October 15, 2020
Despite the ever-changing landscape of the League of Legends professional scene, there’s one team that’s seemingly always adapted and stayed totally present over the entire course of the game’s history: Fnatic.
From winning the World Championship all the way back in 2011 to finally reaching the grand finals again in 2018, Fnatic is the perfect definition of a team that’s found success on both the domestic and international stages throughout the entirety of League’s lifespan. In fact, 2020 will mark the team’s eighth appearance at Worlds, which ties them North America’s TSM for the most appearances all-time.
Throughout the last decade, Fnatic has put together a record of 38-18 at the World Championship (a 68-percent winning percentage), one of the strongest marks of any professional team to consistently play at the tournament. Only T1 and its 86-percent winning percentage over 43 matches at Worlds (37-6 match record) can truly compare to Fnatic’s run.
Numbers aside, though, what’s impressive about Fnatic at Worlds is that year in and year out, the organization always looks like it’s a lock to perform well. Each time the year’s final tournament rolls around, Fnatic is always in the discussion to make waves.
And it does. Fnatic has reached the quarterfinals at Worlds in four straight appearances—a streak that dates back to 2015.
Perhaps that’s due to the strong combination of history and talent that the team has always brought to the table. Regardless of any roster that it’s competed with, whether it was spearheaded by a superstar like xPeke or Rekkles, Fnatic has seemingly always brought elements of raw talent, international prowess, and untapped potential to Worlds year after year.
At last year’s tournament, Fnatic were knocked out in the quarterfinals by eventual champion FunPlus Phoenix. This time around, the organization has brought back a nearly identical roster, only losing its former jungler Broxah to free agency after last season.
But for the team as a whole, this year’s appearance at Worlds is about so much more than redemption for last season’s early exit. It’s about proving the point that the team is still in the discussion surrounding European powerhouses.
Worlds 2020, though, could be a prime opportunity for the West to make a definitive statement and break that spectrum completely. Fnatic, and all of its contemporaries, have the chance to develop a narrative that shoots down the idea of the LPL and LCK dominating the international scene for years to come. If the idea of Western hope is floated around this tournament, it’s going to be because teams like Fnatic have the performances to back up the notion.
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