Nearly three months on from the almighty roar of Breez that left ears ringing at Gamescom and we had finally reached the Fall Championship in Anaheim, California. Fans of the Fnatic HotS team will know exactly what this meant to the team, how hard each player had worked and how determined they all were to put on a worthy display.
The first group stage was testament to exactly that. After dropping the first map against Please Buff Arthas, Fnatic put on a confident performance to turn the game around on Sky Temple and Garden of Terror to take the 2-1 win. Momentum now with them, the team forced their way into the next round of groups after a 2-0 over eStar.
After another 2-0 versus China’s ZeroPanda, Fnatic faced off against Korean opposition in the form of Ballistix. After making small errors, our opponents capitalised and forced us into a third game tie breaker - a rematch against ZeroPanda. Much more closely fought and with 1% left in Fnatic’s core, a dramatic finish saw the boys through to a semi-final matchup with tournament favourites, MVP Black.
Many expected this to be the curtain call stage for the western teams, but a down to the wire first match upset (and the first game dropped by the Koreans to a Western team at the event) put Fnatic into an early lead. And it was more of the same in game 2: we continued our unbeaten streak on Sky Temple as the team raced to 2-0. MVP Black rallied though, clawing back on Towers of Doom as Fnatic failed to close out. The same mistakes would not be made twice though as SmX and Breez dominated the Holdout.