FNATIC FNATIC Europe Rank #1 hiro Emirhan Kat Derke Nikita Sirmitev Boaster Jake Howlett Chronicle Timofey Khromov Alfajer Emir Ali Beder have announced that — pending Riot approval — Leo "Leo" Jannesson will step back from the starting roster as Emirhan "hiro" Kat takes his place for the upcoming Split 2 of the EMEA League. This change comes shortly after the team bombed out of Masters Shanghai playoffs without a single win, prompting the organization to make the decision in hopes of allowing Leo to return to form ahead of Champions.

After proving himself in 2022, Leo was signed to FNATIC ahead of 2023's LOCK//IN, where he and the rest of the team became the first team in Valorant history to secure back-to-back international trophies following victories at São Paulo and Tokyo.

Fresh off a fourth-place finish at Champions, FNATIC entered 2024's VCT expecting to uphold their regional dominance. However, the team failed to qualify for Masters Madrid after falling to Karmine Corp Karmine Corp Europe Rank #32 MAGNUM Martin Penkov tomaszy Tomás Machado N4RRATE Marshall Massey marteen Martin Pátek sh1n Ryad Ensaad , marking the first time FNATIC missed out on an international event since 2021.

Despite ending Split 1 atop of EMEA and securing a first seed to China's biggest VCT event, FNATIC looked shaky throughout the regular season and playoffs, where Leo visibly showed signs of illness in the grand final against Team Heretics Team Heretics Europe Rank #2 MiniBoo Dominykas Lukaševičius Wo0t Mert Alkan RieNs Enes Ecirli benjyfishy Benjamin David Fish Boo Ričardas Lukaševičius .

Even in Shanghai, Leo was afflicted by food poisoning and returned home earlier than expected after suffering losses to FUT Esports FUT Esports Europe Rank #6 MrFaliN Furkan Yeğen yetujey Eray Budak AtaKaptan Ata Tan cNed Mehmet Yağız İpek qRaxs Doğukan Balaban and eventual-champions Gen.G Gen.G Korea Rank #1 Munchkin Byeon Sang-beom (변상범) t3xture Kim Na-ra (김나라) Meteor Kim Tae-O (김태오) Lakia Kim Jong-min (김종민) Karon Kim Won-tae (김원태) . Upon their return home, FNATIC's manager Colin "CoJo" Johnson explained that internal discussions with both Leo and the rest of the staff led to the decision of benching the esteemed Initiator until he returned to health.

In lieu of Leo's absence, FNATIC will utilize the aid of hiro in Split 2 of the EMEA League. This is not the first time the organization has had to rely on a stand-in, as VISA issues with Alfajar required the team to play with their substitute Maks "kamyk" Rychlewski last year.

hiro hails from Papara SuperMassive Papara SuperMassive Europe Rank #31 sterben Emre Demirci skylen Asil Yalçın SouhcNi Ibrahim Sağır lovers rock Umut Pekdoğan Izzy Baran Yılmaz and is no stranger to the Tier 2 scene. Up until he left his former team, the youngster's recent ratings were well-above average within the Turkish Challengers League. Despite having an affiliate partnership with Mandatory Mandatory Europe Rank #20 CyvOph Clement Millard SoOn Terence Tarlier HyP Damien Souville thebigfiz Julien Auberton AKUMAAAAA Alex Lo Bello Goaster Tony Richard , FNATIC willingly chose to scout hiro over signing a two-way player, raising questions of how talented the new pickup really is. hiro will remain a starter until Leo returns and looks to prove himself in his upcoming match against BBL Esports BBL Esports Europe Rank #39 Elite Efe Teber pAura Melih Karaduran Brave Eren Kasırga reazy Kaan Ürpek QutionerX Doğukan Dural .

For the foreseeable future, FNATIC FNATIC Europe Rank #1 hiro Emirhan Kat Derke Nikita Sirmitev Boaster Jake Howlett Chronicle Timofey Khromov Alfajer Emir Ali Beder is: