Fnatic: To The Major

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Fnatic has just qualified for the first-ever Valve-sponsored Dota 2 major of the year after beating fellow Malaysian side Team SatuDuaTiga (also known as Team 123), 2-0, in the lower bracket finals of the Frankfurt Dota 2 Major Southeast Asian qualifiers.

Earlier, they were defeated by Mineski with a scoreline of 2-1 in the upper bracket final, thus making sure that Fnatic will have to eliminate another Malaysian team in order to book their tickets to Frankfurt.

Here is a short breakdown of the things that have happened in the last stages  of Fnatic’s road to the Major:

Mineski: A RIVALRY REKINDLED

In a previous article, we mentioned that Fnatic must prepare for Ryan “Bimbo” Jay Qui’s heroics and that they should prepare for their opponents’ style of play, given the fact that they have been rising in form since the beginning of the SEA Qualifier.

As it turned out, Mineski was able to bring down Fnatic in three games, with the first game featuring the Filipino side winning all lanes pretty easily. Carlo “Kuku” Palad’s Windrunner delivered the necessary plays in order to give Bimbo the space needed to farm his Spectre to victory. Despite several openings by Fnatic in the mid-game, efficient positioning by the Pinoy team got them the first map after 44 minutes.

The second map featured the infamous Tiny+Wisp combo by Dominic “Black^” Reitmeier and Djardel “DJ” Mampusti, with the duo going on a very hot streak right from the get-go. The game ended in 25 minutes after Mineski failed to get the Roshan as well as the subsequent fight at the Dire secret shop, where at that point the Filipinos decided that it would be prudent for them to tap out of the game.

With both teams only one map away from Frankfurt at this stage, Fnatic decided to go for a pushing lineup with Windrunner, Jakiro and Nature’s Prophet (as support), while Rubick and Doom provided the necessary support and carry power for the team respectively. Meanwhile, Mineski opted for a teamfight-heavy lineup that transitioned late into the game. The line-up included heroes such as Shadow Fiend, Drow Ranger and Tusk amongst others.

The game went slowly until Jessie Cristy “JessieVash” Cuyco decided to go hard on his Bounty Hunter as he tracked his opponents left and right. In this case, the Malaysian side’s heroes did die in clashes – and on the back of the Track money that they earned, the Filipinos took the first ticket to Frankfurt after 21 minutes of strong play.

Team SatuDuaTiga: THE LAST RIDE TO FRANKFURT

With their backs against the wall, Fnatic needed to beat their Malaysian counterparts in the form of Team SatuDuaTiga (123), led by the legendary Ng “YamateH” Wei Poong, in order to catch the last ride to the Major.

The first map involved a lot of problems for Fnatic as 123 brought the issue to them early on, gaining a strong lead in the early and middle portions of the game. However, they did not stop protecting Black^’s Medusa and once the hero came fully online with its items, it just shredded 123’s lineup apart as they made a respectable comeback after 57 minutes of play.

The second map involved a faster game as Black^’s Alchemist and company fought aggressively from the first minute of the game, making sure that Benjamin “Ben” Lim Yi Cheong’s Spectre failed to become influential and the match finished at 32 minutes.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, despite a hard and rocky road, Fnatic was able to punch its way to the Festhalle Messe in Frankfurt along with Mineski, who has finally gotten the chance to appear at a Valve-sponsored Dota 2 tournament since their first appearance back in 2011 during the first edition of The International.

It is now time for Fnatic to represent the SEA region along with Mineski in the first-ever Dota 2 major in history.

Will Fnatic continue to make SEA proud? We think so!