Ha “Sayaplayer” Jung-woo is a former Overwatch star turned pro Valorant player for The Guard, one of the most talked-about teams in North America.
However, those who have been following Valorant esports since its start in 2020 may remember that Sayaplayer originally changed his name to Spyder when he joined T1’s first Valorant roster.
At the time, the name change seemed puzzling. The name Sayaplayer was iconic, recalling his reign of terror on Widowmaker and his legacy as one of the most feared hitscan DPS players in Overwatch. Why would he want to move away from that?
Sayaplayer changed his name to Spyder because of T1
As it turns out, the reason for that was absurdly simple and almost baffling. T1 made him change his name to Spyder, according to Matthew “mCe” Elmor, Head Coach for The Guard.
“T1 made him change his name to Spyder, because they didn’t think Sayaplayer was a cool name or something,” mCe explained, after a viewer on his stream asked if he knew the reason for the name change. “They didn’t think it would resonate with NA fans or something bizarre.”
“They gave him a couple of recommendations and he thought Spyder was the coolest one so he went with that.”
The Guard didn’t have any such concerns or limitations, so the 23-year-old pro reclaimed his old name after joining the North American organization.
Fans responded with derision, saying that it was silly for T1 to overlook the reputation that the former Florida Mayhem player had made for himself in Overwatch under that name.
Since joining The Guard, Sayaplayer has shined in his role as the primary Jett player. His ability to crack open sites and secure the first kill has played a key role in the rookie team’s unexpected success in the VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers group stage.
The Guard finished second in their group with a 4-1 record, behind only juggernauts Cloud9.