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United Kingdom esports organization Fnatic revealed the departure of its former League of Legends head coach, Joey “Youngbuck” Steltenpool. This news comes right after the 2019 World Championships, which ended this past weekend. Fnatic was eliminated by eventual World Championship winner Fun Plus Phoenix in a 3 – 1 match in the quarterfinals.
We say farewell to the Six-Star General.
He arrived as a four-time champion. @JoeyYoungbuck departs as a Worlds finalist who steered us to our sixth and seventh Split win.
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) November 12, 2019
Fnatic parts ways with Youngbuck
“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,” said Joey “Youngbuck” Steltenpool in a statement. “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.”
Youngbuck said that 2019 was the worst year of his esports journey because of internal issues. He hopes to move on to another team and remain in a head coach position in the League of Legends scene.
G2 Esports, Fnatic, what’s next?
Youngbuck started his career as a professional League of Legends player in 2011 before transitioning to a coaching role with the now-disbanded Enemy Esports. Youngbuck later joined G2 Esports, where the team went on to place 1st in the EU LCS 2016 Spring and Summer Splits. However, the team tied for last at the 2016 World Championships.
Eager to prove themselves, G2 Esports again placed 1st in the EU LCS 2017 Spring Split, 2nd at the Mid-Season Invitational after a loss to SK Telecom T1, and 2nd in the Summer Split. After Fnatic attempting another run at the 2017 World Championships and falling in the Groups Stage, Youngbuck left to join Fnatic in a team director role for the 2018 season. He later switched to the position of head coach for the 2019 season.
“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,” said Patrik ‘caRn’ Sättermon, Chief Gaming Officer at Fnatic. “On behalf of the organization 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.
The team has made great strides in the European League of Legends scene. However, Fnatic have come so close to becoming crowned world champions but still have not hoisted the trophy in over eight years. Can a European team achieve a Worlds victory in 2020? Or has the LPL taken over the previous spot held by the LCK?
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Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.