A little over a week ago, G2 eSports Support Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez described Fnatic’s new-look roster for 2017 as a potential ‘top three team’ – everyone assumed the Spaniard knew something no-one else did. As is turned out, three days ahead of Fnatic’s intended roster-announcement PR event, the leaked roster for Season 7’s Spring Split has left the majority of fans feeling depressingly deflated.
Fnatic had made their intentions for an all European roster perfectly clear, yet with the Immortals implosion putting the names of Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin and Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon seemingly back on the table, optimistic fans began to dream of yet another return from their fabled Season 5 squad.
There was to be no such miracle, instead the leaked Fnatic roster for 2017 seemingly ruled the European favourites out of contention for yet another year:
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) 28 November 2016
The Fnatic roster for the 2017 Spring Split is as follows:
Aside from its primary LCS roster, Fnatic have boasted their strength in depth and will field an additional team of five other players who will compete in the Challenger qualifier under the Fnatic Academy banner. These players will act as scrim partners and substitutes for the main team, it is expected that last season’s stand-in Support Johan “Klaj” Olsson will likely participate. The other four remain speculative.
Critics are generally tentative to criticise the new, all-European roster – the mistake of a damning judgement was made back in 2015 when two generally unknown Koreans pulled on Fnatic jerseys – many people ended up eating their words.
The notable difference between the 2015 and 2017 iterations of the team is that by comparison, followers of the European scene actually know these players – and perhaps more importantly – know that the majority of them have been playing well-below the average competitive standard for the past year.
After such an underwhelming roster announcement, Fnatic fans will be happy to be proven wrong and embarrassed once more if it means a change in fortune from the disappointment of last season.