Steven R. February 16, 2019
Fnatic’s run in the 2019 Katowice Major has come to an end.
Facing G2 Esports in the fourth round of the New Challengers Stage, the Swedish team fizzled en route to a 1-2 loss. That pushed their record to 1-3 in the phase, eliminating them from the event.
Things initially looked up for Fnatic.
Playing on Mirage, the team opened the series with strong performances from its top stars. After a failed pistol round, Fnatic clobbered a fully loaded G2 with a Desert Eagle rush to take over the game. The French side never really recovered from that blow, and each time they got in position to slow Fnatic’s momentum, a clutch play from Jesper "JW" Wecksell or Simon "twist" Eliasson was there to leave them frustrated.
Some early success in the second half kept G2 from walking away with an embarrassing score, but Fnatic still took an easy 16-8 win.
While it was easy to wonder if G2’s struggles might have taken a toll on the team’s confidence, the squad gave a firm answer on Dust 2 by roaring to a 6-0 lead. Fnatic managed to find its footing courtesy of some strong eco rounds and a great play by Ludvig "Brollan" Brolin, who sprayed down three G2 members in one round. But G2 settled the game and rolled towards a 16-8 win.
Surges from Richard "shox" Papillon and Kenny "kennyS" Schrub gave G2 a massive early lead on deciding map Overpass. Whenever Fnatic found a window to move towards a comeback, a clutch play was there to pull the rug out from under them. G2 kept the pressure on and sealed up a quick 16-5 win to end the series and send Fnatic home.
This was a devastating blow for Fnatic. Fnatic looked shaky throughout the major despite entering the New Challengers Stage as the top seed. The team found itself on the brink of elimination by the end of day one after losses to Vici Gaming and Winstrike Team, and did not impress in its lone victory over Grayhound Gaming.
The poor result may lead to serious changes for Fnatic in the coming weeks.