By: Spencer Bing
Earlier today, Fnatic announced their new League of Legends roster. They broke away from the standard web post announcement and delighted fans with a live reveal from the Bunkr, broadcast on their Twitch channel(https://www.twitch.tv/fnatic).
Dan Gaskin(https://twitter.com/DanGaskin) played host and opened up the broadcast by talking to Fnatic founder, Sam Mathews (https://twitter.com/sammathews).
“Esports is often portrayed as this kind of underground thing, it’s not really “cool,” and with Bunkr, we had this opportunity where its like, lets take esports to the coolest street in London, lets show off what its all about, lets bring live streamers in, lets bring our team in, lets actually sell other team’s jerseys – which we do here thanks to ESL. And actually show esports for what it is, which is this cool, underground movement which is actually much bigger than people expect.”
As is, Bunkr is a pop-up shop in the Shoreditch district of London which is planned to stay open for just the holiday season. When asked about future plans for Bunkr, Fnatic’s CGO, Patrik cArn Sättermon(https://twitter.com/carncs) added,
“I don’t think we’re going to be restricted to London as a venue. We can set this up globally, but obviously this is a starting point. Just a stones throw away from our headquarters which is here… We are super excited, obviously new to this concept, but I think we’re doing quite well so far.
The Bunkr currently is equipped with a Vive station, where visitors can come try out the HTC VR system. You can also buy pro apparel, test out their new headphones, and even watch upcoming live tournaments on their projector screen. There is also an area for streamers to come in and stream from the venue.
Before the players came out, Dan spoke with Fnatic’s Head Coach, Niko (https://twitter.com/NicoThePico) about their new challenger squad.
“Obviously we’ve been talking a lot about our 10-man roster project, where we wanted to have viable backups for our main squad, in case stuff happens, or if we weren’t happy about the performance or the attitude with any of our main squad. So, what we ended up doing was creating another team actually. And they’re gonna try to qualify for Challenger Series, which we have strong faith that they actually do.”
Fnatic seem to be setting up their players for success, as they plan to have a house directly across the street from their current gaming house to make the 10-man roster plan work.
After a short break, Dan brought out Fnatic’s AD Carry, Rekkles. He spoke for a few minutes about the process for bringing the new team together.
“We generally felt that this year’s roster didn’t have enough of a balance in terms of leadership, and many times it would fall on me or Fabian(ingamename) and we weren’t quite ready to handle it. So with this new roster we’re looking to balance it out a little bit more and have more leadership roles inside the team, while still having an individual talent that is necessary.”
That led to the revealing of his partner in lane, Jesse “Jesiz” Le. A pro player who had most recently worked with Immortals as Assistant Coach was now swapping roles once more to play support for Fnatic in 2017. The former AD Carry had this to say about his new role,
“I think what I gained from having played AD is especially with ranged supports, you have a big advantage against other support mains that maybe excel at melee supports because when you’re playing AD Carry, you’re always standing at max auto attack range. And whenever I trade with other supports that haven’t played AD Carry, I can really see the difference in trading cause it’s like an AD Carry trading against a support main and you can really tell that they are not used to trading auto attack wise.”
Next up was Fnatic’s new-old top laner Paul “sOAZ” Boyer (https://twitter.com/sOAZIZGOOD). He had previously played for Fnatic before moving to play for Origin for about 2 years. He showed his excitement at being back with Fnatic,
“I saw a lot of faces that I used to see before. Fnatic is more like a family because you see the people who work within Fnatic. For example, when I was in Origin, I would not see many people working there or like faces behind the scenes, but in Fnatic I see pretty much everyone.”
Following that, it was Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider’s (https://twitter.com/Amazing_EU) turn. He joined sOAZ on the couch and spoke about his goals for the coming season.
“Obviously last year was a disappointment to me because I didn’t envision myself not going to Worlds. Going from second place in Spring Split to going to ninth place and having to play relegations, actually fight Misfits was a huge blow to my ego, you know, it’s just how it is. So this year, I definitely want to make it better and actually allow myself to fulfill my goal that I set myself two years ago when I came back from the NA LCS. Because obviously it was a tough spot for me to be in – for me to say, ‘Okay, I’m not going to play for TSM anymore’ and basically leave an organization that has provided so much support for me. And then join Origin and basically having to prove myself again. At that point, I promised myself I would want to win EU LCS before I ever decide to do anything else, so that’s the goal I have in mind for the next two years… and going to Worlds instead of playing relegations would be nice for a change too.”
Despite his name floating around on Reddit as their potential new mid laner (https://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/5fht92/leak_fnc_roster/), the crowd gave a warm welcome when it was revealed that Fnatic’s new mid laner was Rasmus “Caps” Winther. (https://twitter.com/Caps1337Mid) He got a chance to speak about his nickname, “Baby Faker,”
“When someone does something cool or fancy (in-game), then people will say, ‘Oh, you’re Faker.’ And because of my age, I think people started saying, ‘Oh, Baby Faker.’”
And on the potential pressure of being compared to one of the best players in the world,
“I see it as more of a joke right now, but in a year’s time, I hope that – I don’t know if I want to compete with Faker, but I at least hope that I can (get to that sort of level).”
With the entire squad being revealed, they got a chance to all sit down together and answer some lighthearted questions from fans in the crowd and on social media.
The full broadcast can be found here. (https://www.twitch.tv/fnatic/v/104570374)
And you can follow the players on Twitter:
Top Lane – Soaz
Jungle – Amazing
Mid Lane – Caps
Support – Jesiz
AD Carry – Rekkles