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What ESL Pro League taught us about fnatic’s new roster

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fnatic‘s performance might have come as a surprise to many, as the newly formed roster was not expected to perform at this level from day one. This adventure at EPL gave us an insight into a new, yet familiar fnatic — for better or worse.

After a disappointing 2020 and 2021, fnatic decided the best course of action to maintain a competitive CS:GO roster was to partially move away from their Swedish identity and embrace an international roster, something becoming increasingly common amongst teams that had fielded single-language rosters such as G2 and, until recently, BIG.

fnatic were unable to carry their 2019 form into the online era

What has changed?

After careful considerations and three rounds of interviews with fnatic management, it was decided that Alex “⁠ALEX⁠” McMeekin was the best option to lead the team’s new era and alongside him, it would be compatriot William “⁠mezii⁠” Merriman who would round out the roster. Jesper “⁠JW⁠” Wecksell and Maikil “⁠Golden⁠” Selim were moved to the bench after both players had underperformed for some time and no change in setup was able to turn their form around.

It wasn’t just the playing roster that underwent a change. Andreas “⁠Samuelsson⁠” Samuelsson became fnatic‘s team director with his previous role of head coach being filled by Jamie “⁠keita⁠” Hall.

One of the most significant results of this change has to be shifting communication from Swedish to English. It seemed like a serious move for a core of players that had never been on an international roster before, but the team claim they don’t see that as a big issue. “I wouldn’t say we had big struggles… I feel we are getting more and more comfortable every day,” said Jack “⁠Jackinho⁠” Ström Mattsson in during a press conference ahead of the EPL playoffs. “It’s always easier to communicate faster in Swedish, I guess, but I wouldn’t say it has been a problem so far.”

Map pool

A visible shift could be seen in fnatic‘s map pool, with ALEX seemingly adopting his repertoire from his Cloud9 experience. The Swedish-British team have strayed away from their old home of Inferno, a map where they had put up good performances even at their worst patches of form, ending 2020 with a 64.6% win rate. Instead, ALEX has elevated Overpass and Nuke at the center of the new fnatic map pool, playing the two maps eight times out of 13 at ESL Pro League. With victories against BIG, FaZe and a close game against Natus Vincere it can be said that the boys in black and orange look more comfortable on Overpass than any other map.

Nuke has been the second most played map over the last twelve months across top 30 teams, so any team that wants to compete at the highest level would need to have this map nailed down, and ALEX understands that. It is one of the maps that the Brit tried to master with the Cloud9 lineup and looks to be giving it another go with fnatic. However, so far they have lost the majority of their games on Nuke as they struggled on their T sides, rarely being able to build an advantage on the offensive.

So far fnatic have yet to play any games on both Vertigo and Ancient, with the latter being first-round banned in all their group stage vetoes.

ALEX has always prepared his teams to play Nuke

Playstyle

As predicted, it seems that fnatic attempted to approach their EPL group games with more structure compared to the previous iteration of the roster, which thrived in fast-paced environments and individual flair. The new structure seemed to benefit their CT sides, where they showed flashes of brilliance, especially on Overpass during the group stages. Despite this they are still clearly a team in transition and yet to reach their full potential, and their issues can mainly be seen in their T sides.

fnatic left a lot to be desired on their offensive sides during EPL, most notably against FaZe on Overpass and Liquid on Nuke, but those were not isolated incidents. fnatic displayed a lower than average percentage of T rounds won on almost all maps they played, for example winning only 31.4% and 42.7% of offensive rounds on Overpass and Nuke, respectively.

One possible explanation for this poor offensive record is their inability to get opening kills, with the team only being able to find the first kill in 38.2% of Terrorist rounds. To put it into perspective, Complexity have recorded a 47.7% opening duel win rate during the same period of time, while fnatic themselves won 43.8% of their opening duels on the T side with the previous iteration in 2020.

The old fnatic lineup played a looser style of Counter-Strike

The difference comes mainly in personnel. Last year most opening duels were taken by Ludvig “⁠Brollan⁠” Brolin and JW, whereas the new lineup has ALEX and Brollan attempting the most entries. Similar to previous teams, the British IGL has been the main entry for fnatic, with Brollan taking the second most opening duels but a slightly higher success rate. In line with other AWPers, Jackinho displays the best record in the team by winning 72.5% of duels but attempting fewer of them overall.

Of course, this underperformance on the T side can just be the result of the recent changes, with both the coach and IGL changing. It will take time for the squad to adapt to ALEX‘s calling and integrate new strategies into their playbook.

Now let’s talk about some positives

The IGL being more involved in playmaking is not unusual these days, as players such as Hampus “⁠hampus⁠” Poser and Aleksi “⁠Aleksib⁠” Virolainen like to perform aggressive maneuvers to gather information or find opening duels. ALEX‘s contributions when leading from the front seemed to create some of the best moments for fnatic during EPL, most notably on Mirage where he would push B apartments on the CT side.

Speaking of the British additions, mezii seems to have integrated well into the squad and comfortably made the step up into the tier 1 scene. His performances against Natus Vincere, BIG, and FaZe were commendable and key to his team’s success in reaching the playoffs.

Brollan ended the tournament as fnatic‘s highest-rated player alongside mezii, with the young Swede also recording the highest impact rating in the team, showing that he is still capable of being the star player. Meanwhile, the ever-reliable Freddy “⁠KRIMZ⁠” Johansson did not play his best tournament, but the Swede has proven multiple times that he’s able to come back into form, so this event should not be cause for concern.

What can we expect from fnatic?

While their presence in the knockout stages at EPL against Liquid might have seemed underwhelming, it must be recognized that the team was able to finish in the top three in what people had defined as the “group of death.” With drastic changes in the structure and composition of the team suggesting that this project would not be able to bring success from day one, the fact that fnatic made it through by itself needs to be considered a success.

The more time ALEX and keita have to build their system and the longer the Swedish core spends communicating in English, the better the team will become. fnatic play like a top 20 team now, and if Jackinho becomes more consistent, KRIMZ finds form again, and the team is able to improve their T sides, then the top 10 is a realistic prospect.

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Source: https://www.hltv.org/news/32380/what-esl-pro-league-taught-us-about-fnatics-new-roster

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New World team share details of upcoming server transfers in Q&A

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New World players have been eagerly awaiting news on the promised server transfers that Amazon Game Studios announced to remedy long server queues on launch. While they have been delayed, many questions were answered regarding the subject during a Q&A on the New World forum earlier today.

The Q&A took the most popular questions from the community regarding the server transfer service and provided some insight into its limitations, what players can expect, but sadly, no official date for it to join the game.

When server transfers are added to the game, all players will receive a single transfer token that is tied to the account, not character. This means that if you have multiple characters, you’ll only be able to transfer one. These tokens will be permanent so they can be used any time after distribution.

Amazon also confirmed that players will only be able to transfer between servers in the same region, but cross-region transfers are something the team is looking into for the future.

Something that players were worried about was not being able to transfer into servers that are currently marked ‘full,’ but the team attempted to ease fears of this by sharing that many servers will have the ‘full’ tag removed over the coming days.

“We monitor full status on a daily basis with changes as recently as today,” the spokesperson wrote. “’Full’ doesn’t indicate a server that always has queues, it indicates a server that during typical peak usage has a substantial queue. We will be relaxing Full status on many worlds when transfers start, to allow the most flexibility possible. After transfers have slowed down we will re-evaluate which worlds might still need the designation.”

If server transfers overwork a server, the team said they will re-evaluate and hand out new transfer tokens to players where necessary.

There were plenty of other questions answered so if you’d like to know what was said in detail you can check out the Q&A here.

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Source: https://dotesports.com/mmo/news/new-world-team-share-details-of-upcoming-server-transfers-in-qa

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NoPing releases its Dota 2 roster, will reform for next DPC season

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NoPing e-sports and its Dota 2 rosters have agreed to part ways ahead of the next Dota Pro Circuit season. In a statement, NoPing said it will be fielding a new roster for the next season, but the organization has no news to share at the moment. 

This is the second top-level South American roster to split with its sponsor organization in order to pursue other opportunities, following Thunder Predator doing the same following The International 10. 

“By decision of all players in the team, we will not continue with the current lineup,” NoPing said. “We respect the decision and wish success to the players that took the NoPing VPN name to various achievements in Dota 2.” 

Neither NoPing nor the players—William “hFn” Medeiros, Gonzalo “Darkmago” Herrera, Oscar Chavez, Farith “Matthew” Puente, and Jose “Panda” Padilla Hernandez—specified why the decision was made, but it is likely due to the team failing to qualify for TI10. Even though they were one of three teams from SA to make it to a Major, finishing ninth at the WePlay AniMajor, they flamed out in the regional qualifiers, losing to Infinity and Team Unknown. 

Related: Lelis officially leaves Quincy Crew, hints at further major changes

It is also unclear if the players wish to continue playing together or if they will disband entirely and look to find teams elsewhere rather than pursuing a new sponsor together. Here are the players that are now looking for a new home. 

With this announcement, only beastcoast and SG esports remain untouched among the top four teams in SA, meaning they have an edge heading into the next DPC season if their squads remain together. The ex-TP players did note that they would continue playing together, so even if they don’t find a new sponsor they will likely still be a force in the region.

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Source: https://dotesports.com/dota-2/news/noping-releases-its-dota-2-roster-will-reform-for-next-dpc-season

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Call of Duty: Mobile season 9 is called Nightmare

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Call of Duty: Mobile’s season nine is almost here. The new season will be called Nightmare, Activision revealed today, as Halloween is right around the corner.

As usual, a lot of new content is dropping with the season. This includes a Battle Pass (BP) which contains a new operator, weapon, blueprints, calling cards, charms, and more.

At tier 14 of the free BP, players will be able to get the Tak-5 Operator Skill. This skill gives players the ability to heal their team in battle. Besides this, players will be able to get the Swordfish at tier 21. This tactical rifle was first seen in Black Ops 4 and is now making its way to CoD: Mobile as well.

Modern Warfare’s Havoc Sawmill will be the new map for season nine. Additionally, the Halloween Standoff is returning to the game for a limited time as well to mark the festival.

Later in the season, players will also be able to unlock a new weapon, tactical equipment, and battle royale class through seasonal challenges. The weapon is called Thumper, which is a grenade launcher with just one ammunition. Flash Drone is the new tactical equipment that blinds enemies. Finally, the Pumped BR Class gives players a jetpack to take to the skies.

The season will last for about a month. The new content will be available gradually throughout season nine, Nightmare.

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Source: https://dotesports.com/news/call-of-duty-mobile-season-9-is-called-nightmare

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All teams qualified for the Wild Rift Horizon Cup

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The League of Legends: Wild Rift Horizon Cup will happen from Nov. 13 to 21 at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Center. Ten teams from around the world will be competing for a share of the $500,000 prize pool. 

Wild Rift is still in its regional open beta stage, but this hasn’t stopped Riot Games from launching an esports scene this year. The Horizon Cup will be the first global esports event for the MOBA game. Riot has said that a full-fledged esports scene will be introduced in 2022. The exact format for the Horizon Cup hasn’t been revealed yet. 

Related: Wild Rift: Horizon Cup 2021 will not be the “first Wild Rift Worlds”

Here are all the teams that have qualified for the event.

  • Da Kung Gaming
  • ThunderTalk Gaming
  • KT Rolster
  • SBTC Esports
  • Team Secret
  • Team Queso

Summoner Series (North America)

  • Tribe Gaming

Japan Cup

  • Sengoku Gaming

Wild Tour (Brazil)

  • eBRO Gaming

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Source: https://dotesports.com/news/all-teams-qualified-for-the-wild-rift-horizon-cup

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