Fnatic has always been one of Europe’s most dominant organizations in the region since its establishment. However, for the first time in the team’s history it has finally failed to make it into the season’s next tournament stage despite the qualifiers being the top 8 out of 10 teams. This means that the 2023 Fnatic roster delivered the worst performance the organization has ever seen and its community is not happy about the results.
The LEC Winter Cup
The Winter Cup is an additional stage that Riot Games added for the European region to introduce more competitive matches in the LEC. It features some of the esports changes that Riot Games implemented in the 2023 season and will include a 3-stage format that removes a few teams every stage until a Winter Champion is crowned. This format is met with a positive response especially since both the competitors and the fans gain something from this change.
The first stage of the LEC Winter Cup features the standard best-of-one format that fans have been accustomed to every year with only a single round robin to quaiify for the next stage. Only two teams will be eliminated in this stage and the remaining 8 teams will proceed to the next stage where they’ll compete against each other in a best-of-three bracket style format until the first four teams to qualify will compete in the standard best-of-five playoff stage.
Expectations For The 2023 Fnatic Roster
The 2023 Fnatic roster was initially received with a lot of doubt despite having a star-studded roster with superstars like Wunder, Humanoid, and Rekkles in the team. Unfortunately, Fnatic failed to deliver a dominant performance in the 2022 season with an even more star-studded roster featuring Upset and Hylissang in the bot lane. This season, Fnatic has chosen to replace Upset with Rekkles and promoted Rhuckz to support, replacing Hylissang.
While the team looks great on paper, many fans in the community have been criticizing Rekkles’ ability to play in the bot lane for a very long time now. Rhuckz had a standout performance in the Worlds 2022 Play-in Stage but the community was not letting the fact that he just got promoted from a minor league cloud their skepticism of the current state of the bot lane, which would be the lane that would later on be met with heavy criticism from the fans.
Fnatic’s Horrendous Winter Run
Fnatic had the most difficult season to watch if you were a fan. They only won two of their nine games with their most crushing defeat coming from Astralis. The team also only won against the bottom place team (Excel) and KOI who were also struggling in the current season. Their run ended when SK Gaming dominated them in their last match, preventing the chance for a tie-breaker to happen against Astralis.
The community and analysts expressed their opinion about how the team did not have any synergy whatsoever and in Fnatic’s recent vlog, they admitted that they could not execute their strategies well on stage despite having a relative amount of success in scrims. Many have pointed out that the main problem is Fnatic’s bot lane, which they believe has been performing really poorly throughout the season.
New age fans have pointed out that Rekkles has offered nothing to the team and is the most underwhelming AD carry in terms of playstyle in the LEC. Traditional Fnatic fans are blaming Rhuckz, whom they believe is not synergizing well with the playstyle that Rekkles wants to execute during the laning phase. There are also many fans who have been criticizing other lanes as well, especially in the Mid Lane where they believe Humanoid has been performing terribly in the last few splits.
The 2023 Fnatic rosters should be a powerhouse in terms of the reputation that each individual member holds. However, they have failed to play as a team overall and their individual successes are not being translated well into the late game as they fall apart relatively quickly in most of their teamfights throughout the entire season. Fans are hoping that this will change in the 2023 Spring Split.
Is Rekkles the Problem for Fnatic?
All fingers are starting to point towards Rekkles as being the primary suspect for the 2023 Fnatic roster’s downfall overall in the season. Many weren’t happy about Upset getting replaced, especially since he was the player that was salvaging most of Fnatic’s games in the 2021 and 2022 seasons. In the 2023 season, Fnatic made the bold move of reinstating Rekkles back in the AD Carry position to replace Upset.
In the 2023 Winter season, Rekkles (in his own words) didn’t really play bad but he didn’t play good as well. He described himself as a mediocre AD carry but sadly, mediocre is not enough for an ADC to survive in the current marksman meta of League of Legends. Watching Fnatic’s games, it seems like Rekkles was too afraid to make risky plays, something that the younger AD Carries were really excelling at in the past three seasons.
Fnatic’s Plans for the Spring Split
We know that the team’s director said that Fnatic will be using the spare time they acquired from getting eliminated early to “fix the problem” within the team. We don’t know if they will be restructuring the team by changing some of the members but we do know they will do something drastic to prevent the organization from falling further into the competition. Whether or not we will see Rekkles play in the Spring Split is entirely up to Fnatic’s management and no news has been released that indicates doing so.
The Spring Split is a very important season for Fnatic as getting a good placement will give them a chance to compete at the Mid-Season Invitationals. If they fail to place at least in the top 2 in the Spring Playoffs, they will not have a shot at competing in MSI since they earned very little points in the Winter Season. If this 2023 Fnatic roster wants to win, they need to find two things – ability to take risks and a chemical reaction that will make them perform well together as a unit.