Boaster says burnout contributed to Fnatic’s VCT Champions exit
Fnatic, dubbed as favourites to win Champions, has fallen short of winning a three-peat, as two losses to LOUD at VALORANT's closing event of the year have prevented a dynasty from being formed.
After championship wins at LOCK//IN and Masters Tokyo, Fnatic has missed out on completing the perfect year and rounding off a hat-trick, but it might just have been these earlier successes that have meant the British organisation has run out of steam.
Having been critical of the format in the past, Fnatic players have now claimed that the constant events and lack of respite between each tournament have created burnout in the roster and directly impacted the team's chances of changing up compositions.
Boaster claims lack of time between events meant Fnatic burned out
It seems like only yesterday that Jake "Boaster" Howlett was lifting the Masters Tokyo trophy above his head, and that's because it almost was. The roster won their second event of the year just two months ago, and started preparations for Champions as of the start of August, having tried to take some time off after such a tumultuous effort.
But this gap wasn't long enough according to Boaster, combined with other minimalistic breaks throughout the season, as he claims that burnout kicked in and Fnatic didn't have time to adjust any of their compositions, which ultimately led LOUD to out-fox them in the final map of their lower-bracket Semi-Final.
"It was just timing. We win the first two events, other teams are super hungry, we're feeling a bit of pressure from wanting to win all three events, and maybe a bit of burnout," Boaster said in a post-match press conference.
"You stay until the end of these events, and then you go again, and you go again, and you go again. Maybe some other teams get knocked out early and have a week's break to recuperate. But we have no time to recuperate and we're like 'bloody hell we're straight back into it, oh my goodness'. Do we change comps? No, because we have two weeks before the tournament starts.
"Rome wasn't built in a day," he added.
Chronicle echoes burnout claims, calls for more gaps in VCT season format
Having already been rather critical of the format, Fnatic's Timofey "Chronicle" Khromov also claimed that preparation time is not long enough, and has called for more mid-season breaks, given that the elite teams have to push themselves to the brink all-to-often.
"I want a longer season," Chronicle said. "I want to compete for the whole year, but with some mid-season breaks, so that the team can compete for the whole year and they will not be rushed.
"We don't have time to prepare and it is annoying for the teams that are skilled enough to qualify for every event. It gives you no chance to be stable, to be consistent. There is also a bigger risk of burning out."
Fnatic did bow out from Champions with grace, repeatedly saying that the year was a success and wishing the best of luck to the other teams - especially LOUD and PRX, given their close bond - but there will be no hat-trick story this year.