With the unpredictable landscape of League of Legends free agency now settling for the 2021 season, Fnatic had to make due with a lot of changes. Once Rekkles announced his free agency, the door opened for a monumental switch to G2 Esports — which he eventually secured.
To counteract the departure of Rekkles and Nemesis, Fnatic started from the top down in order to revamp their storied organization for a new era within the LEC.
Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi has been a pivotal figure within the European scene for quite some time now. He originally got his coaching start in 2015 on Meet Your Makers. His most recent accolade is being the first non-Korean Head Coach to join an LCK team this year when he signed with SANDBOX Gaming in May 2020. YamatoCannon has been lauded for his expert decision making in the pick & ban phase, which has been more and more crucial towards deciding games in recent years.
Gary “Tolki” Mialaret is another high pedigree acquisition for Fnatic given his illustrious resume. This will be Tolki’s first time in the assistant coach position, but he has done extensive analyst work as a part of Splyce in 2019 and shortly after became Head of Strategy and Analytics at T1 by December of that same year. Both of these coaches possess unique skills that balance each other’s palette quite well. YamatoCannon is a born leader that can align five players around a singular vision, and Tolki has the analytical mindset to find the best tools and strategies to get them there.
Enter Nisqy & Upset
With the mid lane market stifled due to G2 Esports’ blocking of an offer for Perkz, Fnatic had to make due with their next best option. Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer showed how to carry in the mid lane while playing selflessly, and this playstyle will work well with the style Fnatic has already established. It is no secret that Bwipo enjoys carrying games and being the center of attention. With Nisqy adjusting his style to the team, Bwipo has a chance to become the focal point of the roster early on.
Nisqy has already stated that he has no problem adjusting his playstyle to the team’s needs. Depending on the role YamatoCannon has him fulfill, we could see him continue playing supportive champions like Galio, or he could return to his control mage champions that drew him a lot of success in his early career as a member of Fnatic Academy.
Finally joining the team he has always wanted to play for will be a dream come true for the Belgian mid laner. In his triumphant return to the LEC, he has the difficult task of manning a mid lane that has to contest with the behemoth that is G2 Esports. Luckily, players like Selfmade and Hylissang will provide more than enough support as he adjusts to the European scene once again.
Upset leaving Astralis Gaming and finally joining a team that is worth his level of talent will be an interesting storyline to follow in 2021. Upset has widely been regarded as one of the best ADC’s on an underperforming squad for multiple years in a row now. With an uber-aggressive support at his side in Hylissang, the German native has a chance to take center stage as one of the most exciting ADC prospects to come from the region since his predecessor Rekkles.
However, success on paper doesn’t always translate to results. Replacing 40% of the roster over the off-season will lead to chemistry issues that need to be ironed out over the first couple weeks of stage play. To continue their impressive performances at Worlds, Fnatic will need to rely on their crafty coaching staff and selfless playmakers to bind together in order to be greater than the international threats they compete against.
Upset has a tremendous amount of upside, and Nisqy’s play style and culture fit may be the exact changes needed to let the other players on Fnatic shine even brighter. Time will tell if these changes did anything to shorten the gap between G2 Esports, Fnatic and the rest of the league.