Any excitement surrounding Fnatic’s all-European roster has been quickly forgotten – overshadowed by their signing of now LCS-eligible 17-year old Rasmus “Caps” Winther, one of the most toxic figures ever to be showcased in the EU LCS. Caps enters the EU LCS as a largely unknown figure, yet his shameful, arrogant reputation has already been cemented within the League of Legends community.
He’s yet to play a single LCS match, but already many Fnatic fans want him out. Within moments of his announcement as Fnatic’s Mid Laner for the 2016 Spring Split, instances of Caps disgraceful behaviour were already beginning to build up momentum – within hours, he was already being labelled as a petulant and arrogant child, a tag that will ultimately stick with him for the rest of his career.
— ekd (@ekdsb) November 29, 2016
For those unfamiliar with Caps’ background, the teenager played with Mousesports in the European Challenger Series 2016 Summer qualifiers, before moving to Nerv for six games in the EU CS. Just a few weeks into the split, Caps moved to Turkish squad Dark Passage for the final week of the regular season and eventually helped them earn a summer championship.
As with every young player in the Challenger scene, Caps has been grinding for his break into the LCS and has been rewarded with an opportunity to represent one of the biggest eSports organisations in the world. His determination to reach the top tier of the competitive scene is admirable, his attitude towards his less-fortunate peers however, is downright abhorrent.
I’m god damn doomed. pic.twitter.com/ra2CsrRW0F
— Mantas Sukevicius (@Hadowlol) November 6, 2016
Within the in-game chat logs, Caps is evidently threatening other players in his game, claiming that he has influence over the LCS and teams subsequent rosters:
“You can troll me all you want, but I will make sure you never get to join a CS nor LCS team,
“You don’t want to be on my hate list if you want to go anywhere in league.
“You will never get anywhere in League, I will make sure”
Rasmus “Caps” Winther
Former LCS AD carry Erik “Tabzz” van Helvert was one of the first to flag Caps’ abysmal disciplinary history, though other examples of the Mid Laners arrogant behaviour continue to emerge. Albus NoX Luna front man Kirill “Likkrit” Malofeev is just one of the latest figures to vouch for Caps’ intolerable behaviour:
Usual update on Caps inting in soloq
— Malofeev Kirill (@Likkrit) November 1, 2016
Caps is 100% new Perkz
— Malofeev Kirill (@Likkrit) October 30, 2016
For all his online bravado, Caps was quickly humbled by Fnatic, who were sensitive to a brand-damaging community backlash. The online League of Legends community can pull a significant amount of weight; Riot Games are known to bring the public consensus into consideration when taking disciplinary action.
Fnatic quickly sought to stick a cold compress onto the organisations bruised reputation, forcing Caps to issue a public apology in addition to their own statement on the issue:
“Something I didn’t realise before joining Fnatic is that being a pro player is more than just performing in-game.
“I need to also be a good person and set an example to others too.”
Apology and moving forward
— Rasmus Winther (@Caps1337Mid) December 2, 2016
“Rasmus is aware that any further instances of previous unprofessional behaviour will be met with severe consequences.
“He has a lot to learn when it comes to handling his emotions. However, we are confident that together we can get him to a place where he can be that role model that professional players need to be.”
Fnatic Official Statement
The apology felt disingenuous and forced from the Fnatic organisation – which of course, it was. Ironically, a player who had boasted his potential influence over LCS rosters was brought to his knees to apologise by the league’s actual influencers – the community.
Fnatic risk losing a serious proportion of their fanbase with the inclusion of Caps in their starting roster; you are given one opportunity to give fans a positive first impression. Where major organisation’s roster swaps usually feature montages of top plays and highlight reels, Caps’ unique collection of intentionally feeding and flaming certainly hasn’t impressed. Regardless of Caps’ performances in his first forthcoming season of the EU LCS, his past actions will continuously taint his reputation throughout his professional career.