Fnatic in Nanyang: What can we expect?

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Fnatic joins the ranks of teams such as Team Secret, Virtus Pro, Vici Gaming, LGD, CDEC Gaming, Cloud9, EHOME, Team Liquid (which acquired 5JuNGz on October 9, 2015) and longtime regional rival Mineski in what could be considered the largest Southeast Asian (SEA) Dota 2 tournament to date in terms of prize pool and team participation.

Surely, it is great to attend a tournament like this.

But the opposition is going to be tough.

Tournament format and prize pool

The teams will be drawn into two groups of five in a best-of-two round-robin format. The top two teams from each group will go to the upper bracket of the playoffs, while the third and fourth placers will fight for their lives in the lower bracket. Meanwhile, the last placer of each group will be eliminated (and will have to be content with watching the rest of the tournament from their VIP seats.)

In the playoffs, the first and second rounds of the lower bracket will be in a best-of-one format, while the rest of the matches leading to the grand finals will be held in a best-of-three series.

Finally, the grand finals will be held in a best-of-five match, with no advantage for the winner of the Upper Bracket.

Here is the breakdown of the prize pool:

  • 1st place: $100,000+48% of sales
  • 2nd place: $50,000+24% of sales
  • 3rd place: $25,000+12% of sales
  • 4th place: $10,000+8% of sales
  • 5th/6th place: $7,500+4% of sales
  • 7th to 10th place: No prizes

This means that in order to get into the money, a team must achieve at least top two in their respective group stages or proceed to the second round of the lower bracket in the playoffs.

What does Fnatic need to do?

They still have a very long time to do the necessary improvements in their drafts. Besides, with their new lineup as new as it is, there are still a lot of possibilities in terms of refining their roster as well as getting new heroes as part of their desired strategies and/or team composition.

Whilst their Wisp+Tiny combo has generally thrived excellently in the game regardless of the enemy’s lineup, for example at the ESL One New York 2015 and the Frankfurt Dota 2 Major SEA Qualifiers. Their other drafts generally rely on a high-skill level ceiling which is sometimes brutal for mistakes in execution, such as the all-push lineup they used against Mineski in the third map of the upper bracket finals of the Frankfurt SEA Qualifiers.

However, given time and experience, Fnatic should be able to increase the threshold level of their play. As mentioned earlier, the team is lucky in that it both combines experience with the fact that most of the lineup has still a lot of potential to grow.

As it stands, Fnatic is one of, if not the best SEA Dota 2 team at the moment – and is certainly capable of going to new heights.

Expected results

Realistically speaking, a finish in the top two will be a tough task for Fnatic going by their previous form; however, they surely have the capability to finish third or fourth in their group, which can give them a slot in the lower bracket of the playoffs.

Nevertheless, the Malaysian side should not be underestimated as it has been proved time and again that they certainly have the tools to deal with the world’s best teams on any given day.

Good luck to Fnatic and to all the teams in the tournament!