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Fnatic announced Monday that Enzo “Enzo” Mestari — formerly known as “Fea” and “Fearoth” — and Emir Ali “Alfajer” Beder have joined their VALORANT roster. They join an active line-up comprising in-game leader Jake “Boaster” Howlett, James “Mistic” Orfila, Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev and substitute Tom “otom” Hart.
Fnatic’s VALORANT roster has been in limbo since March 30, when they suspended Andrey “BraveAF” Gorchakov after messages surfaced of him allegedly showing support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Plus, even before his suspension, BraveAF had been dealing with visa issues. These would have prevented him from attending the VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 1 Masters event in Reykjavík, Iceland.
In addition, Derke tested positive for COVID-19 shortly before Masters Reykjavík. This left the team down two members going into the offline major. Fnatic acquired Enzo and Joona “H1ber” Parviainen on loan from Alliance and KOI, respectively. However, their makeshift roster lost to Ninjas in Pyjamas and ZETA DIVISION without winning a single map.
Following their underperformance at Masters Reykjavík, Fnatic moved BraveAF and Martin “Magnum” Peňkov to their inactive roster. This paved the way for Fnatic to bring Enzo into a more permanent role and add Alfajer to the team.
GIGACHAD VALORANT ANNOUNCEMENT OF A CENTURY
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) May 9, 2022
Enzo and Alfajer join Fnatic VALORANT
Amid the ongoing roster changes, Mistic will transition into a flex role while Boaster takes on the controller role. With these changes in the team dynamic, Fnatic added Enzo as an all-rounder who could bring balance to the roster.
“The decision to pick up Enzo was straightforward, as we had the luxury of being with him and watching him play before and during Masters, Reykjavik,” head coach Jacob “Mini” Harris said in a statement on Fnatic’s website. “His main strengths are in his support skills, both in and out of the game. He is the rare kind that still manages to put up numbers whilst being the teammate you wish for. An experienced, ‘secondary-IGL’ type player is something we’ve wanted to have in the team for a while.”
Meanwhile, Alfajer has come from Surreal Esports to join Fnatic. According to the statement on the team’s website, the 16-year-old Turkish “young gun” will primarily provide extra firepower to the team.
“Alfajer is an exciting player with a huge amount of firepower and pure talent,” Mini said in the statement on Fnatic’s website. “We believe he is more than capable to be one of our star players, but we will be sure to ease him through that transition as he is such a young player. He has plenty of flexibility in his agent pool which bodes well for long-term success in Fnatic. We want to be able to adapt to the fast-paced meta changes we see in Valorant and we expect that direction to only continue.”
The new roster will make their debut at VCT Europe, Middle East and Africa Stage 2 Challengers when the event begins on Friday.
Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.