No matches

Earlier in season in January, Fnatic dropped a bomb when they booted Khoo ‘Ohaiyo’ Chong Xin and brought in Universe. This was after finishing second in the BTS Minor and qualifying for ESL Katowice. Coming into the StarLadder Invitational Season 5, the SEA team announced that coach Adam ‘343’ Shah would be stepping in for Johan ‘Pieliedie’ Åström for the tournament. Everyone was confused about the decision. When asked what was happening with Fnatic, team captain Jacky ‘EternalEnvy’ Mao said in an interview to StarLadder “I usually like to be brutally honest. But I cannot answer this question fully. So I’d rather not answer this shortly.” VPEports got an interview with Adam in Kiev where he mentioned that his role was to bridge the communication gap between EE and the team.

Fnatic started their journey in the SL Season 5 Invitational playing against crowd favorites Na’VI. After beating Na’Vi 2-1, they lost 2-0 to the surprise package of the tournament, Vega Squadron. Beating Na’Vi 2-1 again on day 3, Fnatic made it to the final 4 and ensured some DPC points. Being second in their group, they faced Optic Gaming, who had topped their group. The series went all the way to a game 3. Optic came out on top with a  2-1 win and Fnatic were eliminated from the tournament in which they probably expected to make it to the final if not win it.

Fnatic’s games in the last two tournaments (credits:


Fnatic had a 9-6 record at DreamLeague Season 9 while playing with Pie while a 5-6 record at StarLadder. No doubt the number of games is a bit too small to judge, but the teams at DreamLeague were certainly of a higher caliber than the ones at StarLadder and Fnatic still managed to make it to the grand finals. Let’s look at Adam’s game in this tournament:

Adam’s Games at StarLadder Invitational Season 5

Naga Siren – Loss to Na’Vi
Naga Siren – Win against Na’Vi
Naga Siren – Win against Na’Vi
Tusk – Loss to Vega Squadron
Treant Protector – Loss to Vega Squadron
Earth Spirit – Win against Na’Vi
Tusk – Loss to Na’Vi
Tusk – Win against Na’Vi
Naga Siren – Win against Optic Gaming
Naga Siren – Loss to Optic Gaming
Naga Siren – Loss to Optic Gaming

From the way I see it, Adam is picking up the position 4 heroes (in most games) and it demotes DJ to play the position 5 role. When you have one of the best Tusk players in the form of DJ in your team, what is the point of putting the coach on that hero? The way I see it, DJ is a lot better when put on a playmaking hero and putting him on Ancient Apparition is a waste of talent.

There is definitely a lot more going on than just a test of how Adam fits in. It might be as small as a communication issue to as big as a spat between a team member and Pieliedie. We will know for sure in the next few days whether or not Fnatic continue with Adam and kick Pie or realize Pie is better and revert to their old lineup. If they do end up kicking Pieliedie though, they will be not be considered for a direct invite into the closed regional qualifiers for TI. Open qualifiers will have to be the way!

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