Fnatic’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive roster has had a rough start to 2020, and the team’s form has recently indicated that things may get worse for the team before they get better.
After the acquisition of Robin “flusha” Rönnquist and Maikil “Golden” Kunda Selim in the wake of the side’s failure to qualify for the StarLadder Berlin Major last summer, Fnatic embarked on a run of top four placements at seven events in a row, with their win on home soil at DreamHack Masters Malmo coming just a month later.
ESL Pro League Season 11 was CSGO’s first online competition this year and, unlike the events that followed, Fnatic looked to be at their peak. The squad strutted its stuff with R8 and knife kills aplenty, swaggering their way past every top team.
It was an utterly unreal performance and culminated in a fitting finale against Mousesports, where a 16-2 win on Nuke proved to be the decisive blow in a 3-2 series victory. Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin was crowned MVP of the tournament with a 0.73 rating, and the Swedes scooped up $110,000 for their first-place finish.
Fnatic was CS royalty again, and on the April 27, almost exactly four years on from when they were last at the summit, they returned to the #1 ranking on HLTV’s world rankings table.
However, it feels like Fnatic have been suffering from a lack of motivation in the server since topping those tables earlier this year. They entered the ESL Road to Rio qualifiers as a heavy favourite in most Counter Strike betting markets, but ended up finishing a lowly 12th place after some shocking losses to the likes of ENCE, Dignitas, Vitality, and even Movistar Riders.
They then entered DreamHack Spring Masters as reigning champions, but once again struggled and ended up dropping out in even worse fashion with losses to Faze Clan, Spirit, and MAD Lions.
It was clear Fnatic was struggling with a plethora of issues, and the team hastily organised a bootcamp in preparation for their debut at a BLAST event at the Spring Showdown. While the team did perform a bit better, being knocked out by eventual Master finalists Team Vitality, it was still a performance that was a long way off what the Swedes were hoping for.
Arguably no team in the CS circuit revolves on momentum and confidence more than Fnatic, with players like Jesper “JW” Wecksell and Flusha looking like absolute shells of themselves without it.
The calls from in-game leader Golden haven’t been the problem with Fnatic, with the team consistently setting themselves up in promising positions around most maps, it just seems to be a case of the players being punished for not being as strong individually as they once were. Fnatic’s record online against the bigger teams they’re used to playing on LAN has remained solid, but it’s the smaller teams they normally expect to brush aside or avoid playing entirely that are doing big damage against them.
And unless Fnatic can figure out a way to recapture its lost swagger, it’s likely that the Swedish team will continue to absorb losses to teams most fans and analysts think it should be able to overcome.