Fnatic truly had an amazing summer in 2015, breaking new LCS records and going undefeated throughout the entire split.
However, as the next season drew closer, three of the teams biggest stars left and moved to North America.
Only a few months later, Bora ”Yellowstar” Kim is back.
– These days we’re closer than we’ve ever been before, and I feel that influences our game. We trust each other to 100 percent, while it might’ve been a bit shaky in the past, Martin ”Rekkles” Larsson tells Aftonbladet Esport.
In the summer of 2012, a certain 16-year old Swede made his first visit to the World’s biggest LAN event, DreamHack. Six months later he came back, only this time wearing a Fnatic jersey as one of the teams newest recruits. And now Martin ”Rekkles” Larsson is back again, with superstar status, to meet his fans.
– It feels a bit nervous being back, Rekkles says when he meets up with Aftonbladet Esport.
– But it’s always nice to be in Sweden, speak Swedish and meet familiar faces. It’s the first time I’m here as a big profile, it wasn’t really the same thing before.
”I miss the old times”
Now Rekkles has fans swarming around him hoping to get a glance of the star, or maybe even a selfie or an autograph. Dreamhack used to be an event that League players from all over the world pilgrimed to. However, as focus has more and more shifted towards Riot’s own league, LCS, the stars are a lot more stationary these days. Rekkles misses the old days.
– One of the biggest reasons I started playing was because I liked traveling with my friends so much and competing in those high pressure tournaments. LCS isn’t really the same thing, it feels more like a grind instead of playing for the sake of excitement. Playoffs and Worlds are a lot more exciting.
– It’s too bad really, I miss the old times. At the same time there are many advantages in LCS that we didn’t have before, so it’s kind of a give and take-situation.
”Me and Yellowstar are closer than ever before”
Last year, Fnatic managed to set a huge world record. They went through the entire summer split without losing a single game. However, right after the season had ended, three of the team’s biggest stars left – and Fnatic were forced to start from square one.
– It was a tough situation, having to fill the shoes of three people that were among the best in the World in their respective roles. It didn’t really work out all the way, but at the same time I think it was good for me and Fabian ”Febiven” Diepstraten to get the chance to take on more of a leading role in the team, more than we’ve done before.
The spring that followed wasn’t exactly one of the best in the team’s history. However, as the summer drew closer, the story of Fnatic took a new turn. Bora ”Yellowstar” Kim, the support start that had just left Fnatic for a career in North America, returned.
– From day one it felt like we hadn’t been apart at all, Rekkles says about the reunion.
– It was just like when I came back from Elements. We’re sort of made for each other, altough that sounds a bit love-like, but we’ve always understood each other on a deeper level and things have always worked between us, both in-game and personally.
– When I went over to Elements, I started appreciating Yellowstar a whole lot more. I think he feels the same way now that he’s returned, that he appreciates me a lot more. These days we’re closer than we’ve ever been before, and I feel that influences our game. We trust each other to 100 percent, while it might’ve been a bit shaky in the past.
”It was just a matter of time”
As esports continues to grow and reach out to more and more people, one of the scene’s major breakthroughs came this year. The classical german football club, Schalke 04, decided to venture into esports, and recruited one of Europe’s best League of Legends teams. Meanwhile, it’s also rumored Manchester United are about to take the very same step. However, the news aren’t exactly surprising for Rekkles.
– For me it was just a matter of time and I think many will follow in their footsteps. In the same way I also believe it’s just a matter of time before esports becomes more accepted all over the world, Rekkles says on an end note, before he goes back to mingle with the hordes of fans that have gathered around the Fnatic booth at Dreamhack Summer 2016.