FNATIC announce revamped roster ahead of IEM Cologne

CS:GO

FNATIC announce revamped roster ahead of IEM Cologne

FNATIC have made two surprising roster moves coming out of the Counter-Strike player break that sees their AWPing and in-game leadership change hands ahead of one of the biggest tournaments in the CS:GO calendar.

Unlike other high-profile moves, there were no leaks or reports relating to the lineup. Some whispers suggested trials took place with some CIS players, but the UK-based organisation took the team in a different direction.

Christopher “dexter” Nong parted ways with MOUZ after a two and a half year tenure, swapping lineups of promising upcoming players for more established talent. With an average age of 27.3, they are almost an entire year older than the next closest top 20 team ENCE, who have an average of 26.4 thanks to veteran IGL and former 1.6 player Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer turning 33 last month.

At 24 years old, the new youngest player on Fnatic is AWPer Aurélien “afro” Drapier. The Frenchman had climbed through what exists of the region’s lower tiers with the majority of his time spent on HEET between two stints with Team LDLC. The latter ceased all esports operations and it looked unlikely that afro would find another home. A move to FNATIC gives them an upgrade and a more reliable source of sniping firepower that will be tested moving forward against the best teams in the world.

The core trio of William “mezii” Merriman, Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson and Fredrik “roeJ” Jørgensen remains untouched. With the signing of dexter, mezii will once again be able to take on rifling duties without leadership also resting on his shoulders. KRIMZ will further his time on Fnatic after originally signing nine years ago, racking up over 1,900 maps played and 2 Major victories despite a brief two months spent on rival organisation GODSENT in 2016.

Officially, FNATIC’s new lineup will debut at Intel Extreme Masters Cologne 2023 in the brutal play-in stage thanks to the core’s position in the ESL World Ranking locking the team in. It will continue to be a busy end to the year for the team as they are also set to play at Gamers8 2023 after winning Gamers Without Borders Europe 2023. The win there also secured their chosen charity, UNICEF, the largest slice of the prize pool: $600,000. Thanks to the Louvre Agreement that cements FNATIC as a partner team for ESL Pro League, they will follow up their Saudi outing with a return to Europe for ESL Pro League Season 18 in Malta.

As the wider CS community looks forward to the imminent release of Counter-Strike 2, which still lacks an official release date from Valve, any event played on CS:GO could be the last and all players, especially FNATIC‘s veteran names, will need to adapt quickly to a game with new mechanics, new physics and updated maps that have so far only received limited testing by fans and professionals alike.

Phoebe Dua

3 min read 961 🔥

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