Fnatic Preview showcases a team that only became a top contender at the end of the LEC, but they might erase the mistakes of the past at Worlds.
The 2023 League of Legends World Championship is finally expanding to the best teams in the world! After a week of exciting Play-In matches, 6 squads have said goodbye to the last League of Legends event of the season, with only Team BDS and GAM Esports earning their spot in the Swiss Stage. They join teams such as T1, JD Gaming, Cloud9 and Fnatic – with the latter having the most to prove out of all LEC teams.
Fnatic Team History
Fnatic is one of the oldest standing European organizations competing in League of Legends. Their inception predates even the EU LCS, as they played in ESL Go4LoL events at the start of the last decade. They were also participating in the first World Championship which they managed to win with the roster of xPeke, Cyanide, Shushei, Lamia and Mellisan, and have been the only Western org to do so ever since.
They have played in almost all European LoL tournaments, taking part in the EU LCS since the 2013 Spring Split, which they won. The squad of sOAZ, Cyanide, xPeke, Yell0wStaR and nRated also played in the Season 3 Worlds, but they didn’t make it to the finals.
At the end of 2013, they signed legendary AD Carry Rekkles, thus began the era of Fnatic until G2 Esports joined the fray. They dominated the domestic scene in Europe and had great showings internationally as well, making it to the top 4 of All-Star 2014, MSI 2015 and Worlds 2015 as well.
They fell down a bit in the 2016 season when they tried to find a new squad built around Rekkles unsuccessfully, but bounced back in 2017, then they signed midlaner prodigy Caps. They qualified for Worlds again, making it to the quarter-finals in 2017, then after winning both Spring and Summer in the EU LCS in 2018, they made it to the Worlds finals. They shook the World, as no Western team got as far to winning it all since Fnatic did it during the first World Championship.
While the black-and-orange squad has been a top contender in multiple splits, they have been chasing that 2018 high ever since. This year, they started out the season in a horrible fashion, as re-signing Rekkles didn’t bring the results they were expecting. They made a number of changes during the year, eventually settling on a roster that earned them a 3rd place in the Summer Playoffs and a silver medal in the Season Finals – now all that remains is to prove themselves internationally.
- Óscar “Oscarinin” Munoz Jiménez
- Iván “Razork” Martín Díaz
- Marek “Humanoid” Brázda
- Oh “Noah” Hyeon-taek
- Adrian “Trymbi” Trybus
Fnatic’s roster is a bit of an enigma, as they only played 1 split and the Season Finals together – at the end of which Oscarinin had to be benched due to an injury, with former toplaner Martin “Wunder” Nordahl Hansen filling in for him. While Summer and the SF was successful compared to the splits before, they spent less time together than ideal.
They are a team that can snowball early leads, and they usually manage to pull victories in matches that start out well for them. The opposite is also true, as they only won around the third of games where they were behind after the first 14 minutes. Their victories are also very commanding, but when they lose, they also lose pretty hard, having a huge GD@20 in losing matches, and the outright worst stat in GD@25 when beaten.
The early game is all about Razork, who is extremely active, generating leads and making sure that his laners can get strong for the midgame. He has the 2nd highest KP@14 out of all Worlds junglers, and is constantly looking for fights – usually around mid and botlane, leaving Oscarinin on his own. This means that Fnatic has a low Herald% compared to other teams of similar aggression. Outside of Razork, Fnatic spends the early game farming and trying to stop the advances of their opponents.
Later in the game they tend to do Baron Nashor fast, around the 25-minute mark, which puts them at 3rd place in first Baron overall. However, they don’t use their Baron buff well, as they are ranked 7th in Baron Power Play towers and 5th in kills.
Alongside Razork, Humanoid is a standout player in Fnatic. He deals the most damage among players at Worlds and gets the most resources outside of Razork. While they are the best players of their team statistically, Razork and Humanoid rarely work together – but they can flex Taliyah, which could surprise some teams. Oscarinin and Noah get less resources than other players in their role, but they can still carry – although Oscar usually plays tanks.
Fnatic showed everyone that they are still a capable team, but they might hit some bumps along the way. Oscarinin’s injury still haven’t healed fully, and while Wunder is on standby with the team in Korea, Fnatic didn’t sing Oscar for nothing. FNC’s first opponent will also be a tough one, as they will face LNG Esports, the third seed of the LPL on Thursday. Can Fnatic deliver, or will they take the short way out of this Worlds?