With Worlds 2018 quarter-finals just a few hours away, European fans find themselves with 2 teams to cheer; Fnatic and G2. Both will face off against Chinese teams, and while G2 will battle it out against Royal Never Give Up, Fnatic will be up against a fairly familiar face in Edward Gaming. Back in 2015, Fnatic swept the LPL Giants 3-0 in front of a home audience in London before unfortunately losing at the hands of KOO Tigers in the semi-finals. Let’s take a look at how the careers of the fan-favourite roster have fared in the years since.
Top – Huni
Despite the great end to the 2015 season with Fnatic, Huni (along with Reignover) took a leap across the pond in order to join newly formed North American side Immortals.
The team’s inaugural split was a success, finishing the regular season with a 17-1 record in which Huni and Reignover’s impeccable synergy was a driving force behind the team’s results. However, they would only go on to place 3rd in the Spring 2016 Play-offs after a disappointing 3-0 series loss to Team Liquid.
The 2016 Summer split was more of the same, with a 16-2 regular season record proving them as one of the best team’s in the league despite another disappointing Play-offs; losing 3-2 to CLG.
While expecting to stay with Immortals in NA, Huni received the offer of a lifetime; to go back his native Korea and play on the most decorated team in the game’s history, SK Telecom. This brought instant success, winning the LCK 2017 Spring split with a 3-0 Play-off series against KT Rolster, as well as getting his first taste of International silverware with an MSI trophy immediately after.
The Summer split did not go quite as planned, however. Despite a 4th place regular season finish, SKT made it to the Play-off finals only to lose 3-1 to Longzhu Gaming. Worlds followed soon after this, however Huni would leave the team after a crushing 3-0 loss to Samsung Galaxy in the final of a tournament where many had even argued that SKT’s other top-laner, Duke, was more deserving of a place in the team.
After parting ways with SKT, Huni again headed to the NA LCS, this time to join existing franchise Echo Fox.
Huni’s presence in North America again boosted his team’s results. A 12-6 regular season record found them in 2nd place heading into Spring 2018 Play-offs, however a 3-1 series loss to Team Liquid followed by a 3-0 win against Clutch Gaming would only find them a 3rd place finish.
Results took a turn for the worse in the Summer split. After a 4th place regular season standing, a 3-2 Play-off series loss to Team SoloMid would only earn them 5th/6th. Following this, another series loss to TSM in the Regional Qualifier dashed Echo Fox’s hopes at making their first Worlds appearance, and confirmed Huni’s absence from the tournament.
Jungle – Reignover
Following Fnatic’s 2015 Worlds run, Reignover opted to stick with Huni in heading to NA’s Immortals for the 2016 season, sharing in their highs and lows throughout the season.
As Huni headed to SKT for the 2017 Spring split, however, Reignover instead stayed in NA with Team Liquid, who were in the process of recovering from a turbulent
documentary 2016 season. TL’s results continued from where they left off before Reignover’s arrival, finishing 9th place in the Spring regular season and even having to beat Gold Coin United in a Promotion series to stay in the league.
The Summer split showed no signs of improvement. Signings of Dardoch and Inori meant Reignover’s position in the jungle was unclear, and a 9th place standing only avoided a relegation series due to the upcoming franchise system the following season.
After a whirlwind 2017, Reignover moved to franchised Counter Logic Gaming for the 2018 season. However, he is yet to find success after 7th and 8th place regular season finishes and no Play-off appearances.
Mid – Febiven
After the Worlds 2015 semi-final, Febiven was one of only two players to stick with the team, however roster changes during the off season proceeded a shift in the European region where raining kings Fnatic were to be usurped by up-comers G2.
A mediocre 9-9 Spring 2016 regular season meant that Fnatic only made Play-offs by the skin of their teeth standing in 6th, however they could only muster a 3rd place finish.
The Summer did not prove much better, as a 6th place 7-6-5 (we’re glad draws are no longer a thing too) regular season was followed by a 5th/6th Play-off finish and meant that they did not qualify for Worlds.
Following this disappointment, Febiven opted for a change in team and joined fellow EU LCS side H2k, who had just had their own inspiring semi-finals Worlds finish in 2016.
The 2016 Spring split began well for H2k with a 10-3 record, earning them a 2nd place regular season standing. However a disappointing Play-offs only found them a 5th/6th finish (where they were ironically eliminated by Febiven’s former team Fnatic).
Their fortunes improved in the Summer split, finishing 1st in the regular season with a 9-4 record. However, a dominant G2 side would eliminate H2k in the Play-offs, and H2k would also fail to qualify for Worlds through the EU Regional Finals after being eliminated by Fnatic.
2017 brought a change in scenery for Febiven as he joined newly formed NA LCS franchise Clutch Gaming. With the new team brought stumbling results, finishing the 2017 Spring split regular season 11-7 in 6th. This was enough to earn them a Play-off spot, where they eliminated fan-favourites TSM 3-1 before losing in a close 3-2 series to 100 Thieves to finish 4th.
The Summer split was not as successful for CG, finding themselves 9th in the regular reason with a poor 6-12 record. They did manage to earn a place in the Regional Qualifiers based on Championship Points, however they were eliminated at the first hurdle by Echo Fox, meaning that Febiven has failed to qualify for Worlds since Fnatic’s 2015 semi-final.
ADC – Rekkles
Of the 2015 Fnatic roster, Rekkles is the only member to still be on the team today, and so experienced the same disappointing 2016 season as Febiven.
When Febiven departed in 2017, this left Rekkless as the last remaining 2015 squad member and saw an improvement in results. A 3rd place in the regular season earned them a spot in the Spring 2017 Play-offs, however they would unfortunately be eliminated by G2 (who then beat Unicorns of Love in the final).
Performance levels continued to increase into the 2017 Summer split as Fnatic earned 1st place in the regular season, finishing with 11 wins and 2 losses. However, they again could not perform in the Play-off stage and were eliminated by Misfits on this occasion.
Despite not making it to a Play-off final, Fnatic still earned the chance to go to Worlds through the EU Regional Finals. A 3-0 victory over Febiven’s H2k in the final would secure their spot in the Play-in stage.
Fnatic advanced to the Group stage with ease, however they were drawn against tough opposition in LCK’s Longzhu, NA’s Immortals and LMS’ GIGABYTE Marines. Despite losing both games against Longzhu, Fnatic managed a 1-1 record against both other teams in the group (which was also the situation these teams found themselves in).
Tiebreaker victories for Fnatic earned them a place in the quarter-finals, however LPL giants Royal Never Give Up were too big a task for the Europeans as they suffered a 3-1 defeat.
As Rekkles has stayed with Fnatic for the 2018 season, this has also seen a shift in power back to the team. Changes in bot-lane for both Fnatic (bringing in Hylissang) and G2 (losing Sven and Mithy) saw Fnatic take control of the EU LCS once again, with the Spring split the beginning of this as they finished the regular season 14-4 and walked the Play-offs with a 3-0 final win over G2.
This also granted them a place at MSI 2018, where they managed to escape the Group stage courtesy of a tiebreaker victory over NA’s Team Liquid. However, Fnatic would again fall to China’s RNG as they were defeated 3-0 in the semi-finals.
Fnatic’s EU dominance picked up right where it left off in the Summer split, however this was perhaps one of the darkest times in Rekkles’ career. Significant balance changes brought melee champions to the bot-lane and almost eradicated the need for a marksmen. This led to Rekkles taking the decision to step down from the team and take some time off, with his place being taken by Top-sub Bwipo.
After further tweaks by the Riot balancing team to re-integrate marksmen into the meta, Rekkless re-entered the team and helped bring a close to a dominant split, in which Fnatic finished 13-5 in the regular season and took down FC Schalke 04 in a 3-1 series win in Play-offs.
This ensured their Worlds 2018 spot as they were placed in a group with LPL’s Invictus Gaming, NA’s 100 Thieves and LMS’ G-Rex. Fnatic defied expectations by topping the group, and now face Edward Gaming in the quarter finals stage as they famously did in 2015.
Support – YellOwStaR
Following Fnatic’s 2015 success, YellOwStaR joined Huni and Reignover in heading to the NA LCS by joining a new look Team SoloMid.
Despite being hyped as a Western super-team, TSM failed to live up to expectation in the 2016 season and would scrape a Play-off spot in the Spring split with a 9-9 record. Despite reaching the finals of Play-offs, they would ultimately lose at the hands of Counter Logic Gaming.
After this difficult split, YellOwStaR abruptly left TSM and re-joined a struggling Fnatic who had finished 3rd in the Spring split Play-offs. This unfortunately could not turn their season around, as they again failed to be crowned champions of the region and could only muster a 5th/6th place Play-off finished in the 2016 Summer split.
After this disappointment, YellOwStaR was offered the opportunity to retire as a player and was made Head of Esports by newly created Paris Saint-Germain eSports. Their key aim was to make it to the EU LCS, which meant navigating their way through the Challenger Series.
The Spring 2017 split was their first chance, however a narrow 3-2 loss to Fnatic Academy meant that the had to try again the following split. After faltering to a 1-0-4 record in the Summer, PSG found themselves in last place during the Challenger series and had failed to earn a chance at promotion.
This frustrating first year in Esports ultimately led to the organisation’s decision to disband their League of Legends department, and with it cut ties with their relationship to YellOwStaR.
For the 2018 season, YellOwStaR has now turned his attention to coaching after heading to his native France with Team-LDLC who compete in Open Tour France. This is a circuit of seven tournaments around the country, in which points gathered through performances can earn a place in the European Masters.
So far this season, YellOwStaR’s squad have managed to win two out of six tournaments and currently lie in 3rd place with one tournament still to play. While 250 points behind the top spot, a 1st place finish in the final tournament (Paris Games Week) would earn 650 points and so Team-LDLC are still well in the running for the overall top spot.
Performances earlier in the year had earned YellOwStaR’s side a place in the Spring European Master’s tournament, however they are yet to find success at this level after failing to progress from the Play-in stage in Spring and failing to qualify for the Summer tournament.