From starplayer to team founder: xPeke is one of the most famous European League of Legends professionals. As part of the old guard in LoL, he has been with the game almost since its inception. This is his story.
The story of Spanish LoL-legend Enrique “xPeke“‘ Cedeño Martínez begins in the early days of League of Legends’ esport scene. Back in February 2011 xPeke’s team oSk Gaming was bought out by myRevenge. Under the new banner he won IEM Season V and around $6000 US-Dollar, which then also piqued the interest of Fnatic. Subsequently the organisation bought the roster out.
Surprisingly Fnatic then proceeded to win the very first League of Legends Worlds against the French roster Against All Authority with sOAZ. Back then xPeke was a Toplaner and become the first official world champion.
Following their victory up, Fnatic initially looked strong during Season 2 but then proceeded to fall off and not make it to the second edition of Worlds. Despite that xPeke quickly became a fan favorite as his open and relaxed attitude in videos and interviews
In Pre-Season 3 xPeke solidified his place in LoL history. After Fnatic won the European DreamHack Winter 2012 the next stop was IEM Season VII. In Cologne Fnatic made it without problems to the playoffs and also defeated the Koreans from CJ Entus. At this point in time xPeke had moved to the Midlane already. In the finals of IEM Season VII they could not make it past SKT1.
Afterwards it was time for Katowice. One of the opponents in the groups was SK Gaming. After more than 50 minutes of gametime SK was ahead and about to close out the game. But xPeke made the legendary backdoor that still carries his name to this day:
The beginning of something new
Fnatic qualified in 2013 for the European LCS and solidified their position as one of the strongest teams in Europe. They not only won the regular season, Fnatic also won the Playoffs and qualified for Worlds. In the third world championship xPeke once again made his mark as one of the best players and reached the semifinals. There they lost to Uzi’s Royal Club, while Faker’s SKT1 took home the title in the finals.
For 2014 Fnatic did not perform as well as they did the year prior. While they won the Sppring Split over SK Gaming, in the all-star-tournament in Paris they lost to Korean juggernaut SKT T1 twice. In Summer they barely made it to worlds only to get eliminated in groups. This marked the end of xPeke’s journey with Fnatic as he left the team afterwards. Instead of retiring or joining another team the Spaniard founded a new organisation: Origen. Together with players like Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen or Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez the new team was off to a good start.
Origen’s rise and fall
The new team immediately qualfied for the EU LCS by running the gauntlet of the Challenger Series with 9-1. In the finals against Copenhagen Wolves he even managed to make another backdoor play.
With a second place in the EU LCS afterwards, Origen immediately qualified for Worlds with xPeke at the helm. While expectations were low for the team, they still made it all the way to the semifinals to once again falter against T1. This marked the high point for Origen and started a slow decline. After the 2016 Spring Split Zven and Mithy left and the team even had to fend off relegation to stay in the EU LCS in summer.
In 2017 they were demoted out of the LCS and did not manage to make it back to the top tier of European League of Legends until 2018’s franchising gave Origen another shot at the top. At this point in time xPeke had already retired from his active playing career but was still involved as Origen’s founder and manager. 2018 also saw the acquisition of Origen by RFRSH Entertainment and for the upcoming season the Origen brand will be replaced by Astralis. xPeke has also decided to stept back from his managerial duties, but will continue on as part of the shareholders behind the team.
A NEW ERA BEGINS.
— Astralis (@Astralisgg) September 15, 2020
While xPeke’s glory days are long over by now, his name will forever be associated with his legendary backdoor play. His influence on the early scene remains undisputable and Riot has also honored him in their most recent Worlds Song “Take Over”.