One of Europe’s most successful esports organizations, Fnatic, is getting ready to enter the 2022 League of Legends European Championship (LEC) season. And as with any year before, the question in everyone’s mind is – can the orange and black reclaim the crown which has been eluding them since 2018?
A New Season, A New Opportunity
As with any season before, the fans eagerly await the competitive year to start, to cheer on their team as Fnatic starts their climb to the LEC title. But, unfortunately, while Fnatic is one of the only teams in the region that has consistently competed for the trophy, they are also one of the teams who always fell flat.
Fnatic last stood atop Europe in 2018, when they won regular seasons and playoffs, eventually reaching the LoL World Championship finals. However, that was also the last year when Fnatic could genuinely call themselves the best team in Europe.
Since failing to win the organizations’ second LoL Worlds title, everything fell apart for Fnatic, who lost their star midlaner Rasmus “Caps” Borregaard Winther to G2, effectively ending their era of dominance.
Fnatic has not won another LEC title in the years that followed, albeit they came close. In 2019 they reached the finals of LEC Spring and Summer Playoffs, only to lose against G2 Esports.
The story repeated itself in LEC 2020 when Fnatic lost the spring and summer playoffs against their regional rivals.
2021 was a year of ups and downs for Fnatic, who fell flat in LEC 2021 Spring split, finishing the playoffs in fifth place. But they showed some life in summer when Fnatic fought through the lower bracket to reach the finals, only to lose against the defending champions, MAD Lions.
And throughout these years, Fnatic was forming and reforming its LoL roster, trying to find a winning formula. And to no one’s surprise, Fnatic opted for the same strategy heading into the 2022 season – a new roster.
Roster? What Roster?
Every League of Legends team has been working tirelessly to build a new roster and sign star players this offseason. While many teams have already announced their 2022 lineups, some exceptions exist. Most notably, Fnatic.
As with any offseason, there have been rumors and speculations of how Fnatic’s new roster will look like. And while many reputable sources have already revealed Fnatic’s expected lineup for 2022, the organization has kept their mouths shut.
As noted by Fnatic’s CEO, Sam Matthews, the organization doesn’t intend to reveal its roster until 2022. That was further confirmed by Fnatic’s content manager Pete Nguyen, who stated that the team is still waiting for their new players to arrive in Berlin before making a proper announcement.
Regardless of how this offseason has gone, we can safely assume how Fnatic approached rebuilding its roster and which players will it feature.
With the departure of top laner Adam “Adam” Maanane, jungler Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau, and midlaner Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer, Fnatic needed three new players. As rumours suggest they’ve found replacements in Martin “Wunder” Nordahl Hansen, Iván “Razork” Martín Díaz, and Marek “Humanoid” Brázda, formerly of G2 Esports, Misfits Gaming, and MAD Lions.
Do Fnatic Have The Tools To Succeed?
Fnatic enter the new season with the same bottom lane, but a completely new mid, jungle and top, which brings up a lot of questions. But there’s a reason to feel optimistic about Fnatic’s chances to succeed.
Fnatic’ bottom lane duo was statistically the most efficient European bottom lane of 2021, and with no changes made, it’s fair to assume Fnatic’s bot side will continue to dominate. Moving up into the jungle, the addition of Razork makes a lot of sense and is undeniably a great acquisition.
Admittedly, Razork didn’t achieve much with Misfits last season, but he hadn’t had players around him to be able to. Regardless, Razork was a standout player of the team, so it’s fair to feel optimistic about what he can do with strong players surrounding him.
Humanoid joins Fnatic as a two-time back-to-back LEC champion with MAD Lions and is widely recognized as one of the top-three mid laners in the league. He might not be regarded as good of a player like Caps, but he is a level above most other mid laners in the region.
Lastly, Fnatic’s new top laner, Wunder, has had a very disappointing season in 2021; but he is still a four-time LEC champion and 2019 LoL World championship finalist.
If we draw a line, the potential is there, and as long as Fnatic’s new players can show their peak form, it’s more than fair to say that the black and orange just might have assembled a roster that will bring the organization their seventh LEC title.
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