Fnatic’s Road to Rebuilding
The war between TNC and Faceless dominated the Southeast Asia esports scene, leaving other teams in the dust. Fnatic, in particular, took a backseat and went through a rebuilding phase after the post-TI6 shuffle. They experimented with various lineups until they finally found the right mix in April.
In April, Fnatic announced their new roster, comprised of three well-known players from the region – Kim “QO” Seon-yeop, Djardel Jicko “DJ” Mampusti, and Galvin “Meracle” Kang Jian Wen. This refreshed lineup had the potential to shake up the SEA scene that was dominated by TNC and Faceless.
However, Fnatic faced initial struggles, failing to qualify for important LANs like the Manila Masters and Epicenter in 2017. It was clear that they needed to work on their chemistry and teamwork. But their luck turned around after the acquisition of Lai “Ahjit” Jay Son. They breezed through the TI7 SEA regional qualifiers, showing confidence and coordination.
Top Four Finishers at TI6
Fnatic had a respectable performance at TI6, finishing in fourth place and earning over $1 million in prize money. Only two players from that roster remain – support DJ and offlaner Chong “Ohaiyo” Xin Khoo. Despite the changes, Fnatic brings valuable TI main stage experience to the table.
A Blending of Styles
Southeast Asia is known for its aggressive “caveman Dota” style, with teams like TNC and old MVP Phoenix embodying this playstyle. Fnatic’s QO and Febby, former members of MVP Phoenix, bring this aggressive approach to the team. QO, in particular, is notorious for his fearlessness and unique hero pool, presenting a challenge for opponents.
However, Fnatic also has a stable foundation with players like Ahjit, Ohaiyo, and DJ. DJ’s support play is rock-solid, while Ohaiyo’s pickoffs are crucial for their gameplan. Ahjit’s flexibility and wide hero pool further solidify Fnatic’s strategies.
Expect the Unexpected
Fnatic surprised many with their TI6 run despite being projected to finish lower. This year’s team could have a similar storyline, with the explosive playstyle of QO and Febby, combined with the calmness of Ohaiyo, DJ, and Ahjit. With solid play and a bit of bracket luck, Fnatic has a chance at another top-four finish.
Player to Watch: DJ
DJ’s mastery of the support role is a sight to behold. His strategic use of heroes like Enigma, Enchantress, and Witch Doctor often leads Fnatic to victory.
Biggest Challenge: Maintaining Chemistry
Fnatic’s challenge is to ensure their chemistry and coordination stay strong in Seattle. Additionally, they need to rein in QO’s aggression when caution is necessary.
Team Grade: B-
Given the talent and experience Fnatic possesses, they have the potential for a deep run at TI7. A grade of B- suits this incarnation of Fnatic.
[Keywords: Fnatic, esports, TI7, Southeast Asia, team, rebuilding, roster, chemistry, aggressive playstyle, support, top four finish, Dota, tournament]