Does Karmine Corp gunning for Hans Sama mean Rekkles is out?

Esports are a rough and unpredictable industry, especially when the stakes are rising. Rekkles deserves better If you had... Scott Kostov | 14. September 2022

Esports are a rough and unpredictable industry, especially when the stakes are rising.

Rekkles deserves better

If you had told me two years ago that Martin “Rekkles” Larsson of all people would be fighting for a spot, I would have laughed at the notion. Two years is not a lot of time, but it’s half a career for many in esports. 23 months ago, this man was up 2-0 on Top Esports in the 2020 Worlds Semifinals. One game away from returning to the unfinished business he and Fnatic had from three years prior.

He and Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov looked like the best bot lane in the world, hoping to avenge their 2017 Worlds Finals loss against Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo. The rest of that series is entrenched in history, but what followed suit might be even more devastating. Less than two years later, Rekkles might be on his way out of his second high-profile team. The G2 Esports super team failed miserably last year, and despite winning the EU Masters Spring tournament, it seems Karmine Corp are looking to make a bot lane change.


Rekkles dominating at 2020 Worlds Semifinals. Credit: LoL Esports

Karmine Corp looking to build a LEC team

2022 has been a wild year for the LEC in many ways. Teams owning franchised spots are looking to maximize profits and it’s not through winning titles. With big-name brands knocking on the LEC door and only 10 slots available, the price tag has gone through the roof.

Karmine Corp is one of those teams, looking to follow in the footsteps of KOI and Team Heretics. Reports have been coming out for months that KCorp are trying to acquire the LEC spot that Astralis holds, in a deal similar to the one KOI and Rogue made. Despite nothing is official as of yet, it seems the Blue Wall is already working towards a LEC-viable 2023 roster.

Karmine Corp bid for Hans Sama, make Rekkles available

We already covered how Team Liquid plans to restructure their roster heading into next year, and one of the mentioned names was bot laner Steven “Hans sama” Liv. LEC Woloo from Upcomer and LEC insider reported that TL is terminating Steven’s contract after failing to qualify for the World Championship. Hans Sama is reportedly already receiving offers from several LEC teams, with KCorp allegedly coming forward with a strong proposal. Despite having a year and half a million dollars left on his contract with Karmine Corp, Rekkles is reportedly allowed to explore options for next year. 

Hans Sama replacing Rekkles makes zero sense

From a purely financial standpoint, buying out Hans Sama from Team Liquid to replace Rekkles, doesn’t make sense for KCorp. From a branding perspective, Hans Sama is French but you already are a French team with a large and devoted fan base. If you need a French player to be the face of the French team, you are better off going for Vincent “Vetheo” Berrié, who is a free agent. If anything, Rekkles is the biggest brand in League esports. Singing Nike deals and being the face of the Western League of Legends goes a long way.

He and TeNz are reaching Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Messi levels of the stratosphere in esports. The only way this works out is if Rekkles accepts a role swap to support to make room for Hans Sama. He surely has the skill and knowledge to transition to the new role, given he has been one of the best bot laners the game has known. But how much legacy tarnishing is enough? Being used as a marketing tool and sold off multiple times doesn’t fit the tone when talking about his illustrious career. But I guess, only time will tell how 2023 will work out for Rekkles.

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