20211205Adela SznajderIEM Winter03799 Scaled
Credit: ESL

Eyes on Katowice: Can Fnatic find long-term success?

With the first big event of the year on the horizon, CS:GO’s 2022 season is ready to get started. A tumultuous off-season saw major shifts in how teams stack up to each other. In the days leading into IEM Katowice, we will paint the picture for every roster competing at the event, and try to set expectations.

In this article, we take a look at Fnatic.

Fnatic: The honeymoon is over

Image: DreamHack

In the summer of 2021, Fnatic pulled the trigger on its Swedish lineup. With a new roster build around British in-game leader Alex “ALEX” McMeekin, the organization started a new chapter in CS:GO.

The roster had quite a strong start, holding an unbeaten streak in online events and qualifiers. But now follows the hard part: structurally being a top team.

At IEM winter, their streak ended, as they were eliminated by Gambit. There’s no shame in losing to arguably the second-best team, and Fnatic managed to look competitive on LAN.

But the result at Funsparks ULTI Finals at the start of 2022 has to be disappointing. While losses to BIG and Astralis can be excused, the early exit halted their momentum. The elimination at the hand of Apeks at the Pinnacle Winter Series further proved this statement.

Fnatic have a lot to figure out for this lineup to succeed.

Owen “smooya” Butterfield has struggled to carry over his strong performances for Movistar Riders and still isn’t confirmed as a permanent fixture for the team. Ludvig “Brollan” Brollin has looked lost in the new system, as he now needs to share the limelight with William “mezii” Merriman.

Fnatic has the right parts, but can it figure out a way to make them fit?

How will Fnatic perform at IEM Katowice?

Fnatic needs to prove that the early results weren’t just a flash in the pan. They showed potential last year, but now comes the long-term work.

Making it out of the Play-ins at IEM Katowice won’t be an easy feat. And much will depend on which version of Fnatic we see.

Let’s hope Funsparks served as a wake-up call for ALEX and his men.

They had a month to prepare for this event, and fix the problems that popped up. A legend like Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansen not reaching the main event would be a shame.

But there’s hope: Fnatic has a history of providing some magic in Poland. Yes, it was with different names, and a while ago, but it’s still a good omen.

  • Alexander “ALEX” McMeekin 👑
  • Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansen
  • Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin
  • Owen “smooya” Butterfield
  • William “mezii” Meriman
  • Jamie “keita” Hall (C)

While Josse van Dessel covers a variety of topics ranging from FIFA esports competitions to professional chess matches, his greatest emphasis is on the world of Counter-Strike, where he covers the title's biggest events and its latest roster moves. Josse also covers local market news in his native Netherlands.