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| 15. September 2020

Fnatic’s Roster Change Turns Ugly

As you probably know by now, Fnatic lost one of its most valuable players recently. Jabz, the team’s captain, left the organization after two years of decent performances but subpar results relative to the management’s expectations. His place was taken by eyyou, a player who used to compete for TNC Predator a while ago. However, given the fact that he hadn’t been playing for any serious team for many months, Fnatic took a big risk by replacing its valuable captain for a player of questionable value.

Results After The Roster Change

On September 12th, just 3 days after the roster change occurred, Fnatic entered the most important regional tournament of the moment: BTS Pro Series Season 3: Southeast Asia. Here they were going to encounter many of the usual top SEA teams: BOOM Esports, TNC Predator, and others. They were also going to encounter some lesser-skilled squads, such as NEW Esports and 496 Gaming. Both of these teams are practically no-names for anyone who watches just tier 1 and tier 2 Dota.

Fnatic was expected to encounter some difficulties and possibly fail to win in multiple matches, given the Bo2 format. What was not expected was a complete failure on their part. In 3 consecutive days, Fnatic managed to lose 3 different matches, even against extremely weak opponents. First they got demolished by NEW Esports in two quick games that lasted less than 40 minutes each. Then a similar beating followed against 496. Needless to say, TNC was their third opponent and everyone knew before the match even began that Fnatic would lose.

The Near Future Looks Grim

With such disastrous results, I really don’t see how Fnatic could make a comeback in the next 4 weeks. When a team loses even to provincial nobodies, that’s a sign that they’re in big trouble. One such example that I’ve been following for more than 6 months is B8. Dendi is no doubt a legend in esports, but the fact that his newly formed team was losing match after match against weak opponents made me realize from the start that it wasn’t going to work. Seven months later, B8 is still a disaster.

Of course, Fnatic is a different story. Because this is a well-established team with a good roster. They simply made one change. However, that change was their captain. And without a strong captain who knows exactly how to draft and how to lead his team to victory, the whole operation becomes a pub game. And you know how things go in such games. Everything’s instinctive chaos. You act and hope for the best. But when the opposition is strong, that just doesn’t work. And my guess is that Fnatic will continue to lose until it changes either its playstyle or captain.