The UK professional esports organisation Fnatic has been operating since 2004, and ever since then, they’ve been one of the giants leading the esports scene. With a rich history in CSGO, the organisation has set certain standards – the same standards their Valorant team failed to meet.
Back in the beginning of February of this year, Fnatic signed SUMN FC, who were one of the most promising teams at that time. However, that same squad failed to deliver, and the organisation is now looking to make significant changes in an effort to try and qualify for the upcoming Masters 2 in Reykjavik.
Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev and Martin “MAGNUM” Peňkov are the two new members of Fnatic. They will be replacing tsack and Moe40, who were benched several days ago, and now fully released from their contracts.
Announcing two changes to our VALORANT roster.
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) April 8, 2021
Can Fnatic make it to Reykjavik?
It is clear that Fnatic has lofty goals, but their performance so far has been nothing short of disappointing. Valorant Champions Tour Stage 1 was an opportunity for the team to kick off strong, and in their defense, they did manage to qualify for each of the three Challengers. But that’s where they hit the wall and never managed to pass over it. To make things worse, they’ve competed in the recent open qualifiers for the first round of Stage 2 Challengers 1, and this time, they didn’t even make it past qualifiers.
This must-have hit Fnatic hard, as they immediately reacted by benching both Moe40 and tsack, two of the core five of ex-SUMN FC. While it’s a completely normal reaction, considering the consistent performance drop the team’s been experiencing ever since VCT Stage 1, it poses a question of whether breaking up the original lineup is gonna make things even worse.
The crew will be competing in the upcoming Stage 2 qualifiers for Challengers 2, and this will be the perfect opportunity for them to test the waters and see if there’s good synergy between the new members and the rest of the squad.
Derke has a lot of potential on Jett and Sova, which he displayed during Fnatic trials. Magnum is an excellent Sentinel player with his Cypher, so both of these players bring something unique to the table. If this squad makes it to the second round of Challengers and overcomes the obstacles that lie ahead, they’ll be in a good spot. If not, then chances are that these won’t be the last changes that Fnatic will be making.
A team under pressure
Many teams start competing without an organisation backing them up, and at first, it’s very difficult. However, one of the reliefs in such a situation is not having any added obligations or outside pressure, and all you have to do is just focus on the game. This was the case of today’s Fnatic team, who were previously known as SUMN FC.
This crew seemingly came out of nowhere and grabbed the 2nd spot in First Strike: Europe. This was the breakthrough they needed, and shortly after they landed into one of the most prestigious esports organisations. This is where the pressure to perform kicked in, and sometimes players just aren’t ready for it. All in all, the Fnatic squad showed a solid performance but not nearly as close as what was expected of them. When it comes to Valorant betting, Fnatic will be entering the tournament as the underdogs.
On individual levels, both Magnum and Derke are great players, but now they have to work with the team and they are expected to win. Fnatic places all their hopes in their hands, which was also reflected in the news update they posted on their website, where they state the following:
“Our vision for Fnatic VALORANT remains the same now as it will be in the future: to challenge at the very top, and compete for the biggest titles that the game has to offer. We know Derke and Magnum have the talent to help us achieve this mission.”
Hopefully, things work out for Fnatic and they get back on their feet. We’re looking forward to seeing how they’ll perform in the upcoming VCT Stage 2 Challengers 2 qualifiers, and if these changes will end up being exactly what the team needed.