French Tops, Role Swaps, and Behind-The-Scenes Drama: What’s Going On With Fnatic?

Published: May 27, 2021

In a turbulent series of events post-MSI, Fnatic have gone for a drastic restructuring of their team. Last Split, their stock as a team fell way below expectations after limping into playoffs. Their eventual elimination at the hands of Schalke 04 was especially embarrassing due to the trash talk that went into that series. After crashing out in unprecedented fashion, Fnatic knew that had to make changes. But can Bwipo turn around Fnatic’s misfortunes in time? And where will newly-signed Adam fit in the talented world of LEC top laners?

Started from the bottom now we … here?!?

Long-time fans of Fnatic will obviously be scratching their heads at the wildcard moves that have taken place this offseason. From the departure of Caps three years ago to the eventual loss of Rekkles and now Selfmade, Fnatic have a tough time of holding onto their star talent.

Fans have speculated for years that something is rotten within the management at Fnatic and this latest restructuring of the roster — swapping Bwipo into the jungle in lieu of Selfmade — have confirmed those fears.

Fnatic Selfmade
Image Credits | Riot Games

The wheels really started to fall off for Fnatic after the departure of Nemesis last off-season. After developing an identity for himself as a next-level Mid, his INT worthy performance at Worlds 2020 became a meme of itself, and with that, his stock as a pro player plummeted.

Instead of not feeding into the noise and believing in their players, Fnatic opted to terminate Nemesis’ contract and brought in Nisqy to change up the play style for their team. This change, in conjunction with Bwipo taking up more responsibility as the carry threat and vocal leader of the team, led to up-and-down performances that led to a lack of consistency. Their final bow in a 0-3 demolition at the hands of Schalke was the icing on the cake. Changes had to be made.

Forecast for the future

Obviously, the Bwipo role swap isn’t a final plan but rather a means to an end as Fnatic figure out how to salvage their season. Signing 19-year-old French top laner Adam brings back memories of sOAZ and YellOwStaR as an emerging French talent makes his way to the team. However, a rookie top laner won’t be the only cog in the machine that needs to work for this ‘experiment’ to sort itself out.

Bottom line, losing Selfmade for peanuts and role swapping an out-of-form top laner to jungle cannot be good for business. Fnatic can rest on their laurels that they have always built a winning culture season after season despite losing big names. But this next split, with no Selfmade, Caps, Rekkles or even Nemesis in sight to catapult them to victory, it’s difficult to put them anywhere near the top four considering G2 and Rogue are only improving and Team Vitality just got infinitely better with their roster swaps.

Nick Vera

Since: September 4, 2020

Nick's passion for League of Legends started as he got his shot as a shoutcaster at amateur tournaments. Nowadays, he covers a variety of esports titles while pursuing a B.A. in English at Rollins College.

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