Fnatic gets slammed for slow season start after boasting

Fnatic gets slammed for slow season start after boasting
Image via Riot Games

Written by 

Sascha Heinisch

Published 

5th Apr 2024 17:20

Fnatic’s VALORANT team had a disappointing start to the VCT EMEA season, despite claims to have been in form for Masters Madrid. Various unfortunate circumstances may however excuse the performance.

High expectations

In 2023, Fnatic was on top of the world in VALORANT, winning two of the three international events of the year. Primed for success, 2024 started with a shocking result at the EMEA Kickoff event, with a loss to Karmine Corp barring Fnatic from participating in Masters Madrid, the first world stage event of the year.

With the tournament being played on European soil, Fnatic undoubtedly became an attractive practice opponent and the team therefore could be expected to have a decent understanding of the strength of each participating team.

While scrims are not a reliable indicator of match-day performance, they still approximate the capabilities of competitors to a reasonable degree and half-based on those impressions as well as the eye test from Master Madrid play itself, Fnatic’s usually wholesome captain Jake "Boaster" Howlett for once delivered on his nickname.

Acknowledging that his ability to speak on the subject was overshadowed by his own team’s poor performances that barred them from competing, in a podcast with broadcast talent Yinsu Collins he still surmised that “the level was quite low” across the competition with a few notable exceptions.

I believe in our current form we could win,” Boaster stated confidently, though explaining that he’s aware of his own bias. Fans picked up on the statement and were ready to pounce when Fnatic lost in their opening match against Team Heretics.

Fnatic out of luck

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According to Fnatic VALORANT Team Director Colin “CoJo” Johnson, the team had multiple team members who had been sick both in preparation and during the match against Heretics.

Just to give some context (not excuse) we were plagued by sickness this week (stomach flu, people throwing up, and sleeping on bathroom floors),“ he shared on X, explaining that the team’s practice had also been limited in the run-up to the debut match.

The result is relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of Stage 1, with Fnatic still having to play five more matches during the Group Stage. Even if the first seed in their own group is now no longer in reach by their own doing, a second or third place would still seed them into the Playoff bracket. 

Fortunately for the team, their next match is only taking place next week against GIANTX on April 12 at 5 pm CEST / 4 pm BST with hopefully enough time to get into good health.

Sascha Heinisch
About the author
Sascha Heinisch
Sascha "Yiska" Heinisch is a Senior Esports Journalist at GGRecon. He's been creating content in esports for over 10 years, starting with Warcraft 3.
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