A couple of years ago, the importance of coaches was a controversial topic in the eSports community, players were hesitant to accept that they could actually help them play better League of Legends. With time, the situation got better, in some teams and regions faster than in others. Even Origen, the player-centered organization, which used to have trouble with the marginal role their coaches got to play in the team, now being emphasized sufficiently. Fnatic is the next team to reportedly take a big step in vastly improving their infrastructure.
The manager of the Fnatic League of Legends team, Finlay Quaye Stewart, posted a couple of tweets yesterday, outlining the org’s plans to improve their infrastructure for the following season. The change is understandable, as the last season was very hard for the team, which used to wear the crown of Champions. For the first time in the history of the EU LCS, there was no Fnatic in the Finals.
Following the crappy Split, the team’s heart, Bora “YellOwStaR” Kim retired and immediately took a post at the eSports division of the football club, Paris Saint-Germain, which will hopefully bring him success, allowing the team to compete in the LCS once the Spring Split is over. In the end, Fnatic had only three players on their roster, Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek, Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten, and Martin “Rekkles” Larsson. According to the tweets from their manager, that number should more than triple, as Fnatic are planning to have subs in every role for the 2017 Spring Split. This might actually provoke another hissy fit by their current starting Top Laner, Kikis, as he left his previous team, G2 Esports, when they brought in a sub, Dae-han “Expect” Ki.
Also, Fnatic have plans to create a Training Center, where the team would practice every day, in a clear disconnect from the accepted concept of “gaming houses”. Who knows, the team might still live together in a house, however, the clear distinction between a work and home environment should help disarm conflicts. Who knows, the players might actually get their own homes in exchange for higher salaries to support them, which could possibly help even more.
Also, the management of Fnatic plan on “adding sports psych and other staff”, according to the Manager’s tweet. That, while looked at with more scepticism than coaching by the community, is probably a step in the right direction as well. Traditional sports teams have been using psychologists to smooth out team issues and improve performance for years now. Why wouldn’t eSports players profit from the same as well?