Fnatic reshuffle LoL roster after LEC Winter split fiasco
Fnatic have announced changes to its LEC roster, replacing two players and the head coach, following a lackluster performance in the Winter split that saw the team go 2-7 and miss the group stage.
Fnatic have announced their roster for the LEC Spring split, with Óscar Muñoz ‘Oscarinin’ Jiménez and Henk ‘Advienne’ Reijenga coming up from the academy roster to play top lane and support for the main team, respectively.
The pair will replace Martin ‘Wunder’ Nordahl and Rúben ‘Rhuckz’ Barbosa, whose futures are up in the air heading into the Spring split. The Danish top laner had been part of the team since the end of 2021, while the Portuguese support was promoted from the academy squad only three months ago after being a substitute player at Worlds.
A statement issued by Fnatic explains that the organization “thoroughly examined” every aspect of the team to determine what went wrong in the Winter split, in which the squad could not go beyond the regular season – the first of three stages – after posting a 2-7 record.
“One thing was clear – we were not ready for Winter,” Fnatic said. “Lack of preparation and few established routines meant increased pressure on stage, with a clash of each player’s varying goals and profiles complicating meaningful improvement.
“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.”
Fnatic have also made changes to the backroom staff, with Tomáš ‘Nightshare’ Kněžínek replacing Gonçalo ‘Crusher’ Brandão as head coach. The twin brother of former professional player (and current Evil Geniuses coach) Aleš ‘Freeze’ Kněžínek, Nightshare coached Immortals’ LCS team in the 2022 Summer split after guiding the organization’s academy squad for 18 months.
“Having worked with multiple Czech players in his career including our very own Humanoid, Tomáš brings a wealth of experience from multiple backgrounds, as a player, assistant coach, and head coach,” Fnatic said. “An extremely emotionally intelligent individual, Nightshare has instantly connected with the group from the beginning and has been a decisive influence in bringing each player onto the same page, and defining the right goals for the squad going forward.”
Fnatic make big changes heading into LEC Spring split
The Spring split will start on March 11, with Fnatic’s new team making its first appearance against EXCEL, the other squad that missed the Winter split group stage. According to recent reports, EXCEL are hiring Jonas ‘Hidon’ Vraa as their new head coach and signing support player Dino ‘LIMIT’ Tot.
If Fnatic fail to make strides and improve their performance this split, they will have a hard time qualifying for the League of Legends World Championship. The team would only have the Summer split left to qualify for the LEC Season Finals, either by winning the split or earning Championship Points, for a shot at the international competition.
“Going forward, we will take whatever steps necessary, which means learning from our past mistakes, to bring Fnatic back to the performance standards we hold ourselves to, winning the LEC and content ending for the world championship,” Fnatic said. “We can’t promise this will be an easy journey, but we’re confident it will happen.”
Fnatic’s LEC Spring roster:
- Óscar ‘Oscarinin’ Jiménez
- Iván ‘Razork’ Martín
- Marek ‘Humanoid’ Brázda
- Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsson
- Henk ‘Advienne’ Reijenga
- Tomáš ‘Nightshare’ Kněžínek (head coach)