A 0.02 second defuse, an insane Boaster clutch and 44 rounds on Map 3. Are you not entertained?
The upper bracket match between Fnatic and M3 Champions (former Gambit players) had an exciting finish. An exciting finish is an understatement as the match was a thriller, it had all the elements of a Grand Final, as two of the best teams clashed in the EMEA playoffs. The best-of-three series went the distance and the final map went overboard. Ultimately, Fnatic picked up the win and Boaster had some amazing plays to help his team net the win.
The draft saw some interesting picks. M3 Champions banned Fnatic’s best map, Icebox. But Fnatic also surprised Gambit with a Fracture map pick. Fnatic’s performance on Fracture even though they were not prepared to pick Fracture initially, according to Boaster's post-match interview.
Boaster’s amazing clutch helps Fnatic snatch victory from defeat
One of the key moments on Fracture was Fnatic Boaster’s clutch on round 18. Left in a 1v4 situation with limited vision due to his own Viper's pit, Boaster helped Fnatic turn the heat on M3 Champions.
Boaster’s precise aim and quick reflexes allowed him to snatch a round from near-defeat. Fnatic went on to win Fracture with a 13-11 score. One wonders how the map would have played out if that one single round went differently.
After M3C won Bind with a 13-8 score, we went on to Split. The two teams had one of the most memorable matches of the season on Split.
Derke’s Pistol round ace on Split
Map 3 started strong for Fnatic with Derke stepping up in the first round. The pistol round ace set the pace for the Fnatic team as they marched ahead to a 9-3 first half. M3 Champions mounted a brave comeback, slowly burning Fnatic’s lead.
The game went to OT and there was very little separating the two teams. In the pre-game interview, Fnatic’s coach had said “We’re looking at probably the best two teams in the world today playing a game…. This may be the game of the year!! It’s not about the patch”
When asked in the pre-game interview if Fnatic is looking to define the meta (after the recent patch), Fnatic’s coach, Jacob "mini" Harris, spoke about their strategy for the Challengers playoffs.
“Defining the meta in 5 days might be difficult. We’ve taken the strategy of being realistic about what we can achieve in five days. If we qualify for Iceland, that’s where we will define the meta.”
Failed defuse by 0.02 seconds
There’s very little separating the two teams, but in one round, it was just 0.02 seconds that was the difference. A back and forth round saw M3 d3ffo as the last man alive. He quickly moved to defuse, but fell short by 0.02 seconds.
The back and forth between the two teams continued as M3C continued to fake and double-fake Fnatic. The constant aggression was mixed with caution, keeping Fnatic players always guessing.
"We like to play this playstyle, it's our playstyle. We like to play fast, fakes, double fakes. Its really comfortable for us."
But finally Fnatic finally closed Map 3 with a 23-21 victory and more importantly securing their Masters slot.
Fnatic is the first team to qualify for Iceland
In the post-match interview, Boaster said he just wanted some revenge on Kru esports. Kru is in the LATAM challengers where it hopes to win to secure its Maters spot.