Steven R. July 20, 2019
Fnatic will not be heading to the StarLadder Berlin Major.
The legendary Swedish organization has been on a skid through much of 2019, but things hit a new low at the Europe Minor. Despite a solid performance in the group stage, Fnatic was the first team ejected from the playoffs which means they won't be showing up in Berlin.
Fnatic started the event strong with a 2-0 run through their group, besting Team Ancient and North in order to advance to the playoffs. The bracket began with a series against Mousesports which Fnatic lost in tough fashion, stumbling on Dust 2 before getting routed on Inferno.
That 2-0 loss sent them to the lower bracket for a series against CR4ZY. The first game on Train was a tight one as Fnatic fell behind early and entered halftime with a 12-3 deficit. Fnatic managed to rally and even tied things up at 13-13, but the comeback couldn't be completed and the Swedish team lost 16-13.
The second game was back and forth on Dust 2. While the first game saw both teams enjoy prolonged winning streaks, the second had the two teams trade a few rounds at a time for much of the proceedings. A perfectly executed flash play from CR4ZY in the 26th round saw Rokas "EspiranTo" Milasauskas shut down Fnatic late and kick off a series-ending winning streak to lock up the game 16-13 and the series 2-0.
What comes next for Fnatic's CSGO team?
This is a devastating turn of events for Fnatic.
The organization suffered a brutally early exit from the IEM Katowice Major in March which forced them to earn a spot in Berlin through the minor. In the months since Fnatic has been wildly inconsistent, posting strong placements at events like StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7 while being eliminated early from tournaments like ESL One Cologne.
Similarly, the strong potential of the team was on display early in the Europe Minor, but wasn’t maintained for long enough to earn a spot in the major.
Fnatic’s mood on social media in the hours after was somber. Jesper "JW" Wecksell lamented missing his first major ever, while the organization simply said “sorry” to fans. The stumble could result in serious shakeups to the lineup.
CR4ZY will next face North in the Europe Minor.