After a great run through The International 2017 SEA Qualifier’s playoff stage, Fnatic replaces Team Faceless at TI7. I didn’t see this coming, and I’m prepared to give Fnatic some props. I figured Fnatic would advance to the winners’ finals, but an undefeated playoff run wasn’t what I had in mind.
By the way, shout out to Fnatic for sweeping Clutch Gamers. It’s about time someone puts a nail in their hype train’s coffin. I’m still upset about the calamity Team Faceless created at the EPICENTER 2017 SEA Qualifier.
Fnatic replaces Team Faceless
Team Faceless’s lead-up to TI7 was shaky, and I can’t help but assume it’s because the organization is inexperienced. Fnatic has been there before. This isn’t their first appearance at The International. It just really seemed like Team Faceless would be a part of the show as well. You just never know which version of them is coming to play sometimes.
Because Faceless has never been there before, it’s likely that the org pressurized this tournament during the final stretch. That pressure likely got to the players, and we’re only able to see the final product — close but not quite for TF.
Last year at TI6
Fnatic came up big at TI6, despite starting in the lower bracket. Easily defeating Escape Gaming in the Bo1 brought on Alliance. Fnatic swept that series 2-0 to reach the lower bracket round 3. Brooms still ready, Fnatic swept Team Liquid to reach round 4. More broom-work — MVP falls 2-0, but Fnatic meets Digital Chaos (who gave Fnatic a taste of their own medicine).
Overall, Fnatic went 7-2 at the TI6 main event to earn 4th Place and $1.5 million. Finishing in fourth put Fnatic ahead of TNC Pro team, Team Liquid, OG, Newbee, and Team Secret. Most of these teams have been much more productive than Fnatic in 2017, but we’ll see what happens at TI7.