Steven R. February 14, 2019
Fnatic isn’t going home without a fight.
The Swedish squad stayed alive in the Katowice Major by defeating Grayhound Gaming in a best-of-three series. Though Fnatic wasn’t quite dominant, the team took a needed 2-0 victory that may help regain some swagger lost after a rough first day.
Opening map Inferno was defined by side advantages. Though Grayhound was able to steal the opening rounds on the CT side, Fnatic took complete control from there by breaking off 13 consecutive rounds.
This was spurred on by a strong individual effort from Richard "Xizt" Landstrom. Grayhound fired back after halftime by winning seven of the first eight rounds, but Fnatic’s lead was too big to overcome and the game ended 16-9.
Second map Overpass saw big momentum swings as Grayhound went 5-1 out of the gate only to have Fnatic roar back and answer with nine wins before halftime. Grayhound began a comeback of its own in the second half, overcoming a lost pistol round with consecutive round victories.
But just as the Australians were set to tie the score in round 20, a crafty corner play by Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson saw Fnatic reassert their dominance and deeply cut into Grayhound’s economy. From there, Fnatic left Grayhound poor and demoralized with an economical round 22 that saw the Swedes win after buying just two AK-47s.
This seemed to take the remaining fight out of Grayhound, with the team sliding to a 16-11 loss.
The loss to Fnatic means Grayhound is the first team eliminated from the Katowice Major. Despite exiting the opening day of the event with a 0-2 record, Grayhound showed a few flashes of quality along the way with a competitive game against Cloud9 that swung on some clutch rounds and an overtime nailbiter versus Vitality.
As for Fnatic, this wasn’t a stellar result for the Swedes, but it was a necessary one. Despite entering the Challengers Stage as the top seed, the team struggled out of the gate, taking rough losses to Vici Gaming and Winstrike Team.