After failing to make it to the Semifinals of the 2019 League of Legends World Championship, Fnatic is making staff changes early in the off-season. Fnatic's LoL team has parted ways with Head Coach Joey "YoungBuck" Steltenpool.
Youngbuck began his professional career as a Top Laner, most notaby for EU LCS squad Copenhagen Wolves. Youngbuck turned to coaching after his time with the Wolves at the end of summer 2015. As Head Coach of G2 Esports, Youngbuck led the team to four straight EU LCS titles through 2016 and 2017.
Youngbuck joined Fnatic at the start of 2018 as Team Director, but would eventually return to a Head Coach position after Dylan Falco moved to FC Schalke 04 for the 2019 season. As Team Director and Head Coach, Youngbuck has won a total of six European League of Legends titles.
“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 Fnatic Chief Gaming Officer Patrik "caRn" Sättermon. "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."
Youngbuck's full statement regarding his time with the organization, the 2019 season, and his future can be read below:
“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.
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. 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.”