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League of Legends

Rekkles: Magician of Karmine Corp

Nikhil Kalro

The LFL Summer Split has many eliciting prospects of Swedish superstar and iconic carry Martin “Rekkles” Larsson continuing to make magic. One of the greatest European League of Legends players made history in February when he ripped through GameWard in his first pentakill alongside his new team. That moment has been one of the most memorable ones so far in 2022. That it was celebrated by a raucous LFL crowd made it even more special.

rekkles lfl

Image Credit: Karmine Corp Twitter Account

As a professional player, you can be lucky to win one Masters or one Major. To win four, like Rekkles has, speaks volumes of his drive to continually try and improve amid stifling competition. Earlier this year, he became only the fourth former LEC winner to claim a European Masters trophy when Karmine Corp won the 2022 Spring EU Masters.

His accomplishments are long, and don’t need repeating, but for those unaware, he is a four-time LEC champion who won those titles during two spells with Fnatic. For someone who had contributed and achieved so much, his exit from the LEC was as surprising as unsavoury after a disastrous 2021 with G2 Esports, coinciding with the team’s failure to reach the World Championship.

It may have hurt, and he stepped down to the regional leagues by signing with LFL’s Karmine Corp, who looked to rebuild their side. They have progressed serenely so far, reaching the Spring Split tournament by finishing third in France. They made the grand finale by overcoming teams like X7 Esports, Unicorns of Love Sexy Edition and Vitality Bee.

Last year, Rekkles, who left Fnatic after an eventful six-year stint, teamed up with Rasmus “Caps” Borregaard Winther to form a partnership for the ages during the 2021 Spring Split. Rekkles was one of their key performers, finishing the summer with a staggering kill rate of 5.28 and deaths of 1.11 on an average per map. These coupled with a superb creep score of 330.83 and a high-efficiency rate measured by KDA in League of Legends (8.65) made him an immovable force.

There was little doubt then that his exit coincided with a slight dip in the league’s viewership. That one person had such an effect on the league told you of his abilities, as much as it did about his imprint on the overall scheme of things.

Ever since his signing, Karmine’s plans have revolved around Rekkles. It’s for them to now try and reduce their dependence on their most prolific player. It tells you two things.

One: His offensive proficiency is unmatched, and therefore, whether right or wrong, teams have a tendency to have all their eggs in one basket. Two: it leaves them little scope to experiment with a Plan B, because Plan A – around Rekkles – has seldom failed.

What if he has an off day? Is someone ready to put their hand up? Forming a pool of players who can be instantly summoned to deliver under pressure without Rekkles could be the next part of their development curve going forward. For the moment, Rekkles continues to remain front and centre of their plans.

At the start of the year, Karmine were the underdogs even though their roster had talent such as Lucas “Cabochard” Simon-Meslet, alongside Rekkles. They weren’t able to remain consistent for long periods. Despite their line-up, Kcorp were placed third in the LFL 2022 Spring Playoffs — losing to Team BDS Academy. This brought into sharp focus their plans that needed a rehash finally, and Rekkles has had a significant role to play in trying to tear down old templates and set new ones.

Because of this, Kcorp even making the final of the EUM playoffs appeared unrealistic at different times. They narrowly made it through to the brackets stage, even as their final opponents LDLC OL went on a dominating streak, going 12-0 leading up to the finals. Not only that, they had won the majority of their games against Kcorp throughout the year, which was an intimidating prospect.

Enter Rekkles on the biggest occasion of them all. Though LDLC had a very strong Game 1 win, Kcorp was able to turn the tables from there, and won every game after in convincing fashion courtesy of one man – Rekkles. He was helped in no small part by Lucas “Saken” Fayard. Rekkles died once in the entirety of the series (going 16-1-25 throughout) and Saken’s playmaking on Azir made several key plays to win Kcorp the series. If this wasn’t magic, you’d struggle to pick out another moment that had such a big outcome on one particular event, at least in 2022.

The Rekkles impact needs to be seen to be believed. You scour through multiple platforms, multiple articles around teams he has represented, or even just held talks with, and you’re unlikely to come back without having read of Rekkles the magician. The sheer weight of his impact and how his performances have gone beyond just the bare numbers, whether that has been in helping his team or merely just being an omnipresent force within the group. It speaks volumes of his abilities as a player, as a leader.

Such innate qualities for a player of such stature makes him an absolute GOAT. A player teams yearn for, and someone who can single-handedly lift the profile of an entire league, an entire region, an entire tournament. His impact has been such that brands have attempted to tap into the growth potential of the esports industry. Last year, he was signed by luxury brand Ralph Lauren.

Such a prospect – an esports legend being brand ambassador of a luxury brand – may have seemed outlandish, and would’ve perhaps been scoffed at.

But the industry has undergone a sea change since the onset of the pandemic. Earlier thought of as niche, the esports business has been projected to rise towards $1.5 billion dollars by 2023. For that, they have players like Rekkles to thank.

As the new LFL summer split is set to begin, it brings with it the promise of more magic from a man whose drive and desire for the game and the teams he represents only seems to grow with every passing day.