Fnatic's new roster hasn't had much time to play together, but, on paper, this is one of the scariest teams the European region has produced.
The addition of Lawrence "Atheroangel" Harper and Simon "scHwimpi" Svensson to the already-impressive roster of Pontus "Breez" Sjogren, Dob "Quackniix" Engström and Filip "SmX" Liljeström is a move that could signal the creation of another long-term dynasty in the region.
As the official announcement was posted, the new roster had already faced their first challenges in competition: at the first qualifier for Heroes Championship - Katowice, they fell 2-1 to GoogleIshetZont, narrowly missing the first of four opportunities.
The team knows they must improve, but early difficulties are to be expected in Heroes of the Storm, where the focus on macro shotcalling and teamfighting means that team chemistry is incredibly important.
"The last two days we haven't performed on top but, with time, I believe this will be the strongest roster in Europe," scHwimpi said.
He has good reasons to believe that statement. Fnatic's core was already a strong presence in the scene, and they showed that at DreamHack Winter. Adding the two former Dignitas players not only gives them mechanical skill and hero depth, but also a wealth of competitive experience on the biggest Heroes stage yet.
"I am very excited to play with the new roster, I think we have two of the best tanks in the European scene which is amazing in this meta, and scHwimpi is a really good player as well," Quackniix explained. "He was one of the best at his former [flex] role. However now he has to play a lot more ranged than he is used to, so I just think we need some time to get our shit going."
scHwimpi filled a unique role with both Team Dignitas and, before that, Natus Vincere. Unlike some teams, where the melee assassin player plays a second tank if required, scHwimpi would play either a ranged character or the second tank when needed.
"I will be playing my flex role, more focused on ranged than second tank. I have never played the ranged assassin role before so its gonna be an interesting experience," he explained.
That change is primarily because Atheroangel is the natural choice to play the second tank for this squad. He often who played aggressive warriors with Dignitas and often benefited from the presence of Matic "Zarmony" Mikec, who would often play Johanna as a more traditional tank.
As a result, Atheroangel's skillset blends well with Breez. He already tended to play the more aggressive of the two warriors when possible, and can now rely on Breez to fill the more traditional tank spot.
"I think I will bring some of the strategy that was used in the world championship: for example a strong sanctification Tyrael along with various other strong tanks," he said.
If a second tank is not required, Athero says, he will normally slot in at the melee assassin position — but the occasional ranged assassin is also not out of the question.
"I will be playing the [melee] flex role which will normally mean secondary tank or melee assassin: however, you may see me on a Raynor or two because Quack and scHwimp hate that hero, so they just throw me the heroes they don’t want to play," Athero joked.
So far, the players are focused on making the adjustment to the new team. The new environment, scHwimpi says, is more communicative than the Dignitas roster.
"Fnatic is a lot more vocal in-game, the communication is smooth and the fact that we have fun together helps a lot."
For his part, Athero jokes that being the only Brit on a team of four Swedes brings its own set of challenges.
"The best part about being with Fnatic is we all get along well, and I will have to learn Swedish or I will get flamed without knowing what it means. I think Sweden hates Chen because I barely play him, that and the scaling changes destroyed him, I haven’t really decided which yet but give it a week and I’ll know."
Humor aside, Athero's enthusiasm to play alongside Breez is obvious and he, too, believes that the result will be one of the finest frontline duos in the region.
"I think with me and Breez on one roster we will have the best double tank combo in Europe and, with some practice, a serious contender on the world stage."
Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is the guy in your hero league game who first-picks Rexxar. You can find him on Twitter.