We say a sad farewell to our League of Legends head coach, Joey ‘Youngbuck’ Steltenpool after two years.
Both parties part ways amicably after we conclude 2019 with a loss to FPX during Worlds.
Steltenpool arrived to the Black and Orange as a four-time champion with G2 Esports, promising a winning pedigree that would become unmatched across all of European League of Legends. During 2018, a year in which he became touted as the six-star general, the Dutchman steered our sixth and seventh EU LCS Splits in a Team Director role, as well as his fifth and sixth European trophy in a row personally.
Steltenpool stated, “Looking back on my time in Fnatic, 2018 was a marvelous year where we developed a lot as a team, as individuals, and as coaching staff; it was incredible to be able to create history-making results for our region at Worlds. Although it was, relatively speaking, not a year without bumps in the road, it was the best year I've had within esports since beginnings in 2012.”
After becoming the first European team to reach a Worlds final since our victory in 2011, we went into 2019 knowing full well that the entire League of Legends landscape had changed.
He continued: “This year, we still feel how painfully short we fell in two LEC splits before losing to FunPlus Phoenix at Worlds.
“We were obviously looking to create similar success in 2019, but we found ourselves quickly swamped by internal issues in Spring that we could not overcome as players and coaching staff by the year’s culmination.
“2019 would have been an easy fix if this was the fault of an individual, but the problems became complex to where no solutions for our problems became clear in time. As a result of that, while ending 2018 as my best year, I’d consider 2019 as the worst in my esports journey.
“Leaving this season behind, I’ve decided to move on to another team and hope to remain a Head Coach at a professional level for many years to come.”
We go into 2020 without the six-star general, but we wish him only the best as he now looks to his next doubtlessly successful endeavour.
Concluding his statement, Steltenpool said: “I want to thank everyone in Fnatic from the bottom of my heart for the past two years. Fnatic has been a place where I could develop myself and, together with the players and coaching staff, create results both years that I had only dreamt of before joining the organisation.”
On Steltenpool’s departure from the Black and Orange, Fnatic Chief Gaming Officer, Patrik ‘caRn’ Sättermon stated: “It’s been nothing but a pleasure to have worked with Joey over the course of the past two years, and I want to use this opportunity to thank him for his immense contribution, achievements and friendship. On behalf of the organisation and the players, I would also like to wish him good luck in his future projects, and I’m sure we will see you soon on the tour.
“Joey joined us first as a Team Director and lead the team towards a back-to-back Split Championship, followed by one of the best performance at Worlds in our company’s history. This followed a transition back to a position of Head Coach in 2019 where he played a pivotal role to lead the team through the most competitive year of League as of yet, where the team remained a top contender of LEC and had an amazing run at Worlds.”