UPDATE (January 12th): Support player Tom "Prosfair" Willis has spoken to Esports News UK about joining Fnatic and his goals for the upcoming split. We've added his comments to the bottom of this article.
Original article (January 8th): Fnatic have announced their LVP UK League of Legends roster ahead of the regional league's launch.
They have signed four UK players to the academy roster: top-laner Jordan "Shikari" Pointon, ADC Matthew "xMatty" Coombs, jungler Daniel "Dan" Hockley and support player Tom "Prosfair" Willis.
Shikari and Prosfair join from Misfits' academy side who won the UK Forge of Champions tournament last year.
xMatty has played for sides including Singularity and Wind and Rain, while Dan also played for Wind and Rain, mousesports among other orgs and was a part of Fnatic's academy side back in early 2017.
"It is a delight that we can now be present in the UK esports scene in one of our biggest esports titles. We believe we have built a team worthy of representing Fnatic in our home country."
The UK players join Swedish mid-laner Felix"MagiFelix" Boström who played has played for the likes of Movistar Riders. There, he worked with Alejandro"Jandro" Fernández-Valdés, who has also joined Fnatic academy as their head coach.
There's another link for Jandro as he previously worked in Spain with ex-Fnatic coach Deilor, who left to develop a gaming keyboard that splits in two and predicted that League of Legends will not be around in 20 years' time.
Fnatic academy's team manager will be Michael"Garki" Bolze.
From 2019, the Black and Orange will be present in the UK League of Legends Regional League from @LVPuk! 🇬🇧
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) January 7, 2019
Fnatic said in an announcement post: "As an organisation founded in London, we take a lot of pride being based in the United Kingdom. It is a delight that we can now be present in the UK esports scene in one of our biggest esports titles.
"We aim to prove we can be the pride of Britain. Between each lane and Jandro behind them, we believe we have built a team worthy of representing Fnatic in our home country."
The news comes after exceL Esports finalised their 2019 LoL roster and team set-up.
LVP UK will be revealing more details of the league on January 23rd and other teams are expected to announce their complete rosters soon.
'I want to make sure the team stands on its own merits and makes Fnatic proud'
Fnatic support laner and experienced UK League of Legends player, Tom "Prosfair" Willis, tells Esports News UK about his views on joining and how he thinks the team can do.
"Obviously it's a big opportunity for me joining Fnatic, they are one of the oldest and most storied esports orgs in the world, and I feel that if there was any environment in which my gameplay could reach an LCS level, this is the one.
"It's pretty surreal to me though. I remember when I first started playing competitively, the idea of even reaching top 4 in a UK split seemed like a huge achievement and I honestly felt that I simply lacked the talent to ever get to a salaried level at all.
"I used to be proud coming top 6 at Insomnia or even hitting Master tier, which I guess might be pretty unimaginable for some of the newer people to the scene. Still, I don't think I would be here today without all that time playing on my past teams. And I'm glad I persevered, I learned so much from each one as a player and as a person, and I've made some of my best friends from them.
"Joining Fnatic is surreal. I remember when I first started playing competitively, the idea of even reaching top 4 in a UK split seemed like a huge achievement. I'm glad I persevered, I have learned so much."
"In regards to being on the academy team for such a large org, I just want to make sure that the team stands on its own merits and we contribute to the organisation as opposed to our main novelty, being that we are the Fnatic academy team. That's how I felt about my time on Misfits, we won both UK splits but we had a disappointing performance in EU Masters and I don't feel like I stood out much individually. I'd like to change both of those things this year and make Fnatic proud of the team.
"It might be jinxing it a bit but personally one of my goals for 2019 is winning both the EU Masters this year. Talking about the upcoming split, I can't even imagine anything but winning, it's not that I think there is no way we could lose to the other teams, but when I picture the finals in my head, I can't see us losing.
"Everyone on the team is really good with a lot of potential and I trust all the players and staff to put forth their best effort, so with that in mind I think the odds of us winning are pretty high, though being unbiased, I think if we don't win it will definitely be exceL."