Daniel ‘Dan’ Hockley put in a sterling performance in the UKLC, Forge of Champions and EU Masters this year, and Fnatic have rewarded him for his efforts.
The British League of Legends jungler has been called up to the Fnatic first team and is set to play alongside the likes of Rekkles, Bwipo and more in the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) which kicks off on June 7th.
Dan is not directly replacing Fnatic’s main jungler, Broxah, but is instead moving to Fnatic’s Berlin office, where he will join the rest of the LEC players and staff as a secondary jungler. From there he can easily be chosen to play with the first team in the summer LEC split.
“Having been around the Challenger and Academy scene for several years, I’m thankful to Fnatic for seeing that I can make the step up to LEC.” – @FNC_Dan
Fnatic named Dan ‘perhaps the most consistent jungler outside of LEC’, in this announcement post, with LoL head coach Joey ‘YoungBuck’ Steltenpool saying: “We are looking to recreate the success we had last season and we identified that having a six-man roster was one of the key reasons behind that success.
“Considering that Dan had a stellar Spring Split with [UK academy team] Fnatic Rising, it made a lot of sense for us to move him in-house with our team to further develop him and to use his game sense to make the team grow.”
Replacing Dan in the regional UK League Championship (UKLC) is French player Cantoursna ‘Nji’ An, who joins from ROG Esport. Meanwhile, support player Targamas has left Fnatic Rising.
I’m really happy to announce that i signed with Fnatic
I ll be playing in the uk league with the academy team.
I m excited to prove myself on the big scene https://t.co/cqjUrgJgyy
— Nji (@FNC_Nji) May 30, 2019
I decided to go back to studies at the end of the year. I might come back in the future, but for now i wanted to do something else in my life. Thanks for having me, I wish both teams the best in the upcoming split https://t.co/KZntsd37Bl
— Targamas (@Targamas) May 30, 2019
The news comes after rumours circulated suggesting that Broxah and Rekkles had a disagreement and that Broxah may have been directly replaced by Dan.
Broxah posted a comment on Twitter clarifying the situation, and while he admitted there were internal ‘disagreements’ within Fnatic, he didn’t name names. He added that he did not agree with the decision to bring Dan in as a secondary jungler, but said he will ‘work harder than ever’.
— Broxah (@BroxahLoL) May 30, 2019
Broxah said: “Over the past month, I have been trying to accept this decision, but it is something that I have and am still having a difficult time with.
“I am doing my utmost to turn [my frustration] into additional motivation and drive to prove my worth to myself, my coaches, my team and the fans.”
On being called up to the first team, Dan commented: “Having been around the Challenger and Academy scene for several years, I’m thankful to Fnatic for seeing that I can make the step up to LEC. I’m looking forward to working with Broxah and the rest of the team as we aim for a return to the top.”
“Considering that Dan had a stellar Spring Split with Fnatic Rising, it made a lot of sense for us to move him in-house with our team to further develop him and to use his game sense to make the team grow.”
Fnatic also announced other staff additions, with Carlos ‘Melon’ Malzahn joining as team manager and Alejandro ‘Mapache’ Parejo Martinez as head analyst. Mapache has experience with G2 and Excel.
Speaking of Excel, the UK org have made some coaching changes and brought in Young-Min ‘Mickey’ Son as a mid-laner and Petter ‘Hjarnan’ Freyschuss as an ADC.
The Fnatic changes have given players time to reflect. Fnatic Rising ADC xMatty (whom we interviewed here), said:
It’s been a while since EUM and I’ve had ample time to reflect on who I want to be as a player. Next week we move into the gaming office and resume practice for summer split. Looking forward to spending time with the team and building on our performance last split. #AlwaysFnatic pic.twitter.com/cQnBpOEkfq
— FNC xMatty (@xMattyyLoL) May 30, 2019
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.