After the departure of Bora “YellOwStaR” Kim, Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon, and Kim “Reignover” Ui-jin after Season 6, Fnatic was left searching for new team members. Fnatic replaced them with Lewis “Noxiak” Felix, Yeong-Jin “Gamsu” Noh, and Lee “Spirit” Da-yoon respectively. While quality players, the difference in skill shows. Fnatic finished the season 5 summer split 18-0, but would start the Season 6 spring split at 5-3 by the end of week 4. This prompted Fnatic to place Noxiak in a sub position and replaced him with Johan “Klaj” Olsson. Fnatic currently sits in 5th place at 6-4.
This may have served as the catalyst for Fnatic to establish a challenger team. Instead of having to scramble for replacements due to a semi-disbandment, Fnatic can now scout and develop young talent in case this were to occur. Though if the challenger team were to make it through the challenger league, Fnatic would have to make a choice between their teams due to Riot only allowing one professional team per organization. The good news is that they can call up a player at anytime before the trade deadline (March 1st). This would allow teams to take advantage of their CS roster while planning the strongest LCS roster.
This opportunity is available to any challenger player age 16 or older. The benefits are impressive, including a salary and the possibility of moving to Berlin, Germany to live in their gaming house, where they would work with the Fnatic staff, including coaches and the LCS team. You can apply here.
Look forward to more updates as applicants roll in and more information is available.
All images from Fnatic.