The EU LCS drama has started early this split, no-one saw this roster change coming. Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek, made a free agent by spring split champions G2 eSports just a few months ago, has now secured himself a move to Fnatic at the expense of Korean top laner Yeong-Jin “Gamsu” Noh – but the roster shuffle could yet have an unforeseen impact on Fnatic’s chances of World Championship success.
The jury’s out on whether FNC Kikis will prove to be a stroke of genius by Fnatic’s coach Luis “Deilor” Sevilla Petit, though many feel he may have overlooked the teams chemistry in his pursuit of LCS glory.
There’s no doubt that Kikis’ experience will bring a host of positive changes Fnatic’s game. Despite his weak performances at the Mid Season Invitational, Kikis’ communication during the spring split was a pivotal factor towards G2 eSports championship victory. The move looks to be less about individual mechanical performance, but overall team presence – Deilor doesn’t need another carry, but a player that can work well within the team comp.
“It was a team decision, everyone was involved in this.”
Fnatic Team Statement
The popular conspiracy theory for Gamsu’s initial addition to the team was that the Korean came as a package deal with Spirit; Spirit would not join a team without Gamsu. This reasoning certainly makes sense up to a point – Gamsu’s time on Dignitas was far from impressive, and while he has done much better than many people expected, he has always felt like Fnatic’s weakest link. While Fnatic claim that everyone was involved in the decision to remove him from the team, that doesn’t mean that everyone on the team necessarily agreed with the decision.
I just want to say that My game play dosent really effect for leving team.
— Noh YoungJin (@Gamsulol) 12 July 2016
Gamsu’s departure seems to have particularly upset jungler Spirit, who joined the team with the intention of playing alongside his close friend.
— 이다윤 FNC Spirit (@FNC_Spirit) 12 July 2016
I dont know this happen
i’m extreamly sad
— 이다윤 FNC Spirit (@FNC_Spirit) 11 July 2016
Spirit and Gamsu has forged a particularly strong friendship during their time playing in Korea, both competing as part of Samsung Blue. Fnatic’s decision to kick Gamsu may unintentionally push Spirit out the door with the same swing.
Despite his strong performances, it never felt like Spirit had completely gelled with life at Fnatic and there was always a sneaking suspicion amongst fans that they would be bidding farewell to the jungler after the World Championship. With his close friend set to catch the first flight back to Korea, Spirit’s future in the EU LCS now feels more uncertain than ever.