
- Smokes: Josh "pwny" VanGorder
- Flex: Zander "thwifo" Kim
- Initiator: Xeta
- Head coach: Autumn
- Assistant Coach: Dakota "Stunner" MacLeod