How Fnatic came to be the kings of Valorant

After winning the VCT Masters in Tokyo, Fnatic earned their second straight international championship, solidifying their position as the... Shubh | 27. June 2023

After winning the VCT Masters in Tokyo, Fnatic earned their second straight international championship, solidifying their position as the best Valorant team in the world. It appeared as though the European team was invincible the entire time as they won the championship without dropping a single game. Furthermore, only Evil Geniuses were able to breach 

Fnatic’s defense in the event and steal a map, securing Fracture 13-9 in the upper-bracket finals. Earlier in March, the team won the inaugural event of the revamped VCT circuit, the VCT LOCK//IN Sáo Paulo after pulling off a thrilling reverse sweep against the Brazillian powerhouse LOUD in the championship match.

The team carried their momentum to the VCT EMEA League, where they finished the regular season unbeaten with a 9-0 record. The squad, however, lost the regional championship to Team Liquid, but their 21-game winning streak solidified them as the VCT’s most dominant team in 2023. 

The team’s accomplishment in 2023 merits all the praise and admiration, but their consistency wasn’t attained overnight. In addition to the team’s hard work, the organization’s strategic signings and their belief in the star duo of Derke and Boaster have been essential to their success. This article highlights Fnatic’s rise to dominance, from consistently missing the VCT trophy to winning two international back-to-back titles.

Fnatic’s Rise to Dominance 

Boaster and Derke, the two mainstays of Fnatic

When Fnatic competed in Valorant esports in 2021, Boaster was the lone member of the current core to be present on the team. The team managed to qualify for all three Challengers series of VCT 2021 Stage 1, but the lack of firepower restricted them from making a deep run in any of the events.

The European team suffered its first setback at Stage 2 Challengers 1 when they failed to even qualify for the event. As a result, the team brought in the king of Icebox Derke alongside Martin “Magnum” Peňkov to strengthen the team’s offensive abilities. 

At Stage 2 Challengers 2, the revamped Fnatic put on an outstanding performance to get to the Finals, where they fell to Team Liquid in the decisive best-of-three match. Even though they lost, Fnatic still managed to secure a coveted seat at the 2021 Masters Reykjavik, which marked their international debut.

Derke’s fragging abilities alongside Boaster’s smart leadership helped Fnatic pull off a stunning Cinderella run in the lower bracket of the event. Fnatic, however, was unable to end their winning streak with a trophy as they fell to Sentinels 0-3 in the finals, their second consecutive championship game.

The team was unable to repeat its success for the remainder of the year, but their solid play earned them enough circuit points to guarantee them a spot in the maiden world championship, the Valorant Champions 2021. After a stellar performance in the group stage, the European team advanced to the quarterfinals, where they lost to KRÜ Esports and capped off the event with a 5th-8th finish. 

Alfajer found the sync with Fnatic

Fnatic again overhauled their roster during the winter offseason, but they were unable to find players who were a good fit for the group. During the first half of 2022, the squad utilized several subs and loaned players, including Joona “H1ber” Parviainen, Tom “otom” Hart, and Enzo “Enzo” Mestari, but they were unable to create the appropriate chemistry and balance between the players until April 2022, when they acquired Emir “Alfajer” Beder.

Alfajer’s addition stoked the fire in Fnatic’s talented squad, and the team went on to win their first championship of the year, the EMEA Stage 2 Challengers, as well as a ticket to the Masters Copenhagen 2022. With Alfajer, Derke, and Boaster operating like one well-oiled machine, Fnatic finished in the top four at Copenhagen, their highest finish at a global tournament. The company extended the contracts of Boaster and Derke to 2025 and 2026 in recognition of their outstanding achievements.

Fnatic entered the VCT Champions 2022 Istanbul with high hopes. The team topped the group stage once more and advanced to the global championship playoffs despite a little time to adjust to their latest member. The European team’s draught for the international trophy didn’t end at Istanbul as well, as they bombed out of the event with a 5th – 6th place finish after dropping a lower bracket quarterfinal game to DRX.

Chronicle and Leo, the final piece of the puzzle 

As their trophy cabinet still lacked any international trophy, the European team made another revamp and brought in Timofey “Chronicle” Khromov and Leo “Leo” Jannesson. The 20-year-old Russian rifler turned out to be the final ingredient of the winning formula that Fnatic had been cooking up since 2021 with the addition of Boaster. Fnatic has only lost one game so far this season and has already made history by becoming the first team to win back-to-back international championships. The team will have a chance to make it three at VCT Champions 2023, which is scheduled to take place in August in Los Angeles.


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