In the opening weekend of Stage 2 of the Call of Duty Global Pro League, Fnatic surprised many by coming second in their group and qualifying for Stage 2 Playoffs. Jacob Hale takes a look at their groundbreaking run.
In Fnatic’s Stage 2 group were the current best team in the game Luminosity Gaming, Evil Geniuses, and Australia’s finest Mindfreak.
On the opening day, Fnatic went 1-1, they saw off Evil Geniuses in a 3-1 victory, which foreshadowed the remains of the weekend, where EG were expected to come in second. After this, they managed to lose 3-0 to Mindfreak – something fans and players were not impressed with or expecting in the slightest.
Woke up to see Mindfreak beat fnatic, EG must of been swinging their willys around after that result
— Rhys Price (@Rated_COD) July 1, 2017
On Day 2, Fnatic faced Luminosity Gaming and Mindfreak. The Brits started strong, taking the first Hardpoint off LG who are commonly known as one of the best Hardpoint teams in the game. Despite nearly losing their lead, Fnatic held on and took it, looking positively crushing.
Unfortunately, Fnatic couldn’t carry this form throughout the series and ended up taking a 3-1 loss. Although expected, the loss was still upsetting following such a strong Hardpoint performance.
Later on in the evening, they avenged their Day 1 loss and beat Mindfreak in a comfortable, and thoroughly expected 3-0 win.
This meant that going into Day 3, Fnatic had a 2-2 record with two series’ left.
Fnatic once again opened the day’s games, facing Luminosity in what was once again expected to be a 3-0 sweep in LG’s favour. Our boys had other plans though.
They managed to take Luminosity to a game 5 round 11, which was won in incredible fashion by Fnatic’s captain Tommey, otherwise known as ‘The Game Changer’, in a 1v3 scenario.
— MLG (@MLG) July 2, 2017
The win was a huge momentum boost for Fnatic and a big knock to the hopes of Evil Geniuses, who now had to beat both Mindfreak and Fnatic by at least 2 maps each to qualify for playoffs.
Thus, the final match of the weekend was Fnatic v Evil Geniuses. All Fnatic needed was to win two of the five maps to qualify for playoffs and exceed nearly everyone’s expectations.
They kicked it off with a dominant 250-151 Hardpoint win, including a huge game from Skrapz who finished +10 in the map.
Going into Map 2, Search and Destroy on Retaliation, Fnatic only needed to win this map to take the playoff qualification position. As was the story of their weekend, this map went to an 11th round 1v1, after another huge clutch from Tommey to secure a 3-piece and destroy the Evil Geniuses defence.
Finally, Wuskin was facing Havok in a 1v1 from a rather uncomfortable position, but the rookie showed why he is on a top team and did not miss a single bullet, taking out Havok and Evil Geniuses’ playoff dreams.
What... was... that.
— MLG (@MLG) July 2, 2017
Fnatic then went on to beat Evil Geniuses in an 11-4 Uplink win, though you could argue neither team was really trying all that hard. EG were absolutely dejected and neither team had anything to fight for, it was simply an act of going through the motions before the real celebrations begin.
Looking forward to the next four weeks, we still have Elevate, Splyce, Red Reserve and Epsilon yet to play, and hopes are high to see yet more UK teams in Stage 2 playoffs from 28-30th July.