One of League of Legends‘ longest running partnerships has officially come to an end.
The future of Europe’s only world championship winners grows murkier by the month. The move marks the third personnel change for the team since a disappointing 13-16th place finish at this year’s World Championships.
Cedeño and Happonen are among the more storied players in League of Legends‘ short history. The pair were present for each of Fnatic’s seven championships, including three of four European League Championship Series titles.
Their synergy, innovation, and bold plays became a hallmark for the team throughout their tenure. Happonen introduced the highly unconventional Gangplank to the jungle and earned a reputation for stealing major objectives right out from under under opponents’ noses. Cedeño virtually defined the term “back door” when his sneaky offensive maneuver snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against SK Gaming at Intel Extreme Masters Katowice in 2013.
The cracks began to show in the latter half of the 2014 European LCS, however, when middling performances culminated in the team’s first-ever LCS playoff silver medal. Spirited performances in the “group of death” at the World Championships stoked speculation that Fnatic’s historic squad was due for a change.
A statement released this morning confirmed that Cedeño approached Fnatic shortly after their early exit from the main event, expressing the desire to step down and start his own team.
Not long after, sources close to team superstar Martin “Rekkles” Larsson confirmed that the young phenom was actively looking for a change of scenery. In a statement posted earlier today, Cedeño suggests that Larsson’s eventual departure was among the motivating factors for his move.
As for Fnatic’s ex-jungler, the 20 year old intends to take a step back from his already storied career as a professional gamer.
“After careful consideration, I’ve decided it’s time for me to step down as a pro player for the time being,” Happonen said in his official statement. “I might play again in the future, but right now I don’t feel comfortable nor happy playing League 10 hours a day, even if I still like the game in a more casual sense.”
The move is sure to disappoint fans of arguably the most beloved team in European League of Legends. Even with a bustling European transfer market, many are left wondering who could possibly fill the enormous shoes left by two of League of Legends‘ most historic players.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr