Fnatic hails 'fantastic opportunity' for LoL Academy team after reaching Challenger Series Qualifiers

fnatic challenger team 1

Fnatic has finally spilled the beans on “the worst kept secret in eSports” – the roster and details of its League of Legends Challenger team.
The eSports organisation first announced it was looking for a second LoL team back in February, and some 500 player and 280 coach applications later, it has nailed down the final roster.
Fnatic Academy was first spotted playing in the EU Challenger Series Open Qualifiers a few weeks ago, under the name of Chocolate Orange Fudge, with players such as British jungler Matt “Impaler” Taylor and Fnatic’s former first-team support Johan “Klaj” Olsson (who is now the Academy team captain).
Now it has finally made an official announcement around the team.
 

“We see this as a fantastic opportunity for this new team. We were able to move the players into our LCS gaming house during the off-season with all the perks and advantages that has to offer.”
Fnatic

 
ADC Sébastien “Exork” Lamorte, mid-laner Hicham “SozPurefect” Tazrhini (who also played with Impaler for the Banditos in some ESL UK Premiership matches) and top-laner Jorge “Werlyb” Casanovas complete the line-up.
Jean-Francois “Nuddle” Caron has been named as team coach.
Fnatic said in a statement: “Following Worlds last year, it became apparent that despite being only a few matches away from lifting the trophy for the second time, we needed to do even more to succeed.
“Getting a challenger team seemed like an excellent opportunity to have a team nearby to practice with and to beef up our LoL infrastructure, as well as nurture talent for the organisation. And thus the project began…

fnatic-academy-team
Image source: Fnatic

“Without trying to brag (too much), we see this as a fantastic opportunity for this new team. We were able to move the players into our LCS gaming house during the off-season with all the perks and advantages that has to offer.
“They have a full time coach “Nuddle”, benefitted hugely from having “Deilor” for a week to bring them together and will have a full time manager to keep them alive and fed.”
It hasn’t been completely plain-sailing for Fnatic Academy, however, as the team only just about progressed to the qualifiers. They finished third, behind Low Priority and K1ck Black.


Fnatic explained: “The initial run perhaps could have gone off to a better start, as it was a loss! We secretly think they did this to make the other teams underestimate them… which paid off well as its the team has been improving ever since.
“In order to get through to the Challenger Series Qualifier, the team fought off Illuminar Honor Gaming with an emphatic win and are now on the path to qualify for the Challenger Series.
“We are very proud of the team we have put together and are confident they will do will in the weeks ahead. We will still monitor how we progress and how the players gel as the project evolves over the course of the few weeks. The next stop is to get to the Challenger Series, so please show these guys a huge Fnatic welcome and a follow or two!”
The Academy team members currently reside at Fnatic’s gaming house in Berlin. They have a set schedule each day, including activities like football, running and basketball – plus they stick to a diet.
“The infrastructure blows the other Challenger teams I’ve played for out of the water,” Impaler explained.
“We follow a very strict schedule and cut out sugary drinks from our diet and don’t eat (much) junk food. Everything is very professional here. We still have a lot of fun and at least I get to drink iced tea on my day off!
“At first things looked pretty shaky but we’re improving rather drastically and with help from everyone at Fnatic. I’m confident we’ll do well.”
 

“The infrastructure blows the other Challenger teams I’ve played for out of the water. Everything is very professional here. I’m confident we’ll do well.”
Matt “Impaler” Taylor

 
Klaj added: “I’m really motivated going into this split and I’ve been working hard as the captain of the new upcoming Challenger team that Fnatic has put together.”
Werlyb commented: “This experience is different than the others. Here we are in the best org and we have an LCS team. I feel like here I’m going to improve much faster than in any other club and I’m going to have everything I need for it.
“I’m feeling really confident going into the rest of the Challenger circuit. I have done this before and I have a lot of experience so I think we are going to make it.”


The announcement comes after Bora “YellOwStaR” Kim returned to Fnatic’s first team following a stint with TSM.
What’s next for Fnatic Academy?
Fnatic Academy will play in Group A against Low Priority, SK Gaming, Renegades Banditos (who are still being allowed to play despite Renegades’ ban), Tricked eSports and Melty eSport Club in the EU Challenger Series Summer 2016 Qualifiers.
Group B will include Team Forge, K1ck Black, Mousesports, G2 Vodafone, Szef+6 and Euronics Gaming.
The EU CS Qualifiers group stages will take place on May 20th to 22nd and May 24th to 25th, while the finals will play out on May 27th.

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