Fnatic’s LEC squad takes the stage next week with an adjusted lineup. In a blog post, the team revealed that top laner Martin “Wunder” Hansen, support player Rúben “Rhuckz” Barbosa, as well as head coach Gonçalo “Crusher” Brandão have been removed from the team. Fnatic’s academy players Óscar “Oscarinin” Jiménez and Henk “Advienne” Reijenga will play in the 2023 LEC Spring Split. Tomáš “Nightshare” Kněžínek, who coached LCS team Immortals in 2022, is Fnatic’s new head coach.
The changes come after a disastrous LEC Winter Split for Fnatic. The team kept three of its 2022 players that brought Fnatic to an LEC semifinal and to Worlds 2022, brought franchise star Martin “Rekkles” Larsson back, and promoted Rhuckz and Crusher internally, which gave fans hope for a strong 2023 season. Everything fell apart quickly, though. After three weeks in the LEC Winter Split, Fnatic had won only two games. The squad was swiftly eliminated and finished in ninth place.
Changes to Fnatic’s structure
While Fnatic thinks the roster changes should improve the performance of the team itself, the organization also acknowledges that there are structural flaws within the company.
“We’ve also thoroughly examined the inner teams’ structure, leadership, and cohesion to analyze what went wrong, and where we can build upon and improve,” Fnatic says. “One thing was clear – we were not ready for Winter. Lack of preparation and few established routines meant increased pressure on stage, with a clash of each player’s varying goals & profiles complicating meaningful improvement.”
According to the team, they’ve already made progress. “We’ve already made significant changes, with the team together already, bonding and scrimming, giving them as much time before the split starts as possible,” the blog reads. “We’re in a better position, but with significant steps to be made further to learn and improve.”
To answer further questions, Fnatic hosts an AMA tonight, at 7 PM CET, on its Twitch channel. Content Manager Pete “Swallaspaa” Nguyen hosts the AMA. Chief Gaming Officer Patrik “cArn” Sättermon as well as Esports Operations Lead Stuart Brown join to elaborate on Fnatic’s decisions.