hiroronn and Yuran both played under the ZETA DIVISION Academy banner throughout 2022 until the former parted ways with the organization to join FENNEL.
JAPAN – ZETA DIVISION have announced the signing of Hiroki “hiroronn” Yanai and the promotion of Yushin “Yuran” Hato from their academy team to the main roster. In addition, the former FURIA coach Carlos “Carlão” Mohn has been appointed as the new coach of the team, taking over from Hibiki “XQQ” Motoyama who is stepping away from competitive VALORANT for content creation.
The newly-added duo will replace Tomoaki “crow” Maruoka and Tenta “TENNN” Asai. The latter player will remain with the team but transition into a playing coach role, while the former will be shifting his focus to streaming instead under the organization’s banner together with XQQ.
In ZETA DIVISION-related news, General Manager Akihiro Fukaya also confirmed to Negitaku that the team currently has no plans to adopt a six-man roster setup and will maintain its core starting five to enhance team chemistry. “While we are not considering it as a permanent configuration, we believe it is necessary to reinforce at the appropriate times if needed.”
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hiroronn links up with ZETA DIVISION once again after spending a year on the organization’s Academy team during the 2022 season. He went on to play for FENNEL in the following season, winning silverware at VCL Japan Split 1 and securing a second runners-up finish in the following split. Now, the 18-year-old will take on a bigger challenge, joining ZETA DIVISION together with his former Academy teammate, Yuran.
Yuran will take on the biggest endeavor of his career as he steps into the tier-one circuit of VALORANT while having limited experience in officials.
crow shared some comments about the signing of Yuran as well as praising the new player to Negitaku, saying “[He] skipped grades and has never played in VCT or VCJ, so I wondered if he would be okay until we did the tryouts. Those concerns were completely gone once we finished [the tryouts]. He is really hardworking. I don’t know how this will sound, but he has a fearless character that is unfazed by anything, so even though he has not experienced VCT or VCJ, I have high expectations that he will be able to play solidly when it comes to actual tournaments.”
With XQQ no longer part of the competitive equation, Carlos “Carlão” Mohn will take the helm of the Japanese side, having spent the past three seasons with FURIA Esports with three international appearances at Champions Berlin (2021), Champions Istanbul (2022), and LOCK//IN São Paulo (2023). The team more recently finished sixth in the Americas League and 5-6th place finishes in its LCQ.
Stepping into his new role as the team’s head coach, the Brazilian coach says, “I would like to say a big thank you to all ZETA fans for their love and enthusiasm for my arrival. You can be sure that I will give my life for this team and be able to make you all happy. It will be a year of a lot of work and we will evolve a lot during this process. I hope to make this team meet everyone’s expectations and bring a little knowledge from outside the region. An immense pleasure to be part of all of this.”
ZETA DIVISION now have their sights set on Red Bull Home Ground Tokyo, which will kick off on Friday, November 3 against Cloud9. Yuma “Dep” Hashimoto, however, will sit out of the tournament for two academy players in “Caedye” and “yatsuka”.
ZETA DIVISION now have:
- 🇯🇵 Koji “Laz” Ushida
- 🇯🇵 Yuma “Dep” Hashimoto
- 🇯🇵 Shota “SugarZ3ro” Watanabe
- 🇯🇵 Hiroki “hiroronn” Yanai
- 🇯🇵 Yushin “Yuran” Hato
- 🇧🇷 Carlos “Carlão” Mohn (Head coach)
- 🇯🇵 Yuya “JUNiOR” Sawada (Assistant coach)
- 🇯🇵 Tomoaki “crow” Maruoka (Playing coach)
- 🇯🇵 Syuhei “gya9” Takasaki (Head analyst)
- 🇯🇵 “nokaze37” (Analyst)
- 🇯🇵 “sieg” (Analyst)
Cover photo courtesy of Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games