In what feels like the end of an era, , releasing three players, JW, flusha and KRIMZ from their lineup. While some teams in CS are known for regular changes, there are also the stalwarts, NiP, Virtus Pro and Fnatic, who have maintained (roughly) the same core team for many years. It therefore holds significant weight when these mighty bastions finally crumble.
Rather than fully disband, the three players will be moving to join their former teammate, pronax, in team GODSENT, . This surprise announcement (released just fifteen minutes before GODSENT were scheduled to play a match) follows in the footsteps of Danish side Astralis, who left the TeamSoloMid organisation to form their own.
To fill the void left behind, Fnatic have welcomed GODSENT players twist and Lekr0, both Swedish players of talent. The final slot has been taken by wenton, who will be looking to prove himself after Fnatic’s lacklustre performance during his time substituting olofmeister.
It would be hard for onlookers not to see this change as a downgrade for Fnatic, given that they’re losing two of their most experienced players in the form of JW and flusha. Both of these players were present at every Major victory during Fnatic’s reign. However, the acquisition of GODSENT players gives Fnatic a real chance to revitalise themselves. Twist should acclimatise quickly, holding previous experience with olof and dennis under LGB. Lekr0, fairly new to the upper echelons of competition, could offer a fresh perspective and will be one to watch closely as he establishes himself in the coming months.
The swap to GODSENT represents a return to old ways for JW and Flusha, who competed with both pronax and znajder under the Fnatic banner back in 2013. Departing messages from each player hint at ideological differences within the team. This combined with the move to become co-owners of GODSENT indicates that the players—rather than the organisation—may have been behind the split.
Perhaps the most surprising change comes in the separation of olofmeister and KRIMZ, who were renowned as one of CS:GO’s most efficient and dangerous pairings. The question for GODSENT will therefore be who can provide the star-player performance in their lineup. Having struggled to perform during olof’s downtime, it will be up to KRIMZ to excel once more without his teammate to rely on. In addition, there’s a real chance that the move to GODSENT will see JW return to primary AWPing, an opportunity for him to reassert himself through the quick-firing, aggressive play that brought him to fame in the first place.
Going down in history
Fnatic’s core of olof, KRIMZ, flusha and JW will surely be remembered as one of the strongest forces in Global Offensive’s history, producing a staggering display of dominance throughout 2014-15. In 2015 alone, Fnatic won no less than five $100,000 prize tournaments, including both Katowice and Cologne Majors. Few beyond NiP can rival their past success and it may be some time before we see another side in charge for so long. In contrast to NiP’s slow decline, Fnatic ran into trouble when olofmeister suffered from significant wrist problems and was forced to take a break for his own health in April. Competing with wenton as a substitute, the swedes seemed to fall into disarray, never quite recovering even upon olof’s return. Despite this, Fnatic hold a superb legacy in CS and their success will likely be remembered for years to come.