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Fnatic Weekly: CoD Fall Into Relegations

Away from the mammoth media attention that LoL and CS:GO attracts, the final week of April saw some much warranted focus on our smaller titles with the lens homing in on our Call of Duty team.

Touching down in Columbus last week, Tommey and co. faced a tough task at the CWL Global Pro League, having to navigate a stacked Blue Group to make it through to the playoff bracket in May. FaZe Clan, Evil Geniuses and Rise Nation have earned their own success in the last year, with five top 3 finishes between them this season. The class showed as well.

We played a close series in our first matchup, with FaZe first edging us on an incredibly tight Hardpoint - one that we’d wrenched ourselves back from the brink on only to be pipped at the post. A 3-1 score maybe flattered our opponents, but it didn’t stop us from going hard in our next match. We took down EG, 3-0 and the boys made it look easy closing out on Friday night - their Uplink play on point in round 2.

Into Saturday and we were first on to face CWL Open Las Vegas champions, Rise Nation. We weren’t looking sharp and couldn’t cope with the intensity Rise were dolling out on Hardpoint. Losing out, we were in need of a series to keep the pace with our rivals. Next up was a rematch with FaZe with a win levelling out the group with all teams at 2-2.

Again, it was close, and again FaZe showed exactly why they rank among the world’s best. But Fnatic have improved at every event since we came back to Call of Duty. The sword’s edge was on our side this time as we fought hard for every second in the Hardpoint, every round in S & D, we closed out 3 maps to FaZe’s 2.

Photo credit: Major League Gaming

With the teams deadlocked in Group Blue, everything was to play for in our final two matches. We couldn’t get the wheels turning though, and in our second game against Rise Nation we struggled. 3-1 in favour of our opponents, we now needed a win to force our way into playoff contention.

Evil Geniuses stood in our way but since we’d last played, our opponents had found their feet and started a charge. Deflated from their last match, our boys had no answer to the EG onslaught, with a 3-0 sweep condemning us to June’s relegation tournament in Anaheim.

Yes, it was a hard group, but still not the result we were preparing ourselves for, or indeed expecting. That won’t stop us from fighting our way back for Stage 2 of the tournament.

Results from Across the Org

On Wednesday we faced off against HLTV's rank #1 team. With our team needing the points, a match against an in-form Astralis was maybe not what we needed. That said we performed very well, pushing for hard on Inferno but coming off second best while on Train we lit up and leveled out the series in a pretty fair result, all things considered. The problem now is the we cannot afford to drop a map if we want to steal a top 6 spot for playoffs. Doable yes, but with the amount of draws we've had so far in the tournament we'll need to dig deep to qualify.

Elsewhere, our Vainglory team played out the final weekend of the regular split, securing their position in the Unified Live Championship with a 4th place finish in Europe. Making quick work of Rising Lotus, they couldn’t seal the deal against league leaders G2 in the semi finals. They’ll take a couple weeks to rest and practice now in time for their bouts with North American opposition.

Meanwhile in HGC our Heroes of the Storm team were keeping up their European hot streak, taking down Team Liquid 3-2 to keep their unbeaten run going in weeks 6-10. With a game in hand we still lead the overall standings, though with Dignitas hot on our tales. We’ll be hoping to hit it hard against Tricked and our league rivals Dig this week to put some daylight between the top 2 spots.

The Week Ahead

On top of our HotS double header, we’ll be back in CS:GO action tomorrow night in the latest edition of the Swedish derby (courtesy of ECS Season 3), so stay tuned for our preview on that.

Over in South East Asia our DotA 2 side will be carrying on in their streak of qualifiers on the weekend, this time going for a spot at Epicenter Season 2. If you missed the news last week, our boys managed to book their place on the first LAN since the new roster formed - they’ll be travelling to Taiwan at the end of the month for the ZOTAC Cup Masters where they’ll face teams like Cloud9 and Invictus Gaming!