Yesterday Fnatic announced their new LoL lineup live in London at their esports pop-up shop called the Bunkr, and Gamereactor were at the reveal, where we also got a chance to speak to Chief Gaming Officer Patrik "cArn" Sättermon and Co-founder of Fnatic Sam Mathews about Fnatic and how their past has shaped their future, both in terms of LoL and elsewhere.
We asked, firstly, how Sättermon felt about the changing lineups of Fnatic. "We have probably seen the biggest [...] team change, player change in Fnatic's history in the past three or four months," he said. "I think we are at the 24th or 25th player change. That also includes, obviously, training an Overwatch team, right - six or seven individuals if you include a coach. But yeah, the nature of esports and the player market, and how many esports titles are popping up out there, it just requires us to be very proactive and not necessarily think twice when we have an option to pick up a team or do a player change which we think is going to make our teams better, and having a stronger future."
Overwatch is an esport that Fnatic is also investing in, now having a team that will compete in Las Vegas this month. "Overwatch [is] super positive, super excited about this title," Sättermon continued. The Overwatch team was actually there at the event in London, and Gamereactor got to talk with players like Scott "Custa" Kennedy and Casey "buds" McIlwaine.
"Exciting evening here, obviously [with the LoL team announcement]. We're going into a fresh season with a lot of fresh faces. That comes with a lot of uncertainties but we've learnt a lot in 2016 and we believe we have a really solid roster that we can work with on a long term basis, and also a lineup that can ride up the storms together when things are not going well. That's one of the benefits of having a roster from the same region."
Talking about 2016, Mathews said that it hasn't been the easiest of rides. "Obviously it's been tough having a year that wasn't one of the best for Fnatic. If you look at League of Legends, LCS history, it's probably the worst year on record for us [...] things have gotten more competitive, there's more younger talents, and there's also been a lot of money in it."
"But I don't think money's been the reason why we haven't been successful," he added. "For us it's really just been, okay we picked five mechanically amazing players, they didn't gel synergistically, they didn't gel out of the game as well as we'd like, and I think we've gone through a lot of learning experiences. I think we've kind of gone back to our roots, trying to do a bit more basics, fundamentals of LoL, and hopefully what we come back with and what we do with the team we've created will really put us back on the map in Europe and really prove that we can do this well."
How well do you think Fnatic will do, in League of Legends, Overwatch, and elsewhere?