The teams faced off in the playoffs semifinals with Fnatic coming out on top 2-0. The loss is undoubtedly a devastating one for 100 Thieves, who failed to complete a massive comeback before punting away a considerable lead.
100 Thieves got on the board first on Mirage with a successful opening pistol round, but Fnatic denied the conversion and broke off a streak. 100 Thieves picked up a round of their own, but the stars kept on aligning to stifle any sort of momentum for them. A massive ace from Robin “flusha” Rönnquist was followed by a triple kill with a single grenade from Jesper “JW” Wecksell, with these rounds seemingly sucking all the life out of the Australians.
100 Thieves picked up a few rounds, but the first half ended with a 10-5 score. A 4-1 stretch to start the second half pushed Fnatic close to the finish line.
Fnatic’s veterans seemed to be too much for 100 Thieves, but Justin “jks” Savage put his team on his back and carried them through regulation. Down 14-6, jks’s 27-kill performance sparked a late rally and pulled them to a 15-15 score.
Fnatic composed itself in overtime and took three of the first four rounds. 100 Thieves tried to buy itself more time in the game with a slow push to B bombsite, but that didn’t pay off. Flusha and Maikil “Golden” Kunda Selim were both behind newbox, with Golden pouncing early. Golden was quickly gunned down, which gave 100 Thieves the confidence to plant. From there, flusha jumped out himself just in time to stop the bomb from going down with just a few seconds on the clock. That gave Fnatic a round on time, advancing them to a 19-16 win on map one.
100 Thieves was undoubtedly heartbroken over the loss, but they seemed undeterred when things moved to Mirage. The team posted a huge first half and looked ready to even the score thanks to a huge start from Joakim “jkaem” Myrbostad.
Things got dicey after Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson cut up 100 Thieves on an eco round, gutting the 100 Thieves economy and sparking a streak that tied the score at 12-12. The Australians managed to compose themselves and advanced to map point, but Fnatic came through on another thrifty round to gut 100 Thieves’ economy and force overtime.
The game slipping away in regulation seemed to take a mental toll on 100 Thieves, who crumbled under Fnatic’s pressure. KRIMZ locked up the 2-0 series victory by coming through on a one-versus-three clutch.
Fnatic’s resurgence has been one of Counter-Strike’s biggest surprises in recent months. After missing the StarLadder Berlin Major, Fnatic reunited most of the roster that won IEM Katowice 2018. That immediately paid off with a first-place finish at DreamHack Masters Malmo and was followed up by a string of solid placements in other large events.
Fnatic started strong in IEM Katowice 2020 with wins over Renegades and Natus Vincere. A loss to Astralis saw the team start its playoffs run in the quarterfinals, but this victory gives them a great deal of momentum.
The Swedes are hoping that this carries them to victory over G2 Esports. G2 has looked very strong in Katowice to this point, beating a murderer’s row of teams to win its group and .
Still, Fnatic has a history of stepping it up in Katowice and cannot be underestimated by opponents or fans.