After a search that was publicised at the end of February, Fnatic has announced the signing of former Rogue coach Laurent "Crapelle" Patriarche as its Strategic Coach. Due to the coronavirus crisis, however, he will be working remotely until it is safe for him to move to physically join the team.
As part of the published job description, he will be supporting the Head Coach, Jayden "Dizzle" Saunders and the players in the preparation for upcoming matches through self and opponent analysis and will "be on top of all Rainbow Six title developments and trends".
Stating his views on the importance of signing Crapelle, as part of his published statement on Fnatic's website, Dizzle stressed the need for someone to fill the role:
I believe that bringing on a strategic coach is the area that would most bolster what the team requires. The reason that I labelled it as a 'strategic coach' and not a 'coach' or 'head coach' is the distinction that there are several people that are 'coaching' or 'leading' their teams with little to no educational, practical or evidential coaching credentials or leadership qualities.
I think that Laurent’s and my skillset compliment each other exceptionally well. Whilst I believe I have a strong knowledge of the game he has much better processes and procedures for capturing, collating and presenting game specific data, whilst I am more than capable of this I believe that my strengths lie elsewhere. Not to fear, I will remain as head coach. I am not going anywhere but I do need to make some concessions with bringing in new support staff and allow them some degree of autonomy as I believe it is important for growth.
This makes Fnatic the latest in a long line of teams to add a second coach and/or analyst, with G2 Esports having largely blazed the trail. As such, it is clear that Fnatic is ready to position itself as a top-level global challenger outside of its usual dominion in APAC. However, with the team not participating in the Six Masters 2020, it is unclear when its new-look roster with the additional signing of Riley "Stigs" Mills will play.
In Season 11 of the Pro League, Fnatic had finished in first place in ANZ, hot off the heels of their stunning joint-fifth finish at the Six Invitational 2020. With the team losing Jake "Virtue" Grannan to G2 Esports, but gaining Stigs and Crapelle, it could take some time to gel together, but is certainly poised to continue its near-stranglehold in APAC and better its international results.
As part of his statement, Crapelle expressed excitement at working with Fnatic:
For myself, I felt that I could improve further than what I could currently offer a team and the opportunity to be mentored and further develop my coaching abilities working alongside Dizzle is an opportunity about which I am personally really excited.
Hailing from Belgium, Crapelle had made his competitive debut as an analyst for Millenium in the September of 2017, just prior to the start of Season 6 of the Pro League. In a show of strong loyalty, Crapelle had stuck with the team until a few weeks ago, citing an improper fit within the team. With the team, he had achieved a great deal but had never been able to take home a championship victory in the Pro League or at a Major.
While his team did not qualify for the Season 6 Finals, Millenium made it to the semi-finals at the Season 7 Finals, but lost to the eventual champions of Team Liquid. In that time, however, Millenium secured its second-ever piece of silverware in the form of the 6Cup 2017 and finished second at the Gamers Assembly 2018.
More appreciable came shortly after when Millenium beat Evil Geniuses to take the DreamHack Austin 2018 trophy but was knocked out of the Coupe de France 2018 in fourth-place. DreamHack Valencia 2018 and the Six Major Paris saw the G2 Esports roster beat them, both times in the playoff quarter-finals, but Millenium and Crapelle recovered to a third-placed finish at DreamHack Montreal 2018 before winning the 6Cup 2018 title.
A disappointing DreamHack Winter under LeStream Esport was then followed up by a disastrous Six Invitational 2019, where the team exited without a win, but a climb to the current levels of success was nigh. Victories in the TopAchat Cup #1 and Gamers Assembly 2019 were followed up by a second-placed finish in Europe in Season 9 of the Pro League. While the Pro League Finals saw them lose in the first round, the team made it to the grand finals of the subsequent Allied Esports Minor and DreamHack Valencia 2019.
At the Six Major Raleigh, the team once again made it as far as the playoffs, but was eliminated in the quarter-finals just like in Paris and the subsequent Pro League Season 10 Finals. At the same time, though, the then-Giants Gaming roster continued its domestic dominance with a 6French League 2019 victory.
However, the team once again exited the Six Invitational without a win in 2020, and Crapelle's time with the now-Rogue roster came to an end just after it secured first place in the Pro League in Europe for the first time.
Now, with Crapelle joining Fnatic in the second high-profile coaching move after Giants Gaming, the Australian roster is as follows:
Etienne "Magnet" Rousseau
Jason "Lusty" Chen
Tex "Tex" Thompson
Patrick "MentalistC" Fan
Riley "Stigs" Mills
Matthew "Acez" McHenry
Jayden "Dizzle" Saunders (Head Coach)
Laurent "Crapelle" Patriarche (Strategic Coach)