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“This win is more for ourselves, to show the enemy teams that Fnatic are scary”: Boaster regarding Fnatic’s comeback to win VCT 2024 EMEA Stage 1

Fnatic defeated Team Heretics in yesterday’s VCT 2024 EMEA Stage 1 grand final.

Banner Image: Fnatic

The proverb “It ain’t over until the fat lady sings” perfectly fits yesterday’s match between Fnatic and Team Heretics. Following a heated overtime victory on Bind, the Madrid-based organization required one more map to win the series and take home four priceless EMEA Points.

Despite the constant “Who are we? FNC” chants from Fnatic’s supporters, the team seemed to be doomed to another regional grand final loss almost a year after the roster’s defeat against Team Liquid at the VCT 2023 EMEA League.

Team Heretics’ two-map lead seemed even harder to climb when the roster temporarily held a 7-2 lead on the third map of the series, Lotus. However, Fnatic’s Leo “Leo” Jannesson began singing right when the team needed it the most. It was the start of what the heretics fans would call a pechofriada – when a team throw an unlosable round or match.

The Swed’s 4K on Lotus’ ninth round was followed by eight successful consecutive rounds for Fnatic that saw the British organization securing a four-round lead – after being five rounds down. “I was in the zone, I was ready to end it right there,” revealed Jake “Boaster” Howlett in a post-match interview with SiegeGG.

Unfortunately for Fnatic’s momentum, the team had to wait to put Lotus to an end as a technical pause forced the match to be temporarily stopped.

It’s difficult to describe technical pauses. From a fan's point of view, they are annoying. Player and coach-wise, they can be a blessing in disguise or a curse depending on your match situation. Luckily, Boaster knew exactly how to react.

“When it comes to technical pauses, whatever your original idea was, don’t go under a rabbit hole and change your idea, or overthink too much, just keep with the plan you had in mind to begin with.”

Despite losing the first round after the technical pause, Fnatic went on a roll and defeated Team Heretics after securing the final two rounds of the map.

Following the conclusion of Lotus, Fnatic completely took over the series. Emir “Alfajer” Beder produced one play for the books when he secured four kills in four seconds on Split, which helped the Turk finish the map with a spectacular ACS of 349. With the orange roster winning Split (13-5), both teams headed to map five.

While Breeze was a bit more even compared to Split, Fnatic still dominated. Leo was back in the spotlight as he led Fnatic with 26 kills and an ACS of 341. Eventually, Fnatic won the series with another 13-8 victory.

“When you’re 2-0 up, the enemy team comes to face the terms of ‘oh my goodness, we might win these series,’ very similar to us versus LOUD, we were 2-0 up and it went 2-2 and we almost lost but we somehow made a great comeback.”

“I think that was honestly the same feeling Heretics must have faced but with the technical pauses as well, it was a long day, so if you haven’t got energy you’re not going to be able to maintain that form, and I think they must have had run out of energy and we were obviously on the comeback so we had some extra energy from the adrenaline,” Boaster explained.

The team’s victory against Team Heretics awarded the orange organization with four extra EMEA Points and a direct qualification to the VCT Masters Shanghai Playoffs. Therefore, the VCT Masters Tokyo champions won’t have to feature in the initial Swiss Stage.

“It’s super handy but I would have liked to play more games in Shanghai, I am not going to lie,” admitted Boaster. “This win is more for ourselves, to show the enemy teams that Fnatic are scary,” he added.

Additionally, SiegeGG asked the team’s IGL regarding the Deadlock pick to compete in Sunset, which was a surprise for everyone. According to the Fnatic player, the idea came out after creating what he called “fun scrim.”

“When we lost in Kickoffs against KC and Heretics, we decided to add an extra scrim, and in order to make it not feel like a scrim we called them fun scrims, which was people can play whatever agents they wanted in their role.”

“Sunset was one I wanted to test. So, on Split, that’s how our Yoru comb came because I wanted to test Derk on Yoru and Alphy on Raze and we were trying different variations. For the Sunset one I wanted to test Breach and Sova plus three, and it was going to be Cypher but we decided that teams are so used to playing with Cypher that I said if Alphy wanted to play Deadlock, we played a game on it, that was I guess two months ago, and that was the last time we played Sunset,” he said.

Finally, the British player talked about his performance against Team Heretics. While the 28-year-old was far from the highest fragging numbers of the night, the IGL was happy with his performance. “Today was a really nice day for me in terms of how I felt, maybe not on a kills-wise, but I was a good leader today, I am feeling really confident,” he concluded.

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