The Korean in-game leader Chae “yoman” Young-mun is no longer contractually tied to the Rare Atom organization.
CHINA – Chae “yoman” Young-mun and Rare Atom have officially gone their separate ways, the Chinese organization has announced.
yoman first came into the public eye with Shadow Corporation, an underdog team that topped the Regular Season of the 2023 Challengers Korea Split 1, surpassing heavyweights such as Dplus KIA and Rio Company before ultimately finishing fourth in the playoffs. After the season ended and with no appearance in the Ascension Pacific, Shadow Corporation and the team went their separate ways.
Emerging as highly sought-after free agents, stew and yoman found a stable home in Rare Atom. Moving to the CN region, they had the opportunity to reunite and play together once more, guided by the leadership of Ma “ValAnalysis” Hyun-sung, who transitioned from an analyst in Shadow Corporation to the head coach role. With yoman taking the reins, the Chinese-Korean combine quickly evolved to the point where Rare Atom would be in the conversation as EDward Gaming’s strongest contender in China, having finished the China Evolution Series circuit in second place.
yoman’s future had been up in the air since towards the end of last year when Rare Atom’s partnership application was rejected, and they were unable to secure a temporary spot through the Ascension route. The unexpected loss in Ascension was particularly surprising, given that Rare Atom were widely regarded as the clear favorites to claim the eleventh spot in the tier-one CN league.
Out of the five core players who represented Rare Atom in the 2023 season, four made their way to JD Gaming for the VCT CN League, while Xin “Spitfires” Mingyan made the move to All Gamers. However, yoman found himself as the sole member of the former RA not retained, primarily due to the roster construction policy of the International League, which imposes a limit of one import player per roster. JD Gaming opted to retain Park “stew” Young-chan as the import, leading to yoman not being part of their roster.
The absence of yoman from the JD Gaming roster is a critical blow to the team, leaving them devoid of a tenure in-game leader, a role that yoman filled during his time with Rare Atom, steering the team to unprecedented success and elevating them to new heights. There are indications that he may join a new team, with his agent at Shadow Corporation expressing readiness for “yoman’s new challenge”.
Cover photo courtesy of VALORANT Esports CN