Beyond The Roster Change: Why We Are Thriving

Roster swaps put everything about the team’s past under question: the whole team has to reevaluate everything that happened previously, no matter how good of a year it had.

In hindsight, our swap in 2019 (with Nemesis coming in Caps’ place) didn’t quite work out as well as it could have because we didn’t properly identify the issues we were experiencing in 2018. Moreover, the solutions that we found to the problems that we identified weren’t always satisfactory for everyone involved.

So, by properly evaluating and identifying our professional and personal issues going into 2020, we were able to show results from the get-go.

Let me explain things further about how roster swaps can have an impact:

Independently on how they view the game, any new player can bring a different outlook and share it with their new teammates, especially when they have a different perspective as well.

From there, you share opinions on picks, bans, macro movements, and other players and how they play — just about everything. You get a bunch of new information as the new player shares views.

Let’s imagine for a second that I join a new team; my views on the game can be radically different from another player’s, and that can have a huge influence on the team as a result.

Although we’re headed into 2020 with a new player, the issues lied within the core, and we needed to address those to make sure that Selfmade’s entry would succeed.

We had to accept that it was a new start; we addressed the problems we had in the past, and we implemented solutions. That way, we could set our sights on working on a new goal in 2020.

We knew that we had to accept our shortcomings in order to improve on them.

My 2019 spring split was rough given my living circumstances, as I wasn’t happy with my situation at the time. My girlfriend and I eventually managed to fix that in the summer split.

Although we fixed the issues, the team still had concerns from the spring split, and on how little solo queue I was playing at the time.

I felt that, as long as my performance was good, I didn’t feel that grinding in solo queue was necessary, and I was wrong.

Going into the 2019 summer split, we addressed my issue as a team.

That experience set the tone for 2020 as far as I was concerned: regardless of the issue, as long as we worked on finding solutions as a team, we would.

And to make sure that none of us would have concerns regarding practice moving forward, we agreed — all of us — that we would be Challenger all year long.

Being on a Challenger level is necessary for playing in the LEC, and there should be no reason for pro players not to be there. FNATIC decided to set that as a guideline.

In fact, we set rules and guidelines on how to deal with our issues in general, instead of letting them slide and having friction build up. With everyone on board, we achieved a higher level of trust.

Whenever we face challenges, we do not settle by applying a band-aid solution. We speak up honestly, even if it means having awkward talks, and we find solutions that satisfy everyone.

As we developed this mindset, Selfmade helped us realize the value in being straightforward, and in speaking one’s mind in general.

Our players are reserved, so having someone say “I can’t have this” or “I like that” was very useful. Because it was very well received when he did that, it taught us how to do the same, and we definitely needed that.

Although we look improved from last year, we need to win the split to solidify that. After all, we did go to five games in the 2019 summer split finals.

Through trial and error in the previous years, I have improved both as a player and as a person.

Thanks to the help of my girlfriend and the people around me, I achieved a better understanding of how to balance my life.

This is why I have been having a very good year across the board. Things have been going very well in life, solo queue, in scrims and on stage.

Winning the 2020 LEC spring split would make it my best split to date.

Looking at the teams that we could be facing in the finals, I look forward to facing our main challenge, G2 Esports, because that would be the highest stakes possible in the finals.

My hope is that people will continue cheering for us no matter where we play, and that has been especially relevant as of late with the LEC moving online.

We have been getting a lot of support since the LEC moved online, and I am extremely grateful for that.

Adel Chouadria assisted with the creation of this article

Image Credit: Riot Games

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