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Fnatic’s Bwipo On Replacing Selfmade In Jungle: “Coaching Staff Felt Like I Was More Valuable Team Member”

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Fnatic had one of the worst splits in their history if not the worst in LEC Spring 2021. Although they mostly finished first, second, or third for years, they were the fifth-best team in the split behind MAD Lions, G2 Esports, Rogue, and Schalke Esports.

Following the devastating results, Fnatic were rumored to make shocking roster changes. According to the rumors, youngster Adam “Adam” Maanane would join the LEC household, and their long-time player Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau will switch to jungler.

On May 25, Fnatic confirmed the addition of Adam into the top lane, and a day after that, they officially announced that Bwipo will be the new jungle player for the European team as Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek left the roster.

During a recent interview with Inven Global, Bwipo talked about the decision behind his role swap from the top lane to the jungle and explained how the jungle experience going on for him during the split so far.

In the conversation, Bwipo mentioned that he didn’t know the plans of Fnatic when they first approached Adam. He thinks that  Fnatic wanted to re-build a long-term roster and this is why they have agreed with such players as Adam and their AD carry player Elias “Upset” Lipp.

Furthermore, the 22-year-old Belgian player pointed out that their coaching staff had been always bringing the idea of a role swap for Bwipo whenever there is a problem in the jungle role because he could receive feedback positively.

“Fnatic decided to make a move on Adam, who’s an up and coming rookie. They wanted to secure long-term contracts, because they wanted to rebuild from the ground up,” Bwipo said in the interview. “From this, I derived the idea that the organization wants to look at the whole picture, and see what they need to build; Adam came in as a new player in their initiative.”

“I didn’t know what Fnatic’s plans were with Selfmade and I after their acquisition of new players. As this was happening, there were talks of me playing jungle; there’s always been talks of me playing jungle in our team during the off-season.”

The new Fnatic had promising performances in the first week of the Summer split, even though they won against Rogue and lost against MAD Lions and Misfits Gaming.

“Whenever issues with jungling arose, the coaches always saw that potential role swap with me, because I was very malleable in the idea that I receive feedback very positively, and change up what I need to for the match.”

After talking about his potential roleswaps in the past, Bwipo also revealed that the coaching staff felt like he is a more valuable team member than Selfmade, which is why they wanted him to stay and parted ways with Selfmade, even though he is not a bad player.

“With that trait in mind, plus the fact that I’m mechanically pretty good, the only thing that would make that a little bit difficult in the role swap was me not having enough time to know the champions and learning to play with my team in the jungle role,” Bwipo on his jungle-swapping. “This time around, I think the timing was pretty reasonable, and I was happy to try it. Our coaching staff also pushed for the idea, because in their opinion, it came down to keeping either Selfmade or I on the team, and they felt like I was a more valuable team member.

Bwipo explained why Fnatic choose him over Selfmade. “By no means, do I mean that Selfmade is a bad player; I think he’s very talented. However, at the end of the day, in the eyes of the coaching staff and the org, they deemed me to be more valuable,” he said. “All this sounds a bit messy, because this is a situation I’ve never been in before; while it has been talked about in the past, it was something that I didn’t expect to happen, especially in the middle of the year.

Fnatic will be facing Team Vitality in the second week of LEC Summer 2021, which will be a redemption game for both Selfmade and Fnatic. If they secure the win against Vitality, Excel will be the next target for them to reach three wins in LEC.

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