Written By ArmandVanHelden - 2022-04-06
VCT 2022 - EMEA - Stage 1 - Challengers - Main Event’s undefeated group stage giants, Fnatic have qualified for VCT 2022 - Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík and they will represent EMEA alongside G2 Esports and Team Liquid. Here is Fnatic’s journey to Iceland!
Different from their fellow European representative at Iceland, G2 Esports, Fnatic’s VCT 2022 journey started directly from the group stage. They even started with an important win over G2 to prove their worth and boost confidence before the upcoming group stage games. FNC turned out to be the best team in the group and they destroyed every team that got in their way. Starting with G2 Esports, BBL Esports, SuperMassive Blaze, Guild Esports, and even the latest World Champion, Acend failed to reach FNC’s form and game level. They completed their group stage run without a single loss and a +51 round difference. With the insane performance they have shown, Fnatic were able to get a bye in the first round of playoffs and started their run directly from the upper bracket semi finals.
We have witnessed the longest map of the tournament in Fnatic’s first playoff game against M3 Champions. FNC won Fracture in 24 rounds but M3C answered back with a 13-8 Bind win to force another map in the series. The last map of the series continued forever, resulting in a 23-21 win in favor of Fnatic. Nikita "Derke" Sirmitev played his heart out and secured 82 kills in three maps to carry his team to the upper bracket final. They reached the upper bracket final protecting the undefeated title but FunPlus Phoenix had different plans. The CIS team swept Fnatic to become the first-ever team to reach the grand final and Fnatic had a second chance in the lower bracket final against G2 Esports. After getting their first loss of the tournament, FNC faced another hard loss in the lower bracket against G2 and their run ended there. G2 Esports were on a rise but almost no one expected them to sweep the fittest team of the tournament. Fnatic players looked complacent after their win over M3C as they guaranteed a spot at Iceland after that point.
Fnatic picked Icebox in the first three games of the group stage and luckily they won every game. However, they changed their pick to Haven starting with the Acend match and they picked up one win and one loss. Their map choice changed again in the playoffs as they picked Fracture against M3 Champions and won but their choice in the upper bracket final against FunPlus Phoenix was Split. If you are a Fnatic fan, you wouldn't want to remember the Split pick as FPX pulled out a perfect game, demolishing the European team with a 13-0 power run. Lastly, Fnatic picked Icebox in their last map pick of the tournament and G2 won the game with a score of 13-2. As a result, they have had many ups and downs in different maps and it is hard to predict their choices but the possible picks would be Icebox, Haven, and Fracture.
First of all, due to his positive COVID-19 test, we may not see Derke compete in the opening games but there is still a chance so we would like to point out the fact of his supremacy on duelist agents. The Finnish player has always been the most important piece of the roster with his ability to bounce his team back to the game when things get tough. Derke has played 20 maps in the last two months and he picked Jett 13 times during this time. He is holding a 1.09 rating and a 1.04 K/D on the top of a 236.84 ACS. Even though Raze is his second pick as he has chosen the agent 7 times during the tournament, his statistics are better for sure. Derke is sitting at a solid 1.30 rating and a 1.31 K/D with the agent.
After benching Andrew "braveaf" Gorchakov and Derke’s unfortunate COVID-19 situation, Fnatic have added two new bloods and their current roster consists of:
Jake "Boaster" Howlett James "Mistic" Orfila Martin "MAGNUM" Penkov Nikita "Derke" Sirmitev Enzo "Enzo" Mestari Joona "H1BER" Parviainen (Stand-in) Tom "otom" Hart (Stand-in) Chen "cxy" Xingyu (Manager) Jacob "mini" Harris (Coach) Marcus "marcus_askildsen" Askildsen (Performance Coach)
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