Superstar AD Carry Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larssen has discussed his controversial departure from the LEC, and his plans for 2022.
Rekkles’s surprise departure from the LEC was one of the most unexpected moves of the 2021 offseason. After an unsuccessful year at the helm of G2 Esports’s EU superteam, his future was uncertain- until he was picked up by LFL giant Karmine Corp.
Fans got their first taste of KC Rekkles on December 16, when the team took on Spanish organization KOI in a show match at the Palau San Jordi in Barcelona. In an interview with Laure Valeé, he explained the decision to move, and his motivation behind stepping down from the LEC.
Rekkles’ return to the stage
Although they ended up losing to the Spanish side 2-1, Rekkles discussed the importance of playing in front of a live audience again, saying the encouragement from the crowd was a huge part of what motivated him as a pro.
“For me, it felt like I was once again reminded of why I’m doing this,” he explained to Laure. The global health crisis moved esports online for almost the entirety of 2021 and 2022, and multiple pros have noted a decline in motivation while playing remotely.
The LEC has confirmed that the Spring split will take place online, but we’re beginning to see other esports events return to LAN with the loosening of strict COVID-19 protocols.
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The KCorp-KOI show match will hopefully mark a slow return to live events for European league esports, but fans will still have a while to wait until they can see their favorite teams face off live again.
Personal evolution and stepping back from a leadership role
In his short time on KCorp, Rekkles is already finding himself a new niche in the team environment. Tending to be amongst one of the oldest or more experienced on his team, the leadership role has often fallen to him. Now, on KCorp, the responsibility for leadership falls to top laner Lucas ‘Cabochard’ Simon-Meslet, a veteran of the league scene.
“It’s so nice for me to not have to be that guy any more” he told Laure. “It takes such a huge burden off my shoulders.” As such an iconic figurehead, especially during his time as Fnatic’s franchise player, the pressure he faced from fans and teammates alike was extremely intense. Now, he shares the responsibility of leadership with an equally experienced player, allowing him more time to focus on his own personal development.
He sees KCorp as a second chance and the opportunity for a “fresh start” in the esports world. As one of the LEC’s most tenured players, he’s been in the European ecosystem since 2012. But this will be his first time experiencing the ERL system.
He’ll be unable to attend the World Championship this year, and he explains that that factored into his decision-making. He told Laure that “without KCorp, I wouldn’t have played next year”, explaining that he had no interest in joining an LEC team midway through the season. The KCorp offer was a “lucky” opportunity to continue playing outside of the LEC ecosystem that had grown stale for him.