Fans of the EU LCS' longest standing team have long been hoping that the team would catch a break, as their season has been far from stellar thus far. Today would not be the day for such a break, however, as Fnatic announced this morning that their head coach, Nicholas "NicoThePico" Korsgård, was taking his leave of the team. Nico cited an inability to solve the team's issues as the impetus fo his departure, and the organization has named their manager, Finlay "Quaye" Stewart, as their acting head coach.
The move comes at the mid point of one of Fnatic's worst seasons on record. Despite obtaining the services of notable veterans sOAZ and Amazing at the beginning of the split, the team has struggled to rise about 4th place in their group for the entirety of the split. The pressure has been building on the players to perform over the weeks, as Fnatic's fans aren't known for the passivity, and it's gotten to the point where Rekkles has gone on the record saying that he's no longer feeling well and considering taking a break. While it's unclear exactly where Fnatic's issues stem from, there are certainly some hints in the statement that Nico made upon his departure from the team.
"After joining Fnatic at the end of Summer Split 2016, I got the chance to build a new roster together with the FNC management for the upcoming season." He said, "We started off looking good and had apparent synergy and meshed well together, both in and out of game. As time went on we started facing challenges on the inside. As a result, problems occurred that I could not foresee beforehand and fix in due time.
As I have been unable to provide the needed remedy, I feel that someone else with an outside perspective on the team and its issues, in both draft and gameplay, might be a better solution than what I was able to provide. I’ve decided to step down as Head Coach of FNC effective immediately.
Since joining Fnatic in July 2016, I’ve had the joy of working alongside some truly incredible players and staff. I have nothing but respect and gratitude towards FNC for the time I’ve spent here, and I am sure you’ll be able to bounce back into greatness! It saddens me to end the journey here, even if it was a rough one, I loved every minute of every day."
Clearly, his statement lays the blame on Fnatic's failures on interpersonal issues -- a poison that is not entirely unknown to the team. Considering the current roster is attempting to balance a combination of veteran talent with, at times, questionable work habits with a pair of rookies that are looking to make their mark on the LCS, a bit of internal discord is to be expected. Whether or not this discord will end up tearing the team apart or not remains to be seen, but after Fnatic's loss to ROCCAT last week there are quite a few fans who have quickly stopped worrying about whether or not Fnatic would make it to the playoffs or not, and are instead worrying about whether or not they'll even be in the EU LCS come next split.