Fnatic has moved away from their Swedish CS history with the signing of the Ex-Cloud9 duo of ALEX and mezii. This will open up new opportunities for the now English-speaking squad.
Fnatic has moved to an international squad with the addition of Alex "ALEX" McMeekin and William "mezii" Merriman. This marks the organization's second move away from a Swedish squad in over 16 years in Counter-Strike. The organization had previously signed a Danish lineup in 2012 with players like Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth and Finn "karrigan" Andersen.
Fnatic's Fall from Grace
Once the greatest team to ever play CS:GO, Fnatic was the team that won the most majors before Astralis came along, including the first-ever CS: GO major. Since then, Fnatic has been amongst the top teams in the world, with Swedish superstar Jesper "JW" Wecksell being the face of the roster for almost 8 years. Once the news broke that the Wonderchild was being benched, fans knew that big changes were coming.
Since the beginning of the 'online era', Fnatic has struggled to find consistent form. They were able to claim victory at ESL Pro League Season 11\, but they have been in freefall down the rankings ever since. In the last 16 months, they only managed 4 semi-final finishes at top events. On top of this, they dropped down to #60 in HLTV's world rankings despite being an ESL Pro Tour partner team.
For fans of the team, a move was necessary, but many wondered if the organization had become complacent as they picked up another Swedish player in Peppe "Peppzor" Borak as a 6th man.
Signing ALEX and Mezii
ALEX and Mezii were the best pieces of the ill-fated Cloud9 lineup. When the org moved away from CS, everyone speculated about where the players will move next. Mezii's move came in April when he joined Endpoint, while ALEX has been a free agent for the past 4 months.
On Endpoint, Mezii has been by far the best player on Endpoint and has been dominating in tier-2 with a 1.22 rating in the past 3 months. Despite being a supportive element on Cloud9 he transitioned to a hard carry role in Endpoint. With a versatile playstyle and past experience with ALEX, it was a no-brainer to sign him as part of the lineup.
ALEX, on the other hand, is a leader who had the highest highs with Vitality. But he hasn't had the opportunity to replicate it since. In Vitality, he led the French squad to No.2 in the world. He established himself as one of the best IGLs in the game for many. In early 2020, he benched himself after stating burnout from traveling across the world.
I'm honored to be joining such a legendary team as fnatic, i'm lucky to be joining a group of amazing players & staff who all share the common goal of bringing fnatic back to the top. I can't wait to get started !
He was then chosen as the player to lead Cloud9's Colossus project. But the roster instability combined with the quick end for the team meant that he was unable to develop the roster chemistry and create a top team. Since then he has again been out of pro play as he waited for another offer for a team. Now he has finally returned to a team with a new chance to create his legacy.
Fnatic's International future
This international roster will be a big test for the biggest pieces of the team, Brollan and ALEX. For Brollan, this will be his first time playing in an international lineup. Brollan is a young superstar, touted as a future great since his entry into the scene in 2018. He became one of the top players in the world when he played under Maikil "Golden" Kunda Selim in 2019. He ranked #15 in HLTV's top 20 players of 2020.
In 2021 however, he has been a star in a team shrouded by darkness, maintaining a 1.10+ rating this year. His wingman. the ever-consistent, Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson, too has dropped off individually as his team has got worse. For both of them, this is a big opportunity to return to the top.
ALEX too will have to make this teamwork if he wants to show that he is a tier 1 IGL. If he can make this team work he will once again ascend to the top of the game both as a player and as an IGL. As CSGO returns to LAN events, a top IGL is a huge piece as Karrigan has shown at IEM Cologne.
For Fnatic, this also unlocks potential future moves as they now have access to the international market of players. If any player doesn't work out, they could easily switch them out for a bunch of other players. This allows them to recruit players from their academy roster where Iulian "regali" Harjău has been looking dominant on the AWP.
Fnatic will play in ESL Pro League Season 14 in Group C against NaVi and Faze. Keep an eye out for our preview of the event.
Fnatic's CS: GO roster:
- Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson.
- Jack “Jackinho” Ström Mattsson.
- Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin.
- Alex “ALEX” McMeekin.
- William “mezii” Merriman.