Bwipo hits LoL open market: Why Fnatic star is "happy" to leave former LEC champs - Dexerto
League of Legends

Bwipo breaks silence: why Fnatic star is “happy” to leave former LEC champs

Published: 29/Apr/2021 6:53

by Isaac McIntyre

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Gabriel “Bwipo” Rau has broken his silence on the recent League of Legends rumors suggesting he’s on the verge of leaving Fnatic, admitting he’s “happy” to call time on his four-year stint with the former LEC champions.

Bwipo will hit the open player market at the end of the 2021 season, after four years flying the Fnatic colors in the League of Legends European Championship.

He first joined the iconic LoL outfit in early 2018, replacing French veteran Paul “sOAZ” Boyer. Since then he has represented Fnatic at three World Championships, including in a Worlds final, and won two EU LCS titles.

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The top laner has now confirmed he “will not” ink a new Fnatic deal.

The Belgian’s confirmation comes just days after Spanish blog Esportmaniacos reported both Bwipo and jungler Oscar “Selfmade” Boderek had walked away from the LEC negotiating table, and were planning to test the market instead of sticking with the former European champions beyond 2021.

Fnatic finished a shock fifth in Spring, failing to claim a European medal spot for the first time since EU LCS 2016 Summer, when they missed Worlds.

Fnatic coughed up a disappointing fifth-place finish in LEC Spring Split.
Riot Games
Fnatic coughed up a disappointing fifth-place finish in LEC Spring Split.

Why Bwipo is planning shock Fnatic exit

The team’s poor showing this split isn’t the reason behind Bwipo’s upcoming departure, however. Instead, the top laner explained during a short Twitch stream on April 27, it was all due to his “less than great” showing in the orange and black this year, and the fan backlash that came with those struggles.

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“I didn’t think I performed very well, and I don’t want to be on a team like Fnatic if I don’t perform well. That’s just how I feel, you know?” the Belgian star said.

In his eyes, Spring 2021 had been his worst LEC split yet.

“I’m here to play good League of Legends and if I can’t do that, if I feel like I can’t do that anymore, then I won’t keep playing pro League. I’m planning on using this split as a test for myself. See how I can perform under pressure. If I smash Summer it still depends… there’s more to it than all of that, really.”

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He added, “I love our fans, they’re great, but it’s not so nice being a League of Legends pro player feeling like a disappointment when you don’t play well.” Bwipo also confirmed he “has other options lined up” once his deal expires.

“Maybe a different top laner will bring different results for Fnatic,” he continued, “so I don’t really mind stepping aside for them to explore that possibility.”

Bwipo has played more than 100 games for Fnatic since early 2018.
Riot Games
Bwipo has played 233 pro games for Fnatic in Europe and at Worlds since early 2018.

Hylissang, Selfmade may follow suit

As Dexerto understands, Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov ⁠— the third of the Fnatic players off-contract this off-season ⁠— has yet to make a call on his own future. The Bulgarian signed a one-year extension heading into this season.

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Fnatic’s carries, Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer (mid lane) and Elias “Upset” Lipp (bot), are both locked up in deals that run until the end of 2023.

Selfmade has yet to comment on his position. According to insider reports, he has plans to test the market rather than accept Fnatic’s extension offer.