FNATIC secured their slot to the EMEA Challengers Playoffs, winning 3-1 against Team Liquid in a best of five series during the VCT Challengers Stage 2 Playoffs. Their win took everyone by surprise, including themselves.

With a 2-1 score in favor of FNATIC, the fourth map, Split, was expected to go in favor of Liquid for it is one of their stronger maps. Conversely, it’s also one of FNATIC’s worst performing maps.

Before the game begun, FNATIC locked in an interesting lineup: Raze, Jett, Killjoy, Reyna, and Astra.

The draft shocked the production crew, so much so that they reached out to double-check with the team.

Astonishingly, FNATIC pulled off one of their best performance on Split, beating Liquid with a 13-4 score.

During the post-game interview, FNATIC’s Domagoj “Doma” Fancev admitted that the team pretty much just winged the match on Split.

“We had no time to practice Split,” he revealed. “We didn’t even have time to practice other maps, but somehow we managed to win Split, which we only played once before today.”

FNATIC Coach Jacob “mini” Harris further revealed that after getting Magnum and Derke on the roster, the team only had a week to practice together before playoffs. He also told ONE Esports that he was caught off guard with the draft on Split, especially with their Astra pick.

“Mistic playing Astra was a new one,” said mini. “I’ve never seen him play Astra. I think it worked pretty well. It’s something we can start looking at into the future, with more actual strategy, not just last-minute winging it.”

Despite the win against Liquid, he says there’s still a lot to work on. “Right now, it’s more about us playing off of our raw skill with some preparation. Going forward from now, we’ll iron out these mistakes and fundamentals more so.”

mini also says they’ll be fixing the holes in their map pool going into the EMEA Challengers Playoffs.

“We don’t seem to have a map that’s really bad right now, so which maps do we want to focus on? That’s the first question we need to address.”

The VCT EMEA Challengers Playoffs kicks off on April 24 on Twitch.

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