In a move that shocked the world of Counter-Strike in the middle of August, Fnatic and Godsent organized one of the greatest roster shuffles in Counter-Strike history. Fnatic sent Jesper “JW” Wecksell, Robin “flusha” Rönnquist and Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson to Godsent in exchange for Simon “twist” Eliasson and Jonas “Lekr0” Olofsson and then signed John “wenton” Eriksson — previously of Team Preparation.
Internal conflicts between Fnatic members seemed to drive the split.
“It’s hard to say. I think that within the former team of Fnatic they had some personal issues,” wenton said on Sunday at ESL One New York. “That bloomed into them wanting to make roster changes,”
The first major tournament for Fnatic after the changes didn’t go as well as they had hoped, as Fnatic was eliminated before the playoffs after consecutive losses to Team Liquid on Dust2.
“Our expectations were, of course, to make it to playoffs,” wenton said. “I guess we have to see this as kind of a failure since the fashion we lost in wasn’t what we expected. We have to take in mind that this is our first event and this is experience for all of us.
“We thought that we threw the first game (against Liquid), which we actually did. We had a big lead. Going through to the next match against Liquid we felt confident we had a really good T side but this time it was our CT side that failed.”
The team seemed in good spirits despite the tough losses the day prior.
Still, Fnatic and Sweden have long had some of the most talented players in the Counter-Strike world. Between Fnatic, Godsent and Ninjas in Pyjamas, Sweden harbors the potential for three teams in the top 10, worldwide. NiP currently sit in the fourth position on HLTV’s power rankings, Godsent 11th and Fnatic 17th after losing all of their ranking points due to the roster change.
“I think that Swedes in general are very good at communicating and team-building,” wenton said. “I think that is one of the keys to it. As well as history. Sweden has always had the best Counter-Strike teams, so (there are) a lot of inspirational players that new guys can look up to.”
“It’s the biggest team of course. For me it’s like playing for Barcelona in soccer. It’s just amazing. I feel like we have a great mix of players, it’s our first event and our first time together as a team playing in front of this crowd. I think that everybody in the team is confident in the lineup.”
Fnatic’s next test will come in two weeks time at Epicenter in Moscow as they take on some of the best European teams in the world. Following that they are poised to head to Sao Paulo, Brazil, for ESL Pro League Season 4 finals and to round out the year they’ll attend ELEAGUE Season 2 in mid November.
“I think that I’m not so experienced in the over-saturation thing because I haven’t played on this level before, but there is over-saturation, right?” wenton said. “It’s not that hard to play tournaments, but it is just the travel and the time zones and going home after an event to play online matches instantly. I realize also that many tournament organizers want to have tournaments but it is over-saturated.”
Cover photo courtesy of HLTV.org