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Fnatic League of Legends players as they play in their match against Splyce for their shot at playoffs in Rotterdam.

Nemesis: Drown out the Noise

Apr 102019

A lot of people told me that joining Fnatic this year would be a daunting task. After all, I’d be replacing a team’s stand out player the year after they went to World Finals — that’s tough. And I really think that if any other player in the world were to join Fnatic in my place, they would face enormous difficulties from that burden. But I don’t feel any pressure as a player — it doesn’t affect me. I believe in my own abilities and my own play and I know that I can beat any other player out there. So when it comes to pressure, I just don’t feel it.

That being said, joining Fnatic was one of the hardest decisions of my life. Actually, it probably was the hardest. The overall process of joining Fnatic was a bit explosive since I’d never been in a similar position before and didn’t know what to expect. I received multiple LEC offers around November/December of last year but, despite getting a bunch of offers right away, I wanted to wait and see if some bigger teams would approach me later on. 

This is where the process became stressful. You see, teams want to sign you as early as possible. That way they can finalize their rosters early. But some of the bigger LEC teams were either still competing in or only just getting back from Worlds when my first round of offers came in. Personally, I was playing in the Iberian Cup at that time and was not ready to commit without seeing all my options. I was still holding out hope for a bigger offer, I was hungry to prove myself.


Then one day, I got a message from Youngbuck asking if I wanted to add him on Skype. We talked, and he told me that Fnatic was interested in possibly signing me. During this process my former teammates and I were getting a bunch of different offers all at the same time. Everyday we would talk about what teams we were going to join and I spoke about the offers I’d gotten with friends and family, but ultimately had to make the tough decision myself. 


When the time came to finally choose a team, Youngbuck said Fnatic was going with me so I went with Fnatic. After that I went on to win the Iberian Cup with my old team, played some duo queue with Broxah, and prepared myself for my new life with Fnatic. I wish I had a grander, more exciting story for how things all fell into place, but it was really that simple.


Since then a lot of things have changed. It was definitely a learning process at first. I had to get used to my new life, I had to figure out what living in Berlin was like, how it’s different from Spain. Then I also had to adjust to a new team and new players. 


The difference between the LEC and the Spanish League was not that huge. The game itself is not that different. You play the game how you’ve played it for the past 9 years or whatever, but the one thing that changes is the team you’re on. It’s a completely new team with completely new players, personalities, and beliefs in how the game should be played. Because of that everything was new, everything was different. 


What hadn’t changed, however, was my confidence. Going into the split I was confident we were going to win. Even after our 0-4 start in the first two weeks, I was still confident in us. That’s really the only thing I can say about my feelings at that time — and I’m still just as confident. Personally, I’m not really the type to get nervous when it comes to playing with a new team. Excited a bit, of course. Everything is new so of course I felt excited! But mostly I was just confident in myself and in my new team.


As a team none of us were happy when we were almost last in the standings. We were constantly losing so things had to change. Because of that we made things change. Then, we started winning thanks to those adjustments. It’s really hard to talk about the specifics of what changed because a LOT of things did, but it’s thanks to those modifications in our play and our psyche that we are where we are now.


Individually, even though I had some bad games, I knew I was still better than almost every other player in the LEC. Knowing my teammates were the same, I trusted in them. I have so much confidence in my team and have such high expectations for our play that I really don’t pay attention to the comments swirling around out there. I know that we are going to do well as a team so outside opinions don’t influence me. I feel like when you join an organization that has a history of constantly succeeding, like Fnatic, fair-weather fans are great when things are going perfectly but the moment things take a turn for the worse, they’ll turn on you. It’s easier to praise others who don’t have that history when they do achieve success than it is to constantly praise the same team over and over again. That's just how it works.


I believe I’ve already made a name for myself as a Fnatic mid laner. The community, on the other hand, overwhelmingly disagrees with me on this. I couldn’t care less because even if I were to continuously win, and win, and win, there will always be voices of doubt. Some people just like to feed on failure, but eventually, though, these voices will start to disappear. You see, you can’t keep using the same excuses every year, every split, every match. Especially when the person you’re saying is bad is successful. At the end of the day I’ll get the results and I will let those results speak for themselves. 


My goal is to win everything — win everything every year — from now until I retire. And the first “win” on my list is the destruction of the narrative of “Caps vs Nemesis.” Who cares about whether Caps was better on Fnatic than I am now? What does that matter to me? The only thing that matters to me is that I know I am the best. My team is the best. We will win.