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Joey “Youngbuck” Steltenpool will return to his old role as head coach in the inaugural LEC season. Youngbuck will stay in reigning Europe champions Fnatic, but will step away from his previous role as game director and into a more mentoring role.

Titles-wise, Youngbuck stands unmatched among his peers. The Dutch broke out as head coach for G2 Esports and led the samurai to four consecutive LCS titles between 2016 and 2017. Ahead of the 2018 Spring Season, Youngbuck transferred to Fnatic and immediately usurped G2’s throne. Two more LCS titles followed with the black and orange jerseys, topping them off with a second place at the 2018 World Championship.

Youngbuck’s move from the team director to the coaching role was made necessary by the departure of Fnatic’s former head mentor, Dylan Falco. In November, Falco’s contract with the defending champions expired, leading him to sign with Schalke 04 for LEC 2019.

“The first decision to make, of course, was to decide on who was to become responsible for on-stage drafts and therefore become our head coach for the year,” Youngbuck writes. “Considering that I have personally always had a love for drafting even since my days as a player – as well as coming into the year knowing the majority of the players of this year’s line-up on an in-game level – we thought it made a lot of sense to move myself into the Head Coach position, a position I held before I joined Fnatic.”

With the change in leadership, Fnatic will look to match their outstanding results from 2018 on a new, franchised battlefield and with a revamped roster. The fight for the Spring 2019 trophy begins Jan. 18.

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