Fnatic 2021 LEC Roster Finalized with Upset
With Elias “Upset” Lipp joining Fnatic on a three-year deal, this age-old European organization has officially settled on its LEC roster for 2021! Of course, we all knew this was coming, but it’s still nice to get official confirmation. So now that we know who’ll compete for the former “Kings of Europe,” what’s our final verdict? Well, that heavily depends on whom you ask. The general consensus, at least at the time of this writing, is that the boys in black and orange regressed potential-wise, but also that the initial outcry from the community was far from warranted.
Simply put, Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer is an upgrade over Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek, and Upset, while not nearly as consistent or clutch as his predecessor, is still a very solid pick-up and a capable performer. And for a team that has literally lost its poster child and the one player they’re truly synonymous with, Fnatic deserves a ton of respect and commendation for the way they’ve handled things.
They were put in a very unenviable position and yet came out of the off-season relatively unscathed. Will they be as strong with Upset as they were with Martin “Rekkles” Larsson? Well, probably not, but that doesn’t mean they’ll now become a pushover or a mid-tier gatekeeper. Far from it, in fact! Both Upset and Nisqy have been playing at the highest of levels for years and while they might not be the absolute best players Fnatic could’ve gotten, they’re far from mediocre. And sure, they’ve had noticeable ups and downs throughout their careers, but whenever they were given the right support and room to maneuver they didn’t disappoint.
Upset is known for his mechanics and stellar team fighting, but he never had a support of Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov’s caliber by his side. Sure, Oskar “Vander” Bogdan might come close, but there’s no substitute for Hyli, that’s for certain. It stands to reason that this talented German marksman will blossom and develop beyond measure once 2021 comes around, now that he has a proven veteran to share the bottom lane with. Furthermore, both players love to skirmish and dominate, and they’ll have all the right tools to do so — even against G2 Esports. In other words, they’re a very solid match, stylistically speaking.
Plus, Nisqy is already well known for his ability to “unlock” his junglers. Could you imagine an even more dominant Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek? Quite a frightening notion, that’s for sure. He’s already one of the best junglers in the West, and if Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi can provide him with the right guidance and therefore harness the potential of this Polish jungling behemoth, there’s no telling how high he’ll soar come 2021.
Despite a fair bit of potential, there are a couple of challenging pitfalls that lie ahead. For starters, Upset is the kind of player that relies heavily on resources. If he’s not given enough gold he’s just not as impactful and, by proxy, useful. The same goes for Selfmade who, unlike Upset, has actually proven his worth on the biggest of stages. This means that Fnatic will need to figure out how they want to allocate resources — something that isn’t nearly as simple as it sounds. This is especially true when you have multiple playmakers, each of whom wants to make the game-winning play.
In other words, there might be a bit of headbutting if egos aren’t kept in check. That’s where YamatoCannon comes in. He’s a seasoned coach with a ton of experience, although he never had the honor and privilege of leading an LEC team quite as talented and capable as the one Fnatic will field in 2021. He’s earned our benefit of the doubt, but it’ll still be a steep hill to climb.
Either way, watching this version of Fnatic compete in the LEC in 2021 will be an absolute must. Realistically speaking, they’ll probably remain a Top 2 team seeing how they didn’t upgrade in any truly meaningful way to actually stand a chance of dethroning G2 Esports. At worst, they might drop down to third of fourth, if Rogue and MAD Lions keep performing at the same level as in 2020. Seeing how this is Fnatic we’re talking about, fans should expect nothing short of a thrilling journey. Still, one thing needs to be underscored: losing Rekkles is bound to affect them in a myriad of key ways. Fnatic, as a team, is known for being a slow starter, and without its prized marksman, one can expect an especially bumpy ride.