Fnatic reportedly parting ways with LoL head coach YamatoCannon

Fnatic YamatoCannonMichal Konkol/Riot Games

Fnatic are reportedly parting ways with League of Legends head coach Jakob ‘YamatoCannon’ Mebdi and will promote its academy team coach, Gonçalo ‘Crusher’ Pinto Brandão, to the position.

A major shakeup may be coming to the coaching staff of one of the biggest European League of Legends organizations.

During his 2-year tenure, Fnatic’s Swedish head coach YamatoCannon led the squad to two League of Legends World Championship appearances. But it seems that those accomplishments were not enough to stave off change.

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YamatoCannon and Fnatic set to split for 2023 season

According to multiple reports, the veteran coach will reportedly be replaced with an in-house hire as Fnatic’s academy team head coach, Crusher, will take over on the main squad. Crusher was signed to the academy team, Fnatic TQ, on January 3, 2022 and led the squad to a European Masters appearance in the spring along with top finishes in the SuperLiga spring regular season and playoffs.

YamatoCannon is reportedly looking for opportunities in multiple regions, as he has previously coached in the Commonwealth of Independent States league, multiple other League of Legends European Championship teams and the Korean league with SANDBOX Gaming.

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Fnatic League of Legends team from 2018Michal Konkol/Riot Games
YamatoCannon is known for fiery speeches he gives to players.

While Fnatic did not win any titles in YamatoCannon’s tenure, the team was a regular top finisher in the LEC playoffs. In his four splits as the team’s head coach, Fnatic made the playoffs every time and have two second-place and two third-place finishes.

YamatoCannon has been to Worlds four times with three different organizations, however, he has never left the Group Stage of the tournament. A European title has also eluded him as he has yet to lead a team to a first-place finish in the regular or post-season in the region.

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YamatoCannon was also in charge of Fnatic during some of the team’s darker times including Elias ‘Upset’ Lipp surprise withdrawal from Worlds 2021 and its ensuing fallout.

At Worlds 2022, the head coach also had to deal with players missing matches due to positive tests and field substitute players.