fnatic go 9-20 in opening duels, refuse to elaborate

Harry Richards
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Illustration by ANDYJ.

When we left you on Thursday, Cloud9 and Outsiders had qualified for playoffs in Group A, with G2 dropping to the ‘mid’ bracket. Naturally, the world’s best team smashed their way past MIBR, before defeating fnatic comprehensively.

Well, sort of. They battered them on Vertigo and Inferno, but bottled their 13-0 Nuke streak to a rampant 2.09 rated nicoodoz. All of their streaks are gone now—except having won two tournaments in a row. They won’t care about Nuke, or 22-0 in maps, or 14-0 in series if they make it three at the end of this month.

In the winner’s game Cloud9 continued to impress in group stages by making Jame have even more deaths than round losses. Just.

That meant that, as predicted, the fun part of Group A was in the ‘Last Chance’ lower bracket.

Eternal Fire had XANTARES on a heater, IHC had eliminated EG, and fnatic had beaten G2 16-4 on Nuke. It was anybody’s game.

EG had let Inferno and Nuke through against IHC and been punished, but then fnatic went and did it too.

Except, they’re a decent team — so just battered the Mongolians anyway.

Eternal Fire were a sterner test for the black-and-orange, with XANTARES dropping a 1.32 rating as fnatic squeaked past the Turks on overtime on Overpass.

On Nuke, fnatic had an average rating of 0.95, lost 20 out of 29 first duels, and had to contend with XANTARES in red-hot 1.30+ form yet again.

Buuuuut none of that matters when you win FOUR clutches. The best among them being this throwback of a spray transfer from KRIMZ at 14-13. Last bullet, last second. That’s the ticket.

fnatic were choking, out-duelled in the early round time and time again. It’s Carlo Ancelotti ball all over again. 4v5, 2v4, 1v2, fnatic just kept winning.

Is it sustainable? No. But f*ck me it’s fun. Roll on Group B.

February 27, 2023

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