Rekkles explains the uncertainty about his Fnatic future in LEC off-season

Michal Konkol/Riot Games

Fnatic AD Carry Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsson has admitted that he wasn’t sure if he would be part of the lineup for the Spring split.

Fnatic were forced to hit the reset button in the off-season after a disastrous Winter split in which the team finished in ninth place after winning only two games during the regular season.

It was the first time in Fnatic’s history that the team failed to reach the playoffs of Europe’s top competition – snapping a record that stretched back to 2013, when they entered the EU LCS.

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Fnatic's players looking disappointed in LECMichal Konkol/Riot Games
Fnatic were eliminated in the first stage of LEC Winter 2023

With Fnatic team director Javier ‘Dardo’ Zafra calling the team “completely dysfunctional” after the final match of the Winter split, questions remained about how much the lineup would change in the off-season.

In the end, academy duo Óscar ‘Oscarinin’ Muñoz and Henk ‘Advienne’ Reijenga were brought into the fold, replacing Martin ‘Wunder’ Hansen and Rúben ‘rhuckz’ Barbosa in the top lane and support roles, respectively. Fnatic also appointed a new head coach, Tomáš ‘Nightshare’ Kněžínek, who replaced Gonçalo ‘Crusher’ Brandão.

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Rekkles admits to off-season uncertainty amid Fnatic’s shakeup

But for a while, Rekkles’ future in the team was anything but guaranteed, especially as Elias ‘Upset’ Lipp was sitting on Fnatic’s bench. At one point, there were also rumors that the Swedish veteran was considering a role swap to support.

Speaking on the latest episode of the ‘EUphoria’ show, Rekkles confessed that he was worried about his future on the team after the Winter showing.

“For sure, I was worried for most of the off-season,” he said. “It wasn’t until they told me that I was on the team that I finally believed it. There were rumors behind the scenes that Upset was coming back and there were rumors that I was playing, but I never knew for sure.

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“It was a tough time between the splits, for sure. Maybe not the best way to come in with full energy for the next split, but it was fair how everything played out. We had a really bad split. I had a really bad split.”

Rekkles was also the target of much criticism for his playstyle and a champion pool that was not in line with the meta. After a year in which he played in the LFL with Karmine Corp, he acknowledged that the return to a higher level of play came as “a reality check” for him.

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“Coming back to the LEC and that level of scrim and how much I had to re-learn from being away for a year, especially the long off-season I had,” he said. “We finished LFL in August, I lost my playoff series right before EU Masters, and then I had nothing until January.

“I had four months of no scrims. For the most part, in LFL we scrim against EU Masters teams or other ERL teams. When I came back to Fnatic it was a reality check to get to that level again. During four months with no scrims, I had built up so many bad habits that I wasn’t able to deliver individually. I think I’m in a way better place now and I’m having way better games on stage and in scrims. But I still have a long way to go.

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“It’s crazy to look back at my career and see how spoiled I was. I was playing in the best teams, I had the best scrims, I traveled to international tournaments, I scrimmed all the LCK and LPL teams. I had a really high level of practice environment and then I had a low level of practice environment. I kind of had to re-learn everything.”

Fnatic gave a much better account of themselves in the Spring Split’s regular season, finishing in fifth place with a 4-5 record. They are through to the group stage, with their first match pitting them against Astralis on April 8.

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