The team with the legendary lineup that lorded over Europe for years is all but gone after long-time mid laner and captain Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez left the team to make his own organization, Origen.
Today Fnatic revealed the roster they’ll use to rise from the ashes. But it only includes one member returning from the squad that reached the Riot World Championship last year.
So where does one of esports’ oldest organizations turn to replace a departing lineup of legends? Korea, mostly.
Kim hand-picked Pierre “Steelback” Medjaldi to man the marksman position, giving the team an all-French bottom lane. Fnatic’s big offseason acquisiton is mid laner Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten, acquired from H2k-Gaming, the up-and-coming player who owned the challenger scene for the past year.
The top and jungle spots will be filled with young and untested Koreans. Kim “Reign Over” Ui-jin takes jungle, coming with a history as a player on pro team Incredible Miracle.
Manning top is Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon, a substitute for Samsung who never had a shot to make the big leagues.
“We understand that these moves will raise questions,” Fnatic said, “however we are confident that with time this team will compete at the highest level.”
Adding largely untested Koreans seems to be a common theme during this League of Legends offseason. So far, it hasn’t worked for Western teams. Squads like Dignitas have struggled to integrate their Korean talents into a cohesive team.
“The two share an incredible amount of potential and after extensive discussions we learned of their drive and passion to succeed,” Fnatic said. “We feel both of these players, although fairly unknown, will surprise a lot of people. With YellowStar’s veteran leadership, and this teams unrivaled motivation to succeed, we feel they can live up to the winning tradition here at Fnatic.”
The last season of the LCS was the first in four that Fnatic did not win. Maintaining that tradition is quite a lofty goal for a team of unproven and untested players, but until we see the team in the server, there’s always, as Fnatic says, potential.
Image via Fnatic