Rekkles gives tearful account of Fnatic’s “embarassing” LEC split

Michal Konkol/Riot Games

Rekkles released a video speaking about Fnatic’s extremely troubled LEC Winter Split 2023 performance, claiming that “the struggles were always there” and that it wasn’t a surprise to him that the team didn’t do well.

Fnatic is one of the most decorated esports organizations in the world. They’ve been around for over a decade, and they’ve consistently fostered some of the best talent available. Particularly when it comes to League of Legends.

From winning the first-ever League of Legends World Championship to taking several domestic titles, it’s no secret that expectations for this team are sky-high.

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What’s more, Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsson was coming back to Fnatic in 2023. Fans of the organization were hoping that this would be a return to form, but Fnatic wound up finishing in ninth place and barely managed to pick up any wins. Now that the LEC 2023 Winter Split is over, Rekkles has opened up and discussed some of the internal issues with Fnatic.

Rekkles dives into Fnatic’s struggles

Rekkles is one of the biggest names in Western League of Legends, and he built his legacy with Fnatic. With domestic titles dating back as far as 2014, he made his mark on European League of Legends and was the driving force behind Fnatic’s most dominant years in the region.

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However, after he signed with G2, things went downhill. He found himself benched from G2 and got signed by Kcorp. And, even after a strong start with the LFL team, their sixth place finish in Summer 2022 wasn’t the high note Rekkles would have liked to end his time with the team on.

Even after returning to Fnatic, Rekkles hasn’t managed to recapture the magic of his earlier years with the organization. He created a video summing up his thoughts on what went wrong, one that started with him being in tears and saying, “It’s just been a lot. I didn’t mean for this to happen. I don’t even know why it happened, to be honest.”

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The discussion started with Rekkles speaking about how Fnatic was one of the last teams to start playing together. With only one week of scrims under their belt, Fnatic were “losing to everyone” from the get-go according to Rekkles. They weren’t improving before the split, resulting in their poor Winter split performance.

“What you saw was what we had to offer. If I think to the stage games and I compare to practice, it’s not a situation where we were good in scrims and bad on stage, I know some teams have that. We were just bad, I think. Yep. Stage, scrims, everything was just bad. It was embarrassing to play, to be honest.”

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Rekkles wasn’t surprised at their result, with him saying “the struggles were there the entire time”. He went on to say Fnatic could have made fifth or sixth place if they were playing better, but he wouldn’t have been happy with that result regardless.

“That’s not… at least to me, that’s not enough. If I finish ninth or fifth/sixth it feels like a failure either way.”

Rekkles speaks about his time with Rhuckz

Rúben ‘Rhuckz’ Barbosa was often criticized when it came to speaking about Fnatic’s poor performance, and Rekkles shed some light on their dynamic as a bot lane duo.

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“Me and Rhuckz actually had a fine relationship. I actually think we had a pretty good relationship outside of the game between everyone, even me and Rhuckz. It’s just that we were losing every game. At some point, everyone started panicking a little bit.”

“For specifically me and Rhuckz, it got worse and worse. We started the year playing everything. We played every combo, we played everything and really tried. With time, we started dropping more and more.”

Fnatic | YouTube
Rhuckz after Fnatic got eliminated from Playoffs contention

“We just couldn’t make anything work.”

As Rekkles points out, the meta during Winter was heavily focused on bot lane and empowering your ADC. And, if things weren’t working when losing “both sides of matchups”, it was difficult for Fnatic to find a working strategy at all.

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That said, Rekkles didn’t think there were many synergy problems on the team and simply put it down to a low level of individual play across the board and the confidence of the team spiraling downward after losing so many games. In his words, “confidence goes to absolute s***”.

For the next split, Rekkles is hoping to expand his champion pool. While he admitted that he thought the roster was “dysfunctional”, he also hopes to be able to play whatever his team needs come Spring. Ultimately, he ended by saying that he wants fans to be nice to everyone on the team and spoke about the panic and anxiety experienced by everyone on the team.

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Fnatic have reportedly made some roster swaps ahead of Spring 2023, and they’re hoping to finish the year strong.