Hello and welcome to the final LEC Team preview for the upcoming spring split. Some would say we saved the best for last.
The final team we are dissecting is none other than Fnatic, one of Europe’s most prestigious organisations. Along with G2, Fnatic was never in doubt of securing a LEC position when franchising began. The team excelled last season reaching the world finals and winning the last ever EULCS summer and spring split.
This year Fnatic will be wanting to reign supreme yet again. However, even one of Europe’s most successful teams couldn’t help but change their staff and roster in a bid to remain the best in the west.
YoungBuck back where he belongs
YoungBuck remains at Fnatic for the upcoming season but in his more familiar role as head coach. Quite simply, YoungBuck is one of the best coaches in Europe. His six straight EU LCS titles with two different organisations proves this. Despite Dylan Falco being Fnatic’s head coach last season, many saw YoungBuck as the mastermind behind the team’s success. Both domestically and internationally. His ability to coach bad habits out his players and execute drafts when on stage are major differences that make him stand above other head coaches in the LEC. With YoungBuck’s winning streak on the line, he will certainly be wanting to claim a seventh title in a row. To support him he has an entirely new set of staff at his disposal.
Helping YoungBuck out is Fnatic’s new assistant coach Mephisto. Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of him. The Frenchman comes highly recommended by YoungBuck after an interviewing process for the role. While we do not know who applied, more experienced coaches would likely have put their resume in. However, Mephisto brought new ideas to the org and it was this innovation that convinced Fnatic to sign him up, according to a statement by the head coach. He does arrive with coaching experience after being a coach for ROG School for two years, a team which currently applies their trade in the Open Tour France. However, this is a massive step to go from the national circuit to Fnatic.
Gegemont is returning to Europe to become the teams new head analyst, a role he has held at 100 Thieves, Schalke and H2K. The analyst brings a wealth of experience with him and the decision to physically have him with the team is a benefit when getting his points across to the roster. Overall, the staff members that Fnatic and YoungBuck have signed are a perfect mixture of experience and innovation. Even if some of these staff members have seemingly come out of nowhere, we here at Gromp News trust the organisation with these risks given their success rate in Europe.
The five-star team
Top lane: Bwipo
Mid lane: Nemesis
The biggest roster change that occurred this offseason is the signing of Nemesis from Mad Lions. The mid laner was one of the most sought after prospects coming from the national circuit. However, when caps decided he wanted to move to G2 Esports. There was only one team Nemesis would join. The case has to be made that Fnatic would have most likely stuck with last year’s roster if they had the choice. They did make it to the finals of Worlds after all. Nevertheless, some players decided to leave and as a result, we have a new European midlaner in the LEC. Nemesis was the stand out for Mad Lions last season. His mechanical ability is already up there with some of the best mid laners in the competition. It’s also important to note that he came from one of the best national circuit sides in 2018. This is proved by four of the Spanish org’s players making their debut this split. The reason why this is important is that Nemesis is already used to being a star player for his team, albeit at a lower level. He will have a lot of pressure to perform this split given caps’ recent success with Fnatic. Nonetheless, he should at a bare minimum be a solid mad laner for his side. Also, expect a slight change in priorities from Fnatic this split. With Nemesis being unproven at the top level, they will probably revert back to the ‘Rekkles win condition’ which has served them well in the past. This puts the pressure off Nemesis whilst also helping him adapt into the player Fnatic expect him to become. Now, speaking of Rekkles.
Rekkles will have to be at his very best if they want to retain their crown this season. Now we here at Gromp News could be completely wrong, but we are expecting to see the Fnatic of old this coming split. That means Rekkles will need to carry yet again. Given Rekkles’ ability, he should be able to win his lane and possibly the game for his team. He is the best ADC in Europe and after each season we always see a different play style from him. Whether it’s his adaptability, consistency or mechanical skill he always finds a way to win. At the end of the day, he is the definition of a gamechanger. There also couldn’t be a better partner for Rekkles than Hylissang. While he may not be the most skilled player in his role (however, he is still certainly up there), it’s his ability to adapt to his partners play style that makes him so important to Fnatic. Throughout his career, he has changed his role as a support. He was a different support with Samux than he is with Rekkles and he definitely had to adapt when partnering up with Bwipo last season. There are flashier supports than Hylissang in the league. However, when you are aiming to win the first LEC split, stability is key.
This season Bwipo is going solo. After impressing on both sides of the map in the EU LCS, Fnatic decided to give the Belgium full control of the top lane. While SoAz is a huge blow for the org in terms of leadership and quality. Bwipo had a standout season for Fnatic and rightfully deserves the chance to show what he can do now he has nobody in his way. This could result in two situations. Either he thrives because of the side’s faith in his ability, or he no longer performs at his best because he knows he will not be replaced. We here at Gromp News expect him to continue performing just as he did in the World Championships and in Europe last season. After scratching and clawing for a starting spot, surely he won’t let it slip now? Bwipo will certainly bring more of an aggressive play style to the top lane. He could arguably be considered one of the best aggressive top laners in the LEC. Still, he also can play a tank when his team needs him to. The main concern with Bwipo will be if he can be consistent throughout an entire split. Despite seeing him perform amazingly in spring and summer, will he do it week in and out? Obviously, Fnatic believes he will.
The final member is none other than Broxah. Just like Rekkles, we here at Gromp News believe he is the best player in his role, especially after his performances at Worlds and in Europe last year. Despite a bitter end to his Worlds run, Broxah was constantly a threat in every game except in the final. It is also argued that since IG new of Broxah’s threat, that this is why they targeted him in the game. Broxah got shut out of the game and Fnatic lost the finals. Coincidence? Obviously, that wasn’t the only reason Fnatic lost but it shows how important the Dane is to his team. Despite being an aggressive jungler his plays generally have an element of safety to them. He has the ability to execute a play with minimal risk as seen from his performances in the spring split. Despite being a naturally aggressive player, some of Broxahs best games have been as a tank. The team relies on him to make the engage and to find that pick if they want to win the game. Expect to see this in the LEC, especially with the Bwipo and Rekkles favouring more damage orientated champions.
Are Fnatic the favourites?
The answer has to be yes. While on paper they may not have the strongest team in every role. They all know how each other plays and that is crucial in the spring split. Their cohesion will drive them to victories early on in the season. Bwipo, Broxah and Rekkles can carry a game for their side and as long as Nemesis is a top-four mid laner, he shouldn’t hinder his team’s performance. It is also important to note that their academy player MagiFelix will be more than happy to take over if Nemesis can’t live up to his potential. YoungBuck is a born winner and the wealth of talent they have in their backroom staff should further increase the side’s ability on the rift. However, while Fnatic is the favourite it doesn’t mean the other teams aren’t close to overthrowing the last ever EU LCS champions. Both Misfits and G2 have taken huge risks in an attempt to beat them. That may happen in the summer. But, right now Rekkles will most likely prove that he is still the best player in Europe, guiding his side to a monumental title.
Predicted finish: 1st
By Tom DanielsFollow @TheTomDaniels