Fnatic is one of esports’ most storied brands, maintaining a strong presence in almost every noteworthy title. But while they have a championship pedigree in some other titles, they have at times struggled in Dota 2.
The organization first stepped into the game in 2011, acquiring Serbian team Gamersleague. Despite a strong debut at DreamHack Winter 2011, the team quickly fell apart in early 2012 and were dropped in March.
Fnatic was only out of Dota 2 for a few days after this move. The organization reassigned its Heroes of Newerth division to Dota 2, which gave them a solid core comprised of Johan “N0tail” Sundstein, Tal “Fly” Aizik, and Adrian "Era" Kryeziu. The team would stick together for an extended period of time, enjoying generally positive results.
Fnatic was not invited to The International 2012 but improved the following season, winning a handful of prominent live events including the Thor Open 2012 and DreamHack Valencia 2012. The team received an invitation to The International 2013 and placed in the top eight.
While that was a relatively disappointing outcome given expectations, the team continued to stick together and post solid performances through The International 2014. Unfortunately, a group stage exit there resulted in the team disbanding completely and prompted Fnatic to withdraw from Dota 2 for almost a year.
Fnatic returned in June 2015 by signing the the sponsorless Team Malaysia, built around Khoo "Ohaiyo" Chong Xin, Chai "Mushi" Yee Fung, and Lee "kYxY" Kong Yang, after it received a direct invitation to The International 2015. This marked a major shift for the Fnatic organization, which had predominantly focused its operations in Europe. The team suffered a devastating last-place finish at TI5, but Fnatic maintained a southeast Asian Dota 2 division for years to come.
Though it stopped fielding an all-Malaysian roster, it still focused its efforts in growing its brand in the region with players from the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, and South Korea. Despite frequent turnover, Fnatic maintained a steady presence in prominent Dota 2 events, most notably placing fourth at The International 2016.
Fnatic started shifting gears in 2017 as it built a mixed roster that saw western players Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao, Johan "pieliedie" Åström, and Steve "Excalibur" Ye added to the team. This was followed by the infamous kicking of core member Ohaiyo in favor of former Evil Geniuses offlaner Saahil "Universe" Arora.
The moves paid off to some degree as Fnatic was active in Dota Pro Circuit events, but the team never placed higher than fourth. When it suffered a last-place finish at The International 2018, the team once again reverted to an all-SEA roster.
Fnatic has maintained itself as one of the top teams in Dota 2 in the time since, but the team is still yet to take home any big trophies.