I know Fnatic’s slump has been a bit of a weird experience.
We lost five games in a row – if we count the remade game against SK Gaming – before we finally won against Rogue.
Though we’ve actually lost the first game of every split that I have played in, it has never been this extreme.
After our third loss, I felt so many negative feelings at once; frustration, anger.
I woke up the morning before the fourth game, and I remember thinking to myself: “I’m done feeling like this. I’m going to be positive, I’m going to look forward, and I’m going to hype myself up and stay hopeful instead of being depressed all the time, there’s no point in that.”
Throughout our slump, I’ve made a point of continuing to talk to my fans, because I know what it means to be one.
From my experience, the worst feeling a fan can have is to see their team losing consistently, with no idea what’s going on behind the scenes: what the players are thinking, how they’re feeling – nothing.
That’s why, after we went 0-4, I decided to post on Twitter:
(2/2) Sorry to all our fans, we're as frustrated and unhappy about this as you are. Please know we'll do everything we can to solve this. It might sound silly, but right now we have to stick together more than ever – organisation, players and fans. #AlwaysFnatic
— Broxah (@BroxahLoL) January 26, 2019
I think, more than anything, fans just want – and deserve – to hear how we’re doing, rather than having us jump inside our shells, crying on the inside and not saying anything.
That’s been something I’ve been trying to do as much as possible. I’ve tried not to change my attitude or how I’ve been behaving too much.
The Sunday after we went 0-4, I really considered whether I should stream or not, because I was pretty afraid of what my fans would say to me – would I have many negative comments since I was streaming whilst the team was losing? Of course, it actually ended up going really well.
Fans are entitled to ask questions, and right now, a lot of fans have been asking the same question:
Why have we been losing?
There are so many reasons, and it’s hard to pinpoint one exact thing that we need to work on. Take Week 2, our bot lane just had a really rough time against Schalke 04, whereas in the first game, we did a really weird level 1 invade that put us far behind.
Our early-game has generally been really poor and it is something we know we have to improve on. We’ve gotten smashed in our early games and, because of that, we’ve always had to play on the back foot.
We had to stop seeing ourselves as one of the best teams – if not the best team – in Europe, and to start seeing ourselves as a team that is equal to everyone else.
I don’t know if we were on a high horse, but at the very least, we had to get down to Earth and take it one step at a time.
These past few weeks, we’ve been trying to work on getting Nemesis on board, trying to figure out what type of player and person he is, and finding the ideal style in communication and gameplay that can allow him to showcase his skills.
That’s how it goes for every player: when one goes and another comes in, you have to change something.
It’s a gradual process but, slowly but surely, we’re getting there.
I can understand why our fans might have been confused by our start. We also expected to do a lot better judging by our initial practice leading up to the start of the split.
And while we might have lost some key members on our squad, we gained new ones, and the core of the team is still here. After all, we all played really well as a unit all of last year – including Worlds – not just as separate individuals.
We need to get used to playing with one another as a new group, pinpointing the different issues and fixing them rapidly – we’re running out of time. I think we have a lot of issues right now, that much is pretty obvious to everyone.
But every team has their issues. It just comes down to which team can fix theirs the fastest.
In a way, I don’t mind having a poor start because it has highlighted nearly all of our weaknesses.
If we can ultimately turn it into something positive instead, and pinpoint our weaknesses fast and fix them, we should almost thank all the teams that have beaten us in these opening weeks.
Being a part of Fnatic has always been really great for me. Our fans have always been really welcoming and really nice. I remember well when I joined, everyone was super nice to me.
The old players are always treated nicely and the same applies to the new people. When they join the family, they’re always getting a nice welcome and our fans are always there for us. It happened last year with Bwipo and Hyli, and it’s happening now with Nemesis.
Obviously, there are always a few people that are going to be negative towards us, but that’s part of being the most popular team. That’s life.
I’ll admit, whenever I go on social media after a defeat, a part of me is afraid of what is going to come up, but I always end up seeing a lot of comments trying to cheer me up.
Thinking generally about our fan base, I think we have a really awesome one. Our fans are always cheering for us, and we know they’ll always have our backs… even when we go 3-7.
Our current record sucks – and we know that – but it’s still up to us whether we climb up the rankings or not. I know we are still capable of making it to the top.
G2 Esports, Vitality and Schalke 04 are looking really strong, but I’m confident that we can bounce back and match them soon enough.
We still need a few steps to get to that point again. I think we need to try to turn everything that has happened over the past few weeks into something as positive as possible and use it as motivation, rather than sitting at home and being sad about losing games.
It’s really important that we do that, not only when we win, but especially when we lose.
That’s when we players need our fans the most: to cheer us up and to be there for us. Hopefully, we’ll be able to pay them back later with more wins.
And that’s what it comes down to. Right now, we’re doing our best to return this favour to our fans; to give the Fnatic fanbase the wins it deserves.
Image Credit: Riot Games