When it comes to household organizations in CSGO pro scene, FNATIC is one of the first to come to mind. Of course, with such a history comes controversies. The infamous olofboost from 2014, flusha hacking accusations and more, are all in FNATIC history.
However, FNATIC also hold various records. They’re the first CSGO organization to win 3 Majors, for example. Mainly, though, FNATIC was proud of never missing a CSGO Major. For comparison, Na’Vi is the only other team that had such an impressive record.
This record, for FNATIC, is over. The roster led by ‘Xizt’ was eliminated in the last Europe Minor, meaning that for the first time in the organization history, FNATIC will miss a Valve Major.
On surface, this might not look as impactful as it is. However, considering the situation where the Swedish scene finds themselves in, it might have a bigger consequence than expected.
FNATIC’s 2018 and 2019 has been convoluted to say the least. Since signing ‘Xizt’ back in May of last year, the team went through a number of changes. This includes losing their veteran ‘flusha’, replacing ‘Golden’ with ‘draken’ and other controversial moves.
However, coming to the Europe Minor for the upcoming StarLadder Major, FNATIC was looking surprisingly good. The Swedes dominated the qualifier before the Minor, and even reached the grand-finals of IEM Sydney 2019, losing to Liquid in a close series.
Unfortunately, as we all know, a lot went wrong for FNATIC during the Minor. Once the team reached the playoffs there, Xizt and his squad failed to answer their opponents. Mousesports overwhelmed them tactically, while CR4ZY fragged them out.
In general, the FNATIC fans watched in the Minor once the playoffs started was one they known, and were sad to see again. Dismantled and over-individualist, FNATIC highlighted what their rifler JW said in an earlier interview:
“Cause you see us sometimes, we play and we look like a Major winning team, and then we look like an MDL team the other day. It’s hard to pinpoint why, but there is just something which makes it tough.”
Back in July, Xizt, FNATIC’s captain said in an interview that the team didn’t have any roster moves planed. However, this was before the Minor, and losing there certainly can make plans change.
Xizt, especially, might be the first member to be replaced. After all, the Major winner veteran hasn’t been able to replicate his golden year successes for quite a long time.
Of course, this move would’ve to be considered with a lot of care. Sweden doesn’t have many seasoned captains available right now, and while bringing a new name might be a refreshing breath of air, it’s still a bet to be made.
Another rumored change that might be on the works is bringing ‘flusha’ back. The veteran took a break from professional play earlier this year and has been quiet ever since. Rumors point to a return though, and there wouldn’t be better time than after the Major.
Returning to who should be the new FNATIC leader, a popular name with fans is ‘Hampus’. The 20-year-old Swede led GamerLegion to victory in LOOT.BET Season 2 and a 2nd place in Moche XL Esports 2019.
The Swedish scene as a whole has failed to bring big trophies consistently for years now. Since the end of FNATIC dominant run back in 2016, we’ve seen both major teams, NiP and them, trying to rebuild themselves.
This process, however, never really featured massive changes. NiP kept GeT_RiGhT after numerous underperformances that negatively impacted them. FNATIC brought in a number of players hoping to help JW bounce back with little to no success.
Now it’s becoming clear that massive changes are needed. Xizt, who led NiP in the past and now is leading FNATIC might not see himself in a top team in the short future. GeT_RiGhT is on the spot right now and his retirement still is being talked.
What this all means is that a shuffle might be coming soon the the Swedish scene. Players that have stolen the highlights lately like ‘nawwk’ might get their first spot in a big team. Golden and draken might get a second chance.
Moreover, we might see returning players back in Swedish teams. Olofmeister, currently playing for FaZe, hasn’t been performing well there but certainly would find a new squad. Flusha, who has already been mentioned, is definitely another player that would easily find a team.
While exchanging players is a way to gain momentum, especially after a Major, it might not bring the wanted results. So, this brings the question – does FNATIC really needs to change?
The answer to that is yes. Analysts have often commented on ‘Xizt’ issues as an in-game leader, and those were clear during the Minor, and were clear before. FNATIC lacks consistency, and so did NiP back when he led them until 2017.
Another name that has been mentioned lately is ‘Jumpy’. Since Astralis era last year, one role that has seen a massive increase in importance is the coaching role. Teams are counting more and more with their coaches, and this is being reflected in their results.
Jumpy has been FNATIC’s CSGO coach since late 2016 and it’s clear that the veterans in the team trust him. However, how much he adds to this team is unknown. Looking by the team results though, he isn’t helping to mitigate their inconsistencies.
So, it might as well be time to be on the lookout for another head coach. If FNATIC wants to keep Xizt, they need someone that helps them maintain a level, while Xizt tries to regularly increase this level.
What is done, is done. FNATIC is out of the CSGO Major circuit for the first time since 2013. However, while this is certainly a heavy blow, it might as well be the shake-up that the team needed.
Once the Major starts, fans certainly will be interested in what happens with the Swedish force there. And once the Major ends, it will be time for speculations, rumors and surprises.