Fnatic proudly took home their 3rd win last month at the ESEA ESL Pro League Season 2 Finals. This marks the 3rd victory for the team since adding Dennis to their roster, swapping out former support Pronax. For Fnatic, victory is nothing new. It has been months since they have had a slew of victories like this, simultaneously a return to form and a new found strength for the team.
The group stage was largely uneventful for Fnatic. The champions dispatched with the North American offerings of Conquest and Team Liquid with ease, exploring a balance of passive and aggressive play. The team looked to still be feeling out Dennis’ role on the team, with the newest recruit taking a variety of roles in game, from support to lurker, to opening critical passages. The group stage wasn’t totally without issue. Fnatic did suffer an 0-2 loss against their constant rivals EnVyUs, with both losses happening on favored maps for them.
The Swedes rallied back in a big way as they entered the semi finals. Facing off against ? (aka ex-TSM), Fnatic were once again grappling with a world class team that had taken them to the edge in the past. At first, it was a grim outlook. Ex-TSM started off with a 3 round lead on Inferno, one of Fnatic’s top maps. But, the Swedes continued their evolution. With Dennis and Olof holding down site positions, the rest of the team were able to go for hard read rotations, predicting ex-TSM’s movements. Key pickoffs from Krimz and Flusha would give Fnatic breathing room to take on the Danes and easily take them down. If their predictions were off, they were able to fall back to their tried and true mechanical style of play, working angles and counter rotating with precision. Through the rest of the set, the classic Fnatic clutch factor was in full effect, including JW with one of the flashiest kills of the tournament at Pit and Flusha’s incredible 1v1 defuse. After taking the first map, Fnatic looked for a strong Mirage performance. Dennis shifted into a more aggressive mindset, opening key areas for the rest of Fnatic to swarm in and lock down. The increased aggression also led to some unfortunate rounds, with the map ending with a narrow 16-14 victory for the Swedes.
Fnatic squared off against the champions of Eastern Europe, Na’Vi, in the finals. Starting once again on Inferno, Fnatic were beat down by the Ukrainians. The resiliency of the team shone, as they rallied back from a 9 round deficit to take the map. On Dust II, the Swedes utilized economic pressure, luring NaVi into overzealous buys and then punishing them for it. Dennis became a fully fledged Fnatic member as the Tec-9 eco rounds ran rampant, blowing NaVi away, one by one, taking their second map. NaVi brought the set back into their favor with a one-two punch, taking Mirage and Train in quick succession. Finally, with one game left and $100K on the line, Fnatic found themselves on one of their favorite maps, Cobble. The Swedes were on point, as they masterfully counter-rotated to deny NaVi’s movement onto the bombsites. With typical precision and ferocity, Fnatic took an early lead and maintained it to the end, winning off the back of an 8 round streak.
Fnatic have shown in the past month that they are on a level of play that we’ve never seen from them before. With Dennis as a stable rock to fall back on, the Swedes are able to play aggressively and risky, while always having the fallback plan of passive play. They are both a rapid fast viper and an anaconda, slowly choking an opponent. This dual danger forces any team they come across into submission, suffering definitive defeat. This new roster may very well be one of the greatest CS:GO teams to ever be assembled.