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It’s time for Fnatic’s newest recruit in the top lane to prove himself.
On June 11, 19-year-old Adam “Adam” Maanane will start with Fnatic — ahead of former top laner turned jungler Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau — in his LEC debut against Misfits. This is his first professional team and first shot at the most competitive league in Europe, an opportunity to either make a name for himself or remain a solo queue superstar.
The youngster faces plenty of pressure to perform at the highest level, but if he wants to be the best, he needs to perform.
Adam revealed that he strives to become a better top laner for Fnatic than Bwipo. He said he wants to prove to fans that he can be the future of Fnatic’s top lane. Adam remains fierce in his approach to the League and will look to dominate the top lane with his aggressive style.
“As soon as I accepted the offer from Fnatic, I knew that I’m not replacing anyone,” Adam said, “I’m replacing Bwipo. It’s something else.”
Bwipo is known as one of Fnatic’s best players in the modern era. He has been a part of the organization since 2018 and earned himself several EU LCS titles when he first joined.
But Fnatic’s era with Bwipo as the top laner is over. Fnatic have struggled regionally, over the past few years, to lift the LEC trophy. At international competition, the European side have yet to finish above the top eight since 2019. But Adam said he knows his duty to Fnatic: to perform at a high level with the spotlight on him.
“I know what I have to do, and there’s the fans that will expect me to be as good as Bwipo, if not better,” Adam said. “It’s something that I knew when I accepted the offer. Since I know that, I will give my best and prove I can be better than Bwipo.”
However, there remains some skepticism among LEC fans and analysts alike. Adam is set to play his first LEC split with Fnatic, and he’s only played semi-professionally since 2019. He’s made a name for himself throughout the years as a solo-queue menace.
Fnatic face Misfits in their first game of the season on June 11 at 4 p.m. ET.
Former Excel jungler Marc Robert “Caedrel” Lamon said that his Champion pool could be a problem for the young star. “I’m not sure how Adam will do in the LEC,” he said on stream, which was re-uploaded on May 8. “He has the skill for it but I think his Champion pool is really abusable by LEC top laners.”
Adam rejected the idea that he has a weak Champion pool, however. “I really respect Caedrel’s opinion but I think it’s really important for him to make a difference between competitive games and solo queue,” he said.
“Caedral knows a lot of me by solo queue,” Adam continued. “He knows that I was a one-trick Darius, one-trick Olaf too. So he made his judgement too quick. He doesn’t know the kind of player that I am in the team. This is why it’s important for him to make the difference because competitive and solo queue are really different worlds. The best I can do to respond to him is to prove myself in the league.”
For Adam, the distinction between himself and the best LEC top laners is not the Champion pool, but the ability to play the lane. This is admittedly one of his strengths. Adam needs to break through to the upper echelon of top laners. He wants to be considered alongside the four best top laners: Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu, Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik, İrfan Berk “Armut” Tükek and Martin “Wunder” Nordahl Hansen.
“There’s one thing that could make a difference between me and the other top laners: how I play the lane. How I play the lane is a very important thing and only by the lane can you see if there’s a gap between the top laners,” he said.
Adam stated that he has performed well during practice with the side, also. Bwipo, by contrast, has adjusted to his new role and Fnatic have found success against other sides, Adam said. “I’m gladly surprised that Bwipo is doing really really good in the jungle. We’re really performing super well in our scrims,” he said.
“To be honest, I wouldn’t have expected that. I was thinking that I wouldn’t be able to perform against other top laners but, as far as I can tell, practice has been going well. Everybody is doing great. The team is happy.”
Fnatic is set to face Misfits later today, June 11, in the LEC.