Fnatic LoL team and the Intel Extreme Masters: A Brief History
Posted 2016-03-01 Lepertum
If you’re reading this article, there’s a big chance that you’re a Fnatic fan who joined our community at some point during the past three years of LCS. Regardless of when you joined, by now you probably know that Fnatic won Riot’s season 1 World Championship. It’s an achievement casters love to mention and it’s the reason you have access to Fnatic skins in the in-game store. What you might not know, however, is that before Riot even created the LCS there was a tournament out there with a prize pool as big as the one of the World Championship: The Intel Extreme Masters.
This year features Intel Extreme Masters’ tenth season. That’s ten seasons of esports action in games like StarCraft 2, Counter-Strike, and, ever since season 1 in 2011, League of Legends. Fnatic LoL has been a part of Intel Extreme Masters from that moment onwards so let’s take a moment to refresh our knowledge and look back at what we have achieved over the years. Keep in mind that a season starts with multiple tournaments between August and December and ends with a World Championship in March.
- Intel Extreme Masters Season VI: 2011-2012
- Players: Shushei, Cyanide, xPeke, LamiaZealot, Mellisan
Fnatic’s very first IEM matches took place during gamescom 2011 in Cologne, Germany. Fnatic made it through the group stages but ended up losing against TSM in the semifinals. Learning from their mistakes, they fought back a few months later at IEM New York and won from TSM in the group stages, before defeating SK Gaming for the first place spot. At the World Championship in Hanover, Fnatic fell in the group stages but not before putting up a fight against Millenium and Dignitas, as you can see in the classic VoD below.
- Intel Extreme Masters Season VII: 2012-2013
- Players: nRated, Cyanide, xPeke, Yellowstar, sOAZ
Intel Extreme Masters Season VII featured a very special moment that will be remembered for years to come. That moment wasn’t Fnatic facing off against SKT T1 in the final of IEM Cologne or the group stages at the World Championship in Hanover. No, it was the match between Fnatic and SK Gaming on the stage in Katowice. It was the match that ended with the famous backdoor by xPeke on Kassadin!
- Intel Extreme Masters Season VIII: 2013-2014
- Players: Rekkles, Cyanide, xPeke, Yellowstar, sOAZ
After season seven the stage was set for an incredible year for Fnatic. Not only did we win our first two LCS splits and made it to the semifinals of Riot’s Season 3 World Championship, but we also made it to the final of Intel Extreme Masters Cologne and the IEM World Championship in Katowice. These two tournaments were the first ones where Rekkles was a part of the team!
- Intel Extreme Masters Season IX: 2014-2015
- Players: Steelback, Febiven, Reignover, Huni, Yellowstar
Due to roster changes the team couldn’t participate in season 9 of the Intel Extreme Masters and it wasn’t until season 10 that Fnatic played at another IEM event.
- Intel Extreme Masters Season X: 2015-2016
- Players: Rekkles, Febiven, Gamsu, Spirit, Noxiak/Klaj
After an incredible 18-0 LCS split and a semifinals spot at worlds, Fnatic underwent some roster changes and we saw an entirely new squad at IEM Cologne 2015. The team received a bye to the semifinals where they faced off against the Qiao Gu Reapers. The new roster started off strong and won the first game but couldn’t quite close out the series.
Since that series in Cologne, the Fnatic squad has been working hard to improve their game and they’ll get a chance to show it this week, after being invited to the World Championship stage in Katowice. The addition of Klaj has definitely seen improvements in synergy within the team and this tournament will be the perfect opportunity for him and the others to get some (more) international experience in preparation of the Mid-Season Invitational and worlds later this year.
Katowice will give the Fnatic squad a chance to face off against familiar faces like Origen as well as old IEM rivals such as CLG and TSM. Let’s not forget about SKT T1 either, a team that has taken multiple crucial wins from us over the past few years!
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