One of the most successful League of Legends teams in European history has now split apart after just one year of play together.
Fnatic brought in the two players at the start of 2015 as it revamped its roster around one returning player, supporter Bora “YellOwStaR” Kim. Huni, a rookie with no professional experience, and Reignover, a jungler who was nicknamed “game over” in Korea because the game was over for his team once he made a misplay, seemed like unlikely candidates to carry on the name of Fnatic, one of the most successful in Western League of Legends. But they excelled and led the team to one of the most successful seasons ever.
The effervescent top laner, Huni took home the Outstanding Rookie award in the Spring split, winning the hearts of fans with his comical attitude but ruthless play inside the Summoner’s Rift. His partner in crime, Reignover, is a rare Korean player who speaks fluent English and enabled Huni’s carry potential while interfacing with the rest of the team.
But after a successful year that saw the pair help Fnatic to two European League Championship Series (LCS) titles and a berth in the semifinals of the World Championship, the players are leaving the team because Fnatic can’t match the offers they now command.
“Whilst we made offers for Huni and Reignover to remain with Fnatic in 2016, and even upped our offers after negotiation, the final amount needed to secure them would have been an order of magnitude higher than what we were prepared to pay, to keep them in orange and black,” the team explained on its website.
The two players are moving to new opportunities in “another region,” Patrik “cArn” Sättermon, Fnatic’s CGO, said. Reignover confirmed this, saying he’ll play in the NA LCS next season.
“It’s obviously a great challenge to replace talented players and amazing personalities like Huni and ReignOver, but at the same time it’s a challenge that we must be able to face as a world-class team,” he said, noting that he’s confident the team’s improved support staff and infrastructure will pay dividends in scouting and developing the next wave of Fnatic talent. “We are both prepared for and excited about the winds of changes that are surrounding us now.”
Reignover believes the change in scenery will reinvigorate him after a year in which he found himself becoming burnt out as Fnatic continued winning with little challenge to their dominance. “It was not in my plan even a few weeks ago, but as I thought about it after Worlds, and having been offered a good opportunity elsewhere, I think it is the right decision for me,” he said. “I really love playing at Fnatic, love my teammates, and fans, but I hope they understand me. Thank you.”
The news confirms a Daily Dot report from last week that Huni would be on the move, though we’ll have to wait for more information on just where the pair of talented players end up. As for Fnatic, it obviously has some big shoes to fill after the departure of two of its star players.
The offseasons ahead of the 2016 season of League of Legends has been nothing if not entertaining, and the unexpected breakup of one of the most dominant teams in Western League history is perhaps the biggest surprise yet.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr
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