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Fnatic Weekly: HotS Crowned World Champions!

Incredible series. Incredible tournament. A display of true champions.

For almost a year the Fnatic Heroes of the Storm team have teetered on the edge of greatness, consistently securing podium finishes at LAN event and earning themselves a comfortable 1st place in the European Pro League. The trophy has always eluded them though.

That streak ended emphatically last night as we took down Team Dignitas in a 4-3 final thriller in Jönköping!

A persistent thorn in the boys’ side, Dig were the feared team; more than any Korean outfit and more than any other challenging team. On paper we trumped them, sure, but they have proved themselves a problem for so many times already. Captain, Quackniix even said they were the team he would have most liked to avoid. It was as though it was simply written to happen.

After easing through the group stage and running over Chinese opposition eStar, we came up against Dignitas for the first time in the Winners Bracket final. A very close encounter indeed, we never felt safe despite pulling out sizeable leads. Bagging 9 kills before Dig had put chalk on the board, game 4 of the series looked like it would be our match point. If you give their roster an inch though, they will seize a mile and punish you. With their bottom lane decimated, Dignitas clawed their way back in with an ace and swiftly burning down our core.

Tilt doesn’t affect our boys though. They’ve been in these close encounters before and know how to compose themselves. It took just over 6 minutes in that final game to burn the opposing core down to 1 percent, only for it to survive, a mere auto attack away from destruction! The team didn’t panic though and edged their way back into the base, setting up their place in the Grand Final.

Elation. Credit: DreamHack

Team Dignitas weren’t to be lost though. They came back swinging against L5 in the Loser Bracket final to set up a rematch and destiny seemed set on their redemption as they secured it 3 to 2..

A repeat of the Western Clash finals was on and we came at it exactly how we have every match so far: With a professional attitude and an unrelenting desire to win.

The Grand Final was incredibly tight, with both teams matching up evenly and small disparities in individual play ended up shining through to make a difference. Wubby was almost untouchable, twice caught in 1v4 situations but somehow managing to wriggle his way out of trouble under immense pressure. At the same time, Quackniix and SmX were a source of constant pressure in team fights - in these final games, where patience was needed more than anything, the pair were instrumental in dividing the members of Dig, baiting the perma pick Stitches to erase his utility from the brawls.

What truly showed though, was how calm the team was when we dropped a game. Tilting was the last thing that was going to happen as one of the most vocal teams on the planet came together to discuss and regroup for what was to come. Every game lost became an opportunity for us to come out swinging, with Breez’s Anub’arak making a point of being up in the face of JayPL from the get go.

Wubby in focus. Credit: DreamHack

It felt like we were onto game 7 in no time, despite having been on the tail end of a gruelling 4 hours of play. As the game began to sway in our favour, Quack and Breez could be seen celebrating on the player cam. They knew, just as everyone in the roaring crowd did, that they were going to be crowned the new World Champions!

A long time coming, this victory will certainly be savoured for a while. Or at least until the Western Clash in August.

The DreamHack Open

Absolutely a reason to be happy if you’re a Fnatic CS:GO fan, our pro team finished the DreamHack Open as runners up!

The start of the tournament didn’t go as well as we’d planned. After shutting down Cloud9, it was another NA organisation that forced us into a tie breaker match. CLG took the best of 1 match to secure first seed while we had to work our way through a Bo3 series with Gambit.

Safely through though we took on Group A’s first place team. Immortals have developed into such a strong team in the last few months that they deserve the respect of top teams now. That didn’t mean we would give any quarter though. We lost out on our own map pick of Inferno but a fight back on Overpass set the momentum in our favour. Onto Mirage and we rolled out the Brazilians 16-1 after a near perfect CT side.

SK Gaming lay in wait and as we dropped into our first map it was a familiar story. Close in the first half, SK were able to turn us over on our own pick after the switch - 16-8 was not the score we’d pictured.

Overpass was next and fans almost felt condemned with the firepower SK had. Our CT was on point though, Olofmeister playing out of his mind and flusha treating us to this complete GEM of a BM move.

A 16-4 win blew our map pool wide open!

On Mirage to close out the tournament, we kept in touching distance throughout our T-side. After the changeover though SK showed how strong they are, pulling 8-1 to take the championship.

We’re in a good place now. Every tournament shows more improvement for the team and we’re coming into form just before the major.

Credit: DreamHack

The Week to Come

Lots of action on the agenda. Fnatic CoD secured their place in Season 2 of the CWL last week in Anaheim and return in form for a home turf tournament. They’ll be dukeing it out in Sheffield this weekend, so keep an eye out for our coverage of the event.

Two game are on the cards for our LoL team over in Berlin. As cross-group action commences, we’ll be taking on H2K this Thursday before an almost immediate reunion with Kikis and Amazingx as we take on LCS new blood, Mysterious Monkeys.

Finally, CS:GO continues their warmup for the PGL Major with action at London’s Wembley Arena in the ECS Season 3 finals. After a day of rest in Sweden, the team will begin their travels over with our first match of the tournament coming this Friday against Cloud9.

We’ll see you there!