Following an offseason of utter turmoil, Fnatic has found itself needing to replace almost its entire team as its stars have deserted it one-by-one.
The exodus began with the departure of Europe’s strongest AD Carry, Martin “Rekkles” Larsson, to rival organization Alliance. This was followed by the joint announcements that popular mid-laner Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez would be leaving to form his own organization, Origen, and that veteran jungler Lauri “Cyanide” Happonen would be retiring. To add insult to injury, the Daily Dot reported last week that Paul “soaZ” Boyer was also set to leave, most likely joining his former teammate in Origen.
This has left Fnatic scrambling to assemble a capable team ahead of the next LCS split, which is set to start in approximately a month.
One position that many thought would be fairly straightforward to fill was the AD carry role. With Larsson moving to Alliance, it left the statistically second best player in that position, Erik “Tabzz” van Helvert, without a team. Many saw the move as a foregone conclusion.
However, Fnatic have paid no heed to League of Legends scriptwriters and have overlooked van Helvert for the position. One source close to the player informed the Daily Dot he “hasn’t spoken with Fnatic at all,” meaning that the next split could start with one of its star players inexplicably finding himself without a home.
Instead, according to sources from within the organization, Fnatic have elected to take a gamble on the little-known 17-year-old AD Carry Pierre “Steelback” Medjaldi, who was last seen in competitive action for SK Prime as they lost to Reason in the European Expansion Tournament. The player, while highly rated by those in the Challenger scene, has never been part of an LCS team before.
Fnatic fans who might be apprehensive about the move can console themselves with the organization’s track record when it comes to discovering talent in this particular role. Johannes “puszu” Uibos had played for a string of lesser teams before he came in to Fnatic in July 2013 and helped them finish first in the Summer playoffs. They also unearthed Larsson, signing him and developing the talent by loaning him out to Copenhagen Wolves while he was too young to play in LCS tournaments.
Although Fnatic is delaying making an announcement until its entire team is assembled, the addition of Medjaldi gets the team one step closer to completing the unplanned overhaul that began after its short-lived World Championship campaign.
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