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Fnatic and their team in the VALORANT Champions Tour 2021 season
Photo by Colin Young-Wolff via Riot Games

Karmine Corp begins rebuild with top EMEA free agent, former Fnatic star

An Englishman joins the French org looking to bounce back for 2024.

Former Apeks and Fnatic star Martin “Magnum” Peňkov has come to a verbal agreement to join the French EMEA team Karmine Corp, according to a report from This would mark the first signing for Karmine Corp of the 2023-24 off-season, as it aims to make a significant turnaround from its disappointing 2023 campaign.

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Magnum joined partway through 2021 alongside Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev, one of the best duelists in the world. From April 2021 to June 2022, Magnum in his Sentinel role helped Fnatic reach new heights, most notably winning Stage Two Challengers Two in 2021 and getting the team to the top of EMEA. As his time went on, Fnatic just kept getting beat by other top EMEA teams, and that led to his eventual move to the inactive roster, and afterward, off the team.

Considering how well Magnum performed both on Fnatic in 2021 and on the tier-two team Apeks in 2023, he quickly became sought out as a potential pick-up for lots of EMEA teams, with KOI as one of the rumored names trying to add them to their roster. He had experience with the org, as he joined them after he left Fnatic, but he quickly moved to Apeks when franchising began. On Apeks, he helped his team reach the EMEA Ascension finals but lost out to French org Gentle Mates. 

Magnum finished the tournament with good stats, with the standout being his KAST percentage, ending in the top 10 across all players in EMEA Ascension. It still wasn’t enough to guarantee his qualification to franchising alongside his Apeks teammates, but it seems that he’s getting in via Karmine Corp, and might be facing off against his much-improved former teammates on Fnatic.

Speaking of Karmine Corp, it is just trying to improve its VALORANT team in any way it can for 2024, considering how tough its 2023 season went. The team swapped IGL roles at least four times over the year, had a mid-season departure, and ended the year with a 2-7 record. The team’s biggest name, Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom, parted ways, and Karmine Corp still seems to be thinking about its future roster. 

Now, with Magnum set to join the roster, Karmine Corp is striving for stability and someone who has proven capable of handling tier-one play. Magnum can commit to Sentinel or flex onto Controller depending on what is better for the eventual five-man roster that Karmine Corp goes for. He might’ve been in a bidding war for which EMEA team he would join, but he chose a team with a big fanbase looking to rebound and prove some detractors wrong.

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Michael Czar
Contributing writer for Dot Esports. Covering esports news for just over five years. Focusing on Overwatch, VALORANT, Call of Duty, Teamfight Tactics, and some general gaming content. Washington Post-published game reviewer. Follow me on Twitter at @xtraweivy.