Bwipo rejoins Fnatic until 2021
Fnatic have announced that they have renewed Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau’s contract for three years. Following the deal, the top laner would become a free agent on Nov. 2021.
The move was fairly predictable as Fnatic groomed Bwipo for the position throughout 2018. Initially an in-house substitute, Bwipo underwent a trial by fire when then-starter Paul “sOAZ” Boyer injured his hand before the spring split playoffs. Bwipo’s performance encouraged Fnatic to invest in his growth, elevating his prospects significantly.
The top laner was thankful for his time spent alongside sOAZ, who helped kickstart his LCS career. “He was the first person to believe in me in the sense that the coaching staff gave him the decision whether or not I was going to play scrims,” Bwipo said on Fnatic’s announcement.
Bwipo adapted to the LCS and international stages on the spot and overcame hurdles that sidetracked pro players with bigger resumes. He helped Fnatic to two LCS titles in 2018, the Mid-Season Invitational semifinals, and the World Championship finals.
Bwipo also showcased great work ethic and attitude. Indeed, he took over Martin “Rekkles” Larsson’s bot lane spot as the latter recovered from burnout. As a result, he practiced picks in two positions (bot and top) instead of one. The deed endeared him to Fnatic fans and contributed to his earning of the 2018 Esports Awards’ PC Rookie of the Year title.
Fnatic’s signing of the top laner allows them to tend to their mid lane. According to ESPN’s Jacob Wolf, Rasmus “Caps” Winther may play in G2 Esports, with Luka “PerkZ” Perkovic sliding to the bot lane to accommodate him. Should the move happen, it would be one of the oddest and biggest moves of the offseason in Europe outside of Misfits Gaming’s offseason pickups.