Olivia R. August 21, 2019
After a disappointing showing over the past few months, Fnatic has announced that Richard "Xizt" Landstrom and Simon "twist" Eliasson will be moved to the bench effective immediately.
Before this year, Fnatic was the only orgnaization to have reached all 14 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Majors, but the team was unable to continue on that record with the Berlin Minor.
"For the first instance in Fnatic’s history, our efforts were not sufficient enough to secure ourselves a place at the Major. Fundamentally, both management and players agree that this is unacceptable of the standards we set for ourselves and of the black and orange in general," the organization said.
Fnatic went on to say that this is the lowest point in their journey as a CSGO team.
As a result of these failures, Fnatic noted that they will be working hard to regain their spot as the "pinnacle of professional gameplay." To do so, Fnatic stated that they will be first looking for new talent. According to HLTV.org, the team is open to an international roster after cementing themselves as an all-Swedish team for the last six years.
Xizt and Twist have been a part of Fnatic's CSGO roster since 2018. During that time, the team reached the IEM Chicago semifinals and won the PLG Grand Slam. From then on, the team saw mixed results. They placed fourth at the WESG Finals, but then placed second at StarSeries i-League Season 7 and at IEM Sydney.
Unfortunately, those two high placements weren't enough to keep Fnatic at their desired performance level. The Swedish team finished only in the top 12 at DreamHack Masters Dallas, the ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals, and ESL One Cologne. Then the fateful European Minor sealed the deal, denying Fnatic the chance to play at the Major.
"I know I haven't been playing well lately and certainly far from the level where I want to be myself. I have no excuses for my bad performances and I only see this as a time for me to work even harder, to keep my head up, focus on myself and improve my individual skill. I am sure there will be more vetoes from me in grand finals in the near future," Xizt said.
He went on to wish the team nothing but the best.
The press release also contained a statement from Twist, who simply thanked Fnatic for the opportunity.
"Given the magnitude of failing to qualify for a Major for the first time in Fnatic’s history, a change was indeed necessary. Now, sadly without Simon and Richard, we must build a strong, consistent line-up for the future and bring Fnatic back to the very top," team director Andreas "Samuelsson" Samuelsson said.