Speaking with theScore esports during the first part of our interview, Martin "Rekkles" Larsson talked about some difficult things: building Fnatic's chemistry on the short LCS timeline, how he wants to eventually end his career and how he has matured as a player.
In the back half, things got a bit more light-hearted. He talked about his all-time favorite teammate during his time with Fnatic, the carry champions he'd love to be playing, and why he recently decided to sign with talent and management agency Orlando John, which counts a number of other big names in Swedish esports among their clients.
During your long time with Fnatic, who has been your favorite teammate, and why?
It's actually an easy answer, but I want to make sure I word it correctly.
Most people would probably expect me to say Bora ["YellOwStaR" Kim] here, but I feel like Fabian ["Febiven" Diepstraten] has actually been the best teammate I've ever played with.
He's one of these rare people who, no matter what happens, always lightens up the mood. I don't know exactly how to explain it, because I know it's not intentional from his side. It's just the way he is. But he's just such a positive spirit in the room, he always lightens up the mood no matter what.
I think, especially during last year when we were going through so many tough times, I [would] never have got to where I am today [without] him. He always made it easy to go through the days, it was a joy to play with him because he was the player he was, and he's even better to this day.
In a way I actually regret letting him go, but it's just a part of it. It always changes between the years, and you have to just make the best out of the situation. But he was definitely one of the most inspirational people I've ever worked with, even though I'm sure he doesn't actually realize it for himself. I'm sure many people feel the same that have worked with him.
In an ideal world, are there any champions that you'd love to play in the current meta?
At least for AD carries, I pretty much hate all of the ones that are being played right now. I think the meta would be much more fun if it was kind of like, Twitch, Tristana, Lucian, maybe some Kalista as well and some Jinx. All these champions that can go off and get those pentakills, but can also ... for example Twitch, you know he unstealths and he just gets one-shot.
I like these kinds of playstyles where it's like, kind of high-risk, high-reward. It feels like you can play the perfect fight but get zero kills, but then you can play a suboptimal fight but because you are doing something outside the box you can get a pentakill. I think it's just much more fun to watch, and much more fun to play.
Meanwhile the current ADs that have been around for pretty much the past one and a half, two years have been not so fun to play and not so fun to watch, because they're very linear. And there's not much room for the extra percentages at the top.
For example it would be a huge difference between a good Twitch, and a really good Twitch. Meanwhile a good Ashe, and a really good Ashe ... it's hard to tell, actually, if you're playing or watching, who is [which].
There's a lot of champions I would definitely enjoy playing ... oh, I forgot to mention Vayne as well, holy shit! Vayne is in there as well, she's one of those. There's so many of them I would enjoy seeing in the meta but I definitely understand why they're not, because they bring so little to a team, you know. You can be completely invisible, as I said. You can have these fights where you unstealth and just get one-shot, and you just bring nothing to your team. You have no CC, no lane pressure, no wave control, nothing. No objective control, no sieging.
But those are the champions I dream about at night.
As you were rattling those off, it felt like a lot of those were hyper-carries, like maybe you want to put the "carry" back in AD carry.
Yeah, I miss Season 4 in many ways, because that's when AD carries were played this way. Season 5, I guess to a certain extent it was pretty much okay, like at Worlds you saw a lot of Kalista and Tristana, but pretty much the entirety of Season 6 was mostly utility carries. Especially toward the end. And Season 7 hasn't been even something to remember.
So I'm definitely hoping that they make some changes, but it's looking patch-by-patch that they're not planning to do so. If anything, it's kind of weird. They always mention at the beginning of the patch that they want to address the marksman issue, and I always have these high hopes as I'm starting to read it, like, "Oh finally, I'm getting something," but then they actually end up nerfing everything, so I'm not really sure if there are two different people writing the stuff, and then actually making the changes? But it's always so demotivating when you go through it.
You're looking for the buffs to Vayne and Jinx and Tristana, and not finding them...
Yeah, and you have like lethality buffs, the Deathfire nerfs and the Varus nerfs in the same patch. So they just kind of take away the actual playable heroes from you, and you kind of have to just figure your way around it.
But the patch so far is actually looking a little bit better. The AD carries are not more useful, but at least they're more fun to play.
We did see some changes to Lucian in the patch, and I'm wondering if you think that makes him playable even though he doesn't really fit the description of a utility AD carry.
I think he is playable. I mean he always kind of has been, but he's just very, very specific in what matchups he can be played in and what styles he can be played in. I don't really think that changed. But I think he's more smooth now, and especially with both Warlords and Deathfire falling out of the meta a little bit, Fervor AD carries like himself are kind of rising up.
I think he will see some play this week, actually. I wouldn't consider him a top-tier pick or anything, I just think he works into specific matchups that he wouldn't work into before because of the Deathfire, Lethality stuff going on or the Warlords hyper-carries.
He has a place now, but he's still far from optimal, I'd say.
Are there are any other carries that you think we might see this week that we haven't seen a lot of, or has there not been as much of a shakeup?
I think there's going to be a lot of changes to AD, actually. But as I said, I don't think the ADs that are going to see play are going to be more useful than previously. I actually think Varus and Jhin were quite overpowered on the Lethality patch, and I don't think that these ADs that are seeing play are as overpowered. They are much more Season 4-style but in a worse way, where they are invisible for the majority of the game and then they kind of pop off later on, but at least have the possibility of doing so.
So I think we will see some more kind of hyper-carry comps style of play this week, so if the stars align, maybe some Twitch, maybe some Tristana, even some Jinx. Who knows.
We saw Stixxay go off on Ezreal last week, and it felt like maybe we had traveled back in time.
Ezreal will definitely be popular on this patch. As I said, Fervor AD carries are rising, and he's always been kind of like, the Fervor AD carry. He will definitely be an extremely high priority this patch, if not the highest. I would be surprised otherwise, at least.
I wanted to ask about getting an agent since you recently signed with Orlando John. Did you have an agent before?
No, I've actually always worked by myself, ever since the beginning until the beginning of Season 7, basically.
So what made you decide that now was the right time to get an agent?
I've not only come to realize that I've been around for a while now, and have quite the brand, and perhaps so many years left under my belt ... but also that there's a lot of opportunities out there that I haven't even realized exist yet.
And after seeing some other professionals pick up agencies, not League of Legends professionals necessarily ... but for example [Emil "HeatoN" Christensen] had been working with [Orlando John], and I saw a lot of stuff he had been doing. He was on Swedish television, all these kinds of things, and it looked super cool and kind of the stuff that I wanted to do, though perhaps a bit more international.
And I was just like, kind of inspired in a way. And I wanted to check around for possibilities, and then they actually at the same time approached me at DreamHack, so it was kind of just like, both parties thinking the same way. So it was kind of just perfect for me, because I figured once I'm done with my career, I'll have to do something anyways, and going back to studying is sub-optimal.
So having something on the side like an agency, who can help me out with possibilities like the ones HeatoN is doing currently, would be the dream actually, and something I'd really enjoy doing I think.
Whenever you decide to retire, do you have an idea of what you want to do when you decide to do stop playing?
If you asked me this question half a year ago, I'd definitely say that I want to be an analyst for League of Legends. But I think, the later I come into my career, kind of the more tired I become of the game. Not necessarily even the game, but like sitting in front of the computer and watching VODs, and all these kinds of things.
I think I want to be out there more, do more things. And I'm not sure if analyst work would bring me that. For example, when I saw HeatoN taking part in [Mästarnas Mästare], in Sweden it's quite huge, where all the legendary professional athletes compete against one another. And he was able to be part of that as an esporter, it was like, the biggest thing ever that has happened to it in Sweden at least.
Thinking for myself, can I be that guy in a couple of years, it sounded at least in my head more motivating and fun rather than spending another couple of years watching VODs and kind of doing what I'm already doing today.
So you don't want to leave esports behind, but you want to do more than what you're already doing?
Basically, because then I might as well be playing, right? That's kind of how I feel right now. I don't think playing is that much about playing anymore. I think we've come to a point in League of Legends at least, where most of the professional players are around the same skill level. It's not as in Season 4, where the skill level between certain players would be so big that they can just win the game by themselves; this doesn't really exist anymore. And I think it's much more even now, these days.
So it's actually more about watching VODs and having the strength of mind in comparison to the guy next to you, rather than just physical possibilities. I think, for example, if I were to retire and go into analytical [roles], then I might as well keep playing because I think I would be doing the same job.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.