After four consecutive split wins amongst the UK and Nordic leagues, Fnatic academy side Fnatic Rising may soon be switching regions.
In a recent live AMA held by the organisation’s League of Legends director Javier “Dardo” Zafra and CEO Sam Mathews, the pair explained plans to move both Fnatic Rising and the team’s main LEC roster into a shared training facility in April 2021. This will see the academy side move away from Fnatic’s London headquarters and head to Berlin, where the main team currently resides to compete in the LEC.
Whilst in London, Fnatic Rising had competed in the UKLC and has won three successive splits before also going on to win the newly formed NLC, which combined both the UK and Nordic league in Summer 2020. Despite their success in the region, the move to Berlin has prompted questions as to whether Fnatic’s academy may also switch regions with Germany’s Prime League, which is generally seen as grounds for fiercer competition.
the NLC or will they switch to the dach-one. I for one would love a switch. The amount of viewers in germany is 10 times as much and the competition is better. 😀
— ManMakingMistakes (@Heroic_Bastard) November 23, 2020
This became more concrete when Mathews liked a tweet from a fan expressing their preference for a move to the DACH league, citing the region’s increased viewership and quality of play as worthy reasons for a move.
That would be next year
— LEC Wooloo 🇪🇺 (@LEC_Wooloo) November 24, 2020
The following day, popular in-the-know Twitter personality LEC Wooloo added further fuel to the fire when he advised that a switch “would be next year” when the rumour was mentioned to him.
Should any change take place, it does appears unlikely that it would be any time soon with roster-building already well underway and no such announcement on a region switch having been made as of yet.
Astralis to take NLC spot?
Fnatic Rising leaving the NLC would ultimately leave a space open for another side, and newly rebranded Astralis seems the most likely fit. While Origen’s academy team played in the Spanish leagues due to founder Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez, Astralis is a known Danish organisation and so a move to the Nordic leagues would make sense.
From a branding standpoint alone the switch would seem a smart one, however it could also have competitive significance for the side. Origen’s existing academy team only competed in Spain’s 2nd division, Liga Nexo, having split with partner SevenMila who owned their 1st division slot. Moving Astralis academy into a top ERL league could then give them much greater use of their second roster, gaining better practice and helping to develop talent for the team.