Likely one of the most talked-about members of the new Misfits LEC roster is Ronaldo “Ronaldooo” Betea. A rookie that competed in leagues such as the EU Masters and the UKLC. Critics often criticize him due to his most recent experience being filling in as support in the FNATIC Academy squad (FNATIC Rising). For a respected veteran like Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten to take a backseat to a relatively unknown player, let alone one that seems to be coming to play a role he’s not experienced in, was an insult in the eyes of many. However, underestimating the value of Ronaldo may be a grave mistake.
A good learning environment
Firstly, it is important to remember the dominance and consistency of FNATIC Rising in the UKLC. By far, FNATIC’s academy roster seemed to have a strategic edge over all other teams in the league, a fact exemplified by the thrilling final series of the UKLC playoffs. Excel, their opponents, were notorious for their powerful Early Game. Not long into the first match, they would already be ahead by a sizable lead. Even then, FNATIC showed off their superior macro, team fighting and knowledge of windows of aggression punishing an Excel squad that should have had the advantage. They would go on to take the set, and the trophy, with a convincing 3-1.
Although they weren’t quite able to take home the gold, the team’s EU masters run is also nothing to scoff at. They finished at a respectable 3-4th place while having some very good performances. Here, Ronaldo would once again demonstrate to be a crucial part of his team’s success. The Romanian is always looking to make an impact through aggressive picks, engages and positioning in team fights. His champion pool and tactics are often oriented towards a loose, playmaking style, boasting several Rakan, Pyke and even a couple of mage picks in the botlane. This is a tendency that, if polished through training and experience, may turn Ronaldo into a terrifying player.
Important to note as well is that Excel, along with other teams in both leagues, had talent and management with LEC experience on their roster. Therefore, Ronaldo has arguably already proven to be on the level of the competition. In the process, he likely has acquired valuable information on team play, communication and coordination.
A controversial versatility
Ronaldo’s most harshly criticized attribute, his experience in multiple roles in competitive play, is ironically what probably made him the perfect prospect for Misfits. It ultimately is a story that has two sides to it. On the one hand, if the purpose of the organization was to have an explosive start to their split and immediately finish first in the standings then, indeed, they might have wanted to bring in a proven player into the role. However, as Head Coach Alejandro “Jandro” Fernández-Valdés has stated in the past, that is not at all Misfit’s intent.
What the team aims to achieve during this upcoming Spring Split is to bring in a group of rookies with potential and offer an optimal environment for them to grow and develop. With that purpose in mind, it’s arguable that there was no better signing than Ronaldo.
On a surface level, playing several roles might simply indicate that someone has less experience on each individual position. However, being able to find competitive success in a variety of roles, especially in a game like League of Legends, speaks highly of a player’s skill ceiling. Most people main a single lane, some even just a single champion. This is because League is so diverse in its nature that every champion comes with their own set of rules as to how the game is supposed to be played.
For a young rookie like Ronaldo to be able to play, mid, bot, support and even jungle successfully in competitive play is simply incredible. In the eyes of a coach, it means the Romanian must have a deep knowledge and near mastery of League’s fundamental mechanics. Movement, positioning, damage calculation, team play, he’s got all of it in spades. The idea of a Ronaldo that has had time to practice and hone his talents is very promising, to the point that he might even be the “Franchise Player” that Misfits could build their brand around.
“From Our Haus to Yours”