‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
When the EU Minors started, I picked Fnatic as one of my three favorites to make it to the Major Challengers stage. Instead CR4ZY eliminated Fnatic in the playoffs. This was a similar scenario to what happened at Fnatic’s last Major. Fnatic played at the IEM Katowice Challengers stage and were the favorites to qualify. Vici, Winstrike, and G2 then upset Fnatic and took them out of the Challengers stage.
At the time, I wrote that Fnatic had hit their ceiling. Their results at the time were: Top 4 at IEM Chicago 2018, 1st PLG Grand Slam, Top 4 IBP Masters, and 20-22nd at IEM Katowice.
Fnatic were highly inconsistent and they were a team that lived and died off of their individual skill. If Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson, Jesper “JW” Wecksell, and Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin had a good tournament, they could go deep, make a top four or a finals. If they didn’t then the team could be instantly eliminated. There wasn’t a consistent system or foundation that made me think this team could jump up in the standings and become a consistent force. Their only upside was if Brollan came into his own as a secondary consistent star to KRIMZ.
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While it was early into the lineups lifetime, I believed that Fnatic had a rare opportunity that they should have bet the farm on. At the time FaZe benched Finn “Karrigan” Andersen and he was looking for his next team. Karrigan is one of the greatest in-game leaders in the games history and has a proven track record of elevating players. When Fnatic bombed out of IEM Katowice, that should have been the play.
Instead Fnatic stuck with Richard “Xizt” Landstrom. In the ensuing seven months, the Fnatic team played out to how I imagined it. They had some great tournaments (IEM Sydney and StarLadder i-League Season 7) and bombs (DreamHack Dallas, ESL Proleague Season 9, ESL Cologne, the Major). They haven’t grown as a team strategically, tactically, or teamplay wise.
Now Fnatic are in a worse spot than before. After failing their second Major, they must look for changes. The two players that Fnatic must keep are KRIMZ and Brollan. Outside of that, they have to consider all of their options. Who to keep, who to remove, and whether they want to continue playing all Swedish or going international.
Regardless, there is one free agent that they must consider: Robin “flusha” Ronnquist. Flusha showed renewed form during his stint on Cloud9 and had an excellent performance at IEM Katowice. Cloud9’s best performances during their musical chairs period came when flusha was in-game leading. The only problem is that Flusha has taken a personal hiatus, so it’s uncertain he will be as good if he comes back, but it’s worth the gamble. If Fnatic can, they should secure flusha immediately before he joins an international squad or NiP. Outside of that, I’d wait and see how the Major plays out and what shakes loose from the other teams. Regardless of what happens, I believe this Fnatic lineup has run its course and they need to make changes.