For the first time in over four years, Fnatic is ranked as the best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team in the world.
In the recent HLTV world rankings, Fnatic moved from number two to number one, dethroning Natus Vincere for the top spot. The honor comes after almost nine months of increasingly strong play that saw Fnatic evolve their style and add new members to it roster while retaining veterens. Still clad in the jeresys they helped make famous, Jesper “JW” Wecksell, Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson, and Robin “flusha” Rönnquista have spent a combined 19 years with the Fnatic organization. All three were on Fnatic’s first CSGO roster, and all three have spent time on teams other than Fnatic before returning to the organization.
Somehow, they’re playing like they never left in the first place, eight years after they first donned the orange and black uniforms. ESL Pro League Season 11 felt like a showcase for the three veterans.
While the first place is a solid reward, it doesn’t look like any of the three veterans, in-game leader Maikil “Golden” Selim, or the incredibly talented newcomer Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin have given up having fun inside the server for the tournament wins outsaide of it. flusha and JW were notorious in ESL Pro League season 11 for going for knife kills, no matter how bad of an idea it tended to be.
And while JW and flusha aren’t dominating the servers, they’re teaching their newest player that losing is part of the game. In a fantastic photo credited to HLTV.org from IEM Katowice 2019, a photographer caught JW letting Brollan know that it was all right after the team’s loss against G2 Esports.
It’s a rare sight in Counter-Strike Global Offensive. Counter-Strike has watched as several teams created their own eras in the esport, but few have reached the number one spot so long after first marking the achievement. That Fnatic has done it with three of its original players and more than eight years later isn’t just impressive. It’s unheard of.