Fnatic’s Key Players and What Could Help Them Win it All
It’s no argument that Europe has had several extremely strong teams come and go through the gauntlet of Worlds as the years have progressed. They’ve had teams like H2K Gaming recently make it to the semifinals and two years ago, Origen was the dream team everyone had wanted for so long.
However, there’s one specific team in Europe which has always stood out despite their struggles and past failures. That team is Fnatic (FNC). Reaching the semifinals in 2015 and 2013 as well as winning a World Championship in Season One.
They’ve seen many star players come and go, from Huni (who now plays on South Korea Telecom) to the star of Europe Febiven. Though many have left, Fnatic has still been a solid team throughout the years, even facing off against tough teams like South Korea Telecom and only losing to them in the slightest of margins.
With that in mind, let’s dive into the rich history of Fnatic’s success and the players which have made Fnatic’s legacy possible. What are we waiting for? Let’s get started!
Season One was the year that Fnatic made their first debut as the champions of not only the EU LCS but also the World. They barely escaped the Groups Stage due to the absence of star player and at the time top laner, xPeke. However, when xPeke returned, they quickly dismissed all of their opponents with ease, leading to a sweeping first place.
In Season Three, stars like Yellowstar and Rekkles joined the Fnatic team. With veterans like Cyanide, xPeke, and Soaz still present, Fnatic was looking stronger than ever. They had players who had been nominated MVP several times and it was this year that xPeke had pulled off .
Fnatic qualified for Worlds that year, taking out top teams like Evil Geniuses and Lemondogs to secure the first seed. They would finish the Groups Stage with a 7-1 record and beat down North American representative Cloud9 with ease in the Knockout Round.
They lost to Royal Club Huang Zu in the semis in a best of 5 match. However, even despite their loss, they had put up a fight which would always be remembered, considering that at the time, Royal Club held the best AD Carry in the world, Uzi along with prodigy mid-laner XiaoWeiXiao.
With the departure of Cyanide, xPeke, Soaz, and Rekkles, things were looking grim for Fnatic as the only remaining player was Yellowstar. Though he was a solid player, the prospect of four new rookies on the team left many fans nervous.
However, due to an influx of new talent in the region and the notoriety of Fnatic, it was no surprise that they managed to bring in three more strong players. For top lane, talented powerhouse Huni started. In the jungle, a good friend of Huni’s and a strong name on the Solo Queue ladder, Reignover took the spot. For AD Carry, a man named Steelback took the spot though later, Rekkles would return to reclaim his rightful spot on the team.
For Mid Lane, it was possibly the biggest grab Fnatic had gotten since xPeke joined. With the arrival of a new talent named Febiven from the Netherlands, many fans weren’t sure what to hope from this young arrival.
They weren’t disappointed. Starting with a breakout season, Febiven quickly claimed his throne in the EU LCS region as the best mid laner at the time, possibly only challenged by xPeke himself. In the Mid-Seasonal Invitational, the team barely lost to South Korea Telecom in a 3-2 fashion with the last fight of the match going to smallest of margins.
Febiven himself controlled the mid-lane, taking down Faker several times with ease on his signature champions. It was here that he began to form his reputation, showing that he could take down Korean powerhouses like Faker and Kuro.
After Season 5
Though Season 5 was perhaps the best season yet for Fnatic, the next two seasons came with hardships. With the departing of Huni and Reignover to Immortals and Yellowstar joining Team Solo mid for the next few months, Rekkles and Febiven were left to restart the team of Fnatic once again.
Sure, they brought in players like Spirit who was once part of the top team Samsung Blue and new talent Gamsu but despite these new roster changes, Fnatic began to struggle. Their season, which had been one of the best in 2015, was barely holding on.
However, with the re-arrival of Yellowstar and Soaz, things began to take a turn for the European team and they placed third in the European Spring Split. Though they found some success with their new roster, it was nothing compared to their 2015 run.
Like their 2016 Spring Split run, Fnatic yet again placed third in their groups, falling to new face Misfits and usual powerhouse G2 Esports.
However, with the amount of success they’ve had throughout the Play-In Stage, there’s much to be expected for Fnatic as they progress into the Groups Stage. To celebrate, we’ll be looking at the newly made roster and each individual’s strengths which could benefit the team.
FNC Soaz (Top Lane)
Soaz has been a familiar face throughout both the European LCS and the Fnatic fanbase. Starting out with the original dream-team consisting of Cyanide, Yellowstar, xPeke, and Steelback, Soaz had always been a presence in Fnatic.
He could play anything from an all-in Kennen to a sturdy top laner which could never die like Nautilus or Poppy. With the current meta of the LCS functioning around tank champions like Mao’kai and Shen, Soaz has had the time of his life in top lane, holding down turrets and making sure everyone stays alive.
Soaz has had the experience to make it to the top. He played on the newly founded team Origen and was a key part of their success to reaching the Semifinals. Not only that, he has worked with various amounts of teammates, giving him a high variety of playstyles which he can center himself around.
FNC Broxah (Jungler)
The new jungler who replaced Amazing in the EU LCS Spring Split, Broxah has shown phenomenal talent throughout the course of his season. Though he still has much to learn, Broxah has made his presence known in the game of League of Legends.
Starting off the split strong, Broxah was used to the pressure coming in from the very start. He started off in Fnatic Academy and a month later, filled the jungler spot for the Fnatic team itself. Instantly, Fnatic saw a rise in wins and objective control due to Broxah’s superior judgment.
It’s almost impossible to beat him , Elise, and Khazix in his lineup. He’s 10 and 3 with his signature champion Gragas and holds a 12.9 KDA ratio on the champ, rarely ever dying to his opponents.
Because of Broxah’s ability to quickly overcome his opponents on his signature champions, he is a high-priority target for any opposing team. The only weakness that will be prone to Broxah’s strong playstyle is amateur status.
With veteran teams like South Korea Telecom and Royal Never Give Up as potential opponents, Broxah’s lack of experience could be a problem to his performance and his teammates. However, if Broxah can stay true to his playstyle and just play his own game, there’s no reason to why Broxah could go head-to-head with any jungler out there.
FNC Caps (Mid Laner)
Caps has been a relatively unknown name to Fnatic fans and the EU LCS alike. However, his past few games have cemented his reputation into Fnatic’s line of infamous mid-laners. Though he may not be at the standards of xPeke or Febiven, he certainly knows how to do his job.
He’s played phenomenally on champions ranging from Taliyah to Cassiopeia. His mechanical skills are on par with players like Ryu or PowerofEvil. However, due to his amateur status on stage and also his occasional arrogance, Caps still has a long way to go before he can achieve anything close to the legacy of xPeke.
Caps has had a 7.6 KDA ratio throughout the past games, scoring the 11th best score in the World Championship as of now. With his young age and mechanical prowess, FNC Caps may have a lot to learn but once he learns it, he’ll be unstoppable.
FNC Rekkles (AD Carry)
An old face to Fnatic and possibly the best hope for the team, Rekkles has been with the team for quite a while. He’s gone head-to-head with powerhouses like Pray and Bang while at the same time, making a name for himself in the EU LCS.
Currently, in the EU LCS, Rekkles is considered the best AD Carry in his region possibly only challenged by Zven of G2 Esports. His mechanical skill matches that of Faker while he has the knowledge of old veterans like Bengi.
With the experience of prior success like the 2015 Worlds run, Rekkles knows what it takes to get to the top and has done it before. Knowing this, Rekkles will be a top performer at worlds as he has been doing already.
In the Play-In stage, Rekkles was pulling out signature champions like Tristana and Sivir which are two deadly picks if Rekkles manages to get ahold of them. In fact, his success has been unmatched throughout the seasons. This has led to Fnatic rotating their playstyles and resources around Rekkles himself.
Rekkles is one of the few faces in the EU LCS which the Koreans fear. He’s taken down teams without hesitation and will do it again in the blink of an eye. He doesn’t care who you are, or your achievements, or how far you’ve come. If you’re in his way to success, he’ll take you down.
FNC Jesiz (Support)
Perhaps the more experienced of the new-comers, Jesiz has been through it all. He’s played on teams like Dignitas and Coast and took a break from the playing stage to help become the assistant coach for Immortals during their successful run.
His experience from around the world rivals that of former support Yellowstar, who recently left the Fnatic team to join a Paris eSports organization. Though for moments, it seemed as if Rekkles was left without a reliable support, Jesiz came to the rescue.
Armed with champions like Janna, Thresh, and Braum, it’s been impossible for Rekkles to not do well unless he’s having an off-day. He holds a 71% kill participation and rarely loses on signature picks like Thresh and Morgana.
His full-armed arsenal of champions, experience, and understanding of the game has been just what Fnatic needs to soar to their glory. Before Jesiz came around, they had talent, but no directive. Now, with Jesiz on the team, a captain whose former glory can be seen through the various teams he’s played with, Fnatic is in good hands.
With Fnatic in the Groups Stage, playing against familiar faces like Immortals and Longzhu Gaming, they’re going to have to be at their best in order to contest any type of spot for the Knockout Rounds. Of course, with players like Rekkles and Soaz leading the way, it shouldn’t be a problem.
They have new talents like Caps and Broxah who are beginning to make names for themselves as well as potential leaders like Jesiz who has the experience needed to get through the matches.
but when put to the test, they can test even the strongest of teams.