Image credit: Michal Konkol/Riot Games Flickr
Gabriël ‘Bwipo’ Rau, jungler for London-based esports organisation Fnatic, has announced he is leaving social media ‘indefinitely’ after his team’s situation during Worlds 2021.
Fnatic were knocked out of the League of Legends World Championship group stage yesterday after picking up one win from their six games.
The LEC Summer 2021 Playoffs runners-up went into Worlds with a last minute change, just hours before their first match was due to start. Fnatic’s ADC Elias ‘Upset’ Lipp had to return home at the last minute over an urgent family matter, prompting Fnatic to promote Fnatic Rising academy ADC Bean to the Worlds team.
Lena had allegedly said “wife buff is a debuff, fk that” on Twitter, and some had believed her tweet was out of line given Fnatic’s current circumstances.
Following their first defeat to Hanwha Life Esports, Bwipo unfollowed Fnatic management on Twitter, and reports claimed Fnatic founder Sam Mathews had unfollowed Bwipo’s partner Lena, though he has denied this.
To have this happen at such a crucial moment was of course not going to be easy, and clearly affected team spirit.
Bwipo has now opened up over the incident in a Twitlonger post.
He said: “Lena has been supporting me unconditionally for three years. Recently, I hurt her. We talked it over. Then, I had a job to do in Iceland [at Worlds]. She was still hurt, and I worried about her.
“In this time period, she set aside all our issues to support me. She gave me the energy to help bolster the team. I was able to be the person Fnatic needed in this trying bootcamp. I compensated for others energy, at her expense [because I had hurt her].”
Bwipo said that the only reason Fnatic’s week two at Worlds ‘wasn’t void of hope completely is thanks to her’.
“She suggested us to play together,” he continued. “Find a way to smile together. Enjoy ourselves, and fix our communication in game. I brought the team together thanks to Lena. [When Upset left] I broke down in tears because I knew it was doomed. I didn’t know what to do. All our success came from our bot lane. Without it, I didn’t see a way.
“I was so frustrated with how it was handled. I unfollowed Fnatic and its management in my anger. Lena received death threats from my community, from my fans, my organisation’s fans. But she did everything she could for me. She went off social media because of the hate, because of the pain, the death threats.
“I’ll be leaving [social media] indefinitely myself. I’m exhausted. I gave it my all and watched my significant other take the blame for issues that had nothing to do with us. I regret everything about that. Ultimately, I’m at fault. I should have done better. Good bye. I’m going to try everything to make this right to her.”
Despite these internal issues, Fnatic did show some signs of togetherness on the stage during week two of Worlds. But it seems for now, Bwipo’s future at the org may be up in the air.
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.