In mid-June, first-place G2 Esports lost its starting top laner when Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek stepped down after the team refused his demand to be the lone starter in the top lane. Now, exactly one month later, Kikis has found a new team, signing with second-place Fnatic. The news was announced in a release Tuesday.
“It was a pleasure working in such a great environment as the one that G2 provided me,” Kikis said in the statement.” I will miss working with the team and with everyone from the staff. But it is time to move on, and there is still a great road ahead of me. I hope I will meet G2 and face them in Krakow for an epic showdown!”
Previously the starting jungler for the Unicorns of Love, Kikis joined G2 in July 2015 and helped guide the team to the LCS from the Challenger Series. He switched to the top lane before the 2016 Spring Split, helping lead the team to a European double by winning both the EU LCS regular season and playoffs.
G2 starting mid laner Luka “Perkz” Perković and head coach Joey “Youngbuck” Steltenpool tweeted their support.
happy for my bro from poland @Kikis1205— Luka (@G2Perkz) July 12, 2016
may we meet again on the rift, but as enemies this time :D
think this will make fnc really strong
Best of luck to Kikis in Fnatic, great player and person and surely a great addition for @FNATIC— Joey Steltenpool (@JoeyYoungbuck) July 12, 2016
Since Kikis’s departure, G2 has started Korean import Dae-han “Expect” Ki in the top lane and has posted an 11-5 record in games, including a 2-0 sweep of Fnatic but a few disappointing draws, including one against ninth-place Origen.
Kikis will now be replacing a different Korean important on Fnatic: former Samsung Blue and Team Dignitas starter Yeong-jin “Gamsu” Noh. Gamsu will not be remaining on Fnatic’s roster as a substitute; the team will instead hold on to current substitute Jorge “Werlyb” Casanovas.
“It was no easy decision to part ways with Gamsu,” Fnatic team manager Finlay “Quaye” Stewart said in a release. “Rest assured that this decision was made in the best interest of the team and the organisation going forward. Myself and the rest of the LoL team are incredibly excited to be working with Kikis and Werlyb. Both players are extremely hungry to prove themselves to the rest of the world.
“Going forward, the FNATIC League of Legends team’s focus will be funneled entirely on performing, with winning the Summer Split being our number one priority. I believe this line up has the drive and talent to do so, with LCS and LCK Champions in every position.”
The news came as a surprise to many within the EU community.
Wow did not see this coming! Kikis joining Fnatic !— Shaunz (@Shaunzpro) July 12, 2016
So surprising to see @FNATIC straight up remove Gamsu as opposed to benching him temporarily.— Mitch Voorspoels (@Krepo) July 12, 2016
Pretty baffled here.