Fnatic has signed a new head coach for the 2021 season with, Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi stepping in to replace Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez.
Yamato will join Fnatic having spent part of 2020 in the LCK with SANDBOX Gaming, becoming the first Western coach to do so. His team ended the 2020 LCK Summer Split in ninth place overall, with a 14-25 match record. Yamato returns to the LEC having previously coached at Roccat, Splyce, and Team Vitality. Across his time in the LEC/EULCS, he’s at just over a 50% win/loss record.
Yamato has also been a popular part of the LEC and Worlds analyst desk. He was commonplace before he moved to the LCK and continued to be so on his return to Europe at the end of the LCK split.
Yamato joining leaves the issue of Mithy to deal with. He spent his first year as a coach with Fnatic and was largely seen on the outside as having done a good job. He helped turn around a fairly poor season into a Worlds Quarterfinals finish. While we don’t know where he’ll end up just yet, speculation persists that he could be reunited with Luka “Perkz” Perković and Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen if the deal for Perkz to join Cloud9 is completed.
One large roster gap to fill
It looks like Yamato already has most of his 2021 LEC roster locked in, with Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer joining from Cloud9 and Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov singing a new deal. The major void in the roster comes in the form of long-term ADC Martin “Rekkles” Larsson, who joined rival G2 Esports after he was made a free agent. Early reports have linked Fnatic with a number of ADCs, but nothing concrete has surfaced thus far.