Fnatic today announced the signing of the former GUTS Gaming roster and up-and-coming Japanese talent Ryuya "Chibisu" Hamasita. Also signed is former GAMMA Gaming and IziDream coach Théo "Phenomene" Hentgen, who will be the Strategic Coach and Analyst for Fnatic.
The news follows Fnatic bidding farewell to two of its final three contracted players, Patrick "MentalistC" Fan and Jason "Lusty" Chen, yesterday. Tex Thompson and Riley "Stigs" Mills were benched and released in late 2021, and Léo "Alphama" Robine was released earlier this month.
Not included in the new Fnatic roster is Takumi "JJ" Iwasaki, who announced his retirement from competitive Siege earlier this month, and Yuya "Cloud" Inoue.
Current Fnatic captain Etienne "Mag" Rousseau will be continuing with the team, but his participation in Stage 1 of the 2022 season is in doubt due to the anticipated duration it will take to obtain a visa.
Visa issues had also plagued Fnatic’s Australia-based roster since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and had left it stuck in Australia while having to play APAC North games on high latency.
Fnatic head coach Jayden "Dizzle" Saunders will continue as Head Coach, while former GUTS Gaming manager Kazuhide "GuNBoY" Kawamura, who is bilingual, will also be joining Fnatic. GuNBoY will act as team manager and translator for Fnatic.
“We’re excited to finally begin our journey into Rainbow Six Japanese esports,” said Dizzle. “We have a new roster of incredible homegrown Japanese talent who we’ve signed from GUTS Gaming and can’t wait to kick-start scrimming with the roster ahead of these two all-important competitions. We’re also delighted that Mag will be returning later this year - a player who believes strongly in this project and our vision for Rainbow Six esports in Japan.”
On Feb. 22, Fnatic had revealed that it would be participating in the Japan League 2022 and had teased its new APAC roster.
Fnatic’s involvement in Japan continues after its original plan to shift its Australia-based roster in 2020, and $17 million in investment was raised in 2021. The investment had been led by Marubeni Corporation, one of the largest conglomerates in Japan.
Catch this new Fnatic roster in action in APAC North and the Japan League from next month onwards:
Kazuki "Lily" Yamane
Hikaru "Li9ht" Osawa
Naoki "Yura" Takamoto
Tsukasa "Merieux" Asano
Ryuya "Chibisu" Hamasita
Etienne "Mag" Rousseau
Jayden "Dizzle" Saunders (Head Coach)
Théo "Phenomene" Hentgen (Strategic Coach and Analyst)
Kazuhide "GuNBoY" Kawamura (Manager and Translator)