Just recently, T1 were involved in a deal with Cloud9, where they exchanged their star support player, Rahul “curry” Nemani, for Cloud9’s duo, Son “xeta” Seon-ho and Yoon “Autumn” Eu-teum.
Following this trade, T1 made yet another move by signing the former Crazy Raccoon pro, Byeon “Munchkin” Sang-beom.
As of right now, T1 has three South Korean members, one of which includes their coach Autumn, which begs the question whether T1’s recent player acquisitions hint towards a possible relocation to the Korean region.
Munchkin Moving to NA
At just 24 years of age, Byeon “Munchkin” Sang-beom has had an incredible career. It all began in Overwatch, where Munchkin was a member of several successful teams, most notably Seoul Dynasty and Boston Uprising.
By the middle of 2020, Valorant came along and stole the show, and many first-person shooter pros considered switching to this promising new title. Munchkin took this chance and joined the Japanese Valorant titans, Crazy Racoon, on January 17th, 2021. He quickly rose through the ranks and established himself as one of the key playmakers in the team.
Together with Crazy Racoon, Munchkin dominated the first Valorant Champions Tour season in Japan and even won the Japan Stage 1 Masters. However, by the end of the first season, Crazy Racoon took a bit of a dive while other Japanese teams in the region grew stronger. Munchkin left in late December, 2021, but decided to return once again on January 23rd, 2022.
Since then, Crazy Racoon saw some solid success in the region, but over time it became evident that ZETA DIVISION had become much stronger and established themselves as the strongest team in Japan right now. This prompted Munchkin to once again depart from the team in search of new opportunities.
Finally, he has landed in T1, where he will now be competing against the North American teams. This will be a fresh new start and an opportunity for Munchkin to once again reignite that flame and see how far he can go as a player.
What This Means for T1?
By signing Xeta and Munchkin, T1 have significantly increased their overall team power and the threat they pose to other teams in the region. They already had steel, who’s arguably one of the most experienced in-game leaders in Valorant esports. Together, this trio could cause some real problems against any team.
In the short term, T1 will most likely continue competing in the North American Valorant region and try to gain at least some points in the current VCT season. They missed both Challengers and the first Masters event, which was a huge blow for them. Being an elite esports organisation, this most likely doesn’t sit well with T1.
Now, in the long term, we can definitely see T1 moving to the Korean region, where they’d face far less competition. Even though the Korean region has 1 slot for Masters and Challengers events, compared to 2 for North America, they’d still have a better shot at landing that one slot, or at least securing a solid amount of points to guarantee themselves an invite to the next event.
It’s important to state that all of this is simply speculation and T1 have not confirmed anything about switching regions. However, their recent moves certainly suggest this being the case. By signing Xeta, Munchkin, and Autumn, T1 have laid the groundwork for a potential relocation to Korea in the future. They now have ample time to plan their next move.