Fnatic is fighting to keep hold of prized mid laner Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez, who has privately stated his desire to leave the organization and form his own team.
Initial reports of more trouble within the camp came from a small German League of Legends website called “Summoners Inn,” which stated that Martínez was looking to leave Fnatic to form a new team with current colleagues Paul ‘sOAZ’ Boyer and Lauri ‘Cyanide’ Happonen. Although the details were vague, the news took off on the League of Legends subreddit. After speaking with sources close to the player and the organization, the Daily Dot can confirm that there is more than a grain of truth to these reports.
“It all stems from the Rekkles situation,” one anonymous source within Fnatic told us, referring to Martin “Rekkles” Larsson’s rumored interest in moving to European rivals Alliance. “The players aren’t happy with how it has all been handled and xPeke has been thinking about his own brand for a while now.
“As you can imagine,” he continued, “the atmosphere in the team is terrible and the divide has caused nothing but headaches for everybody. Peke thinks it’s time to get away.”
Fnatic had already encountered preseason problems when Larsson, their star AD Carry, stated he wanted away from the team and was courting Alliance. Larsson’s contract contained a $15,000 buyout option. But Fnatic had disputed whether that option was valid in the contract’s current form, and had refused to budge on a transfer.
The situation also seems to have been compounded by the fact that Fnatic held talks with Korean jungler Lee “Spirit” Da-yoon of Samsung Blue, something that reputedly made Happonen, their current jungler, “uncomfortable.”
A stumbling block for any Fnatic players wanting to leave is their contracts, which all have another year to run, according to team sources. It is likely that they also contain buyout clauses, though the amounts for each player are not known.
It also isn’t clear whether Martinez will take his colleagues with him if they are able to leave Fnatic, as the original report suggested. “Xpeke is the driving force behind this and he is open to offers,” another source told us. “He is even open to North America. He just wants something new and ideally wants to do his own thing.
“The organization are in discussions with him right now,” the person added. “No-one knows how it will work out.”
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr
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