Mezii’s Potential as an In-Game Leader is Huge
After failing to qualify for the PGL Major Antwerp, fnatic had to make some drastic changes. The roster was completely gutted, building their future project around Swedish veteran KRIMZ and British up-and-comer mezii. The latter took this new opportunity to take a leap of faith into a role he had previously considered but felt unsure about committing to, that of game leader.
Nevertheless, the Englishman stepped up and became the captain of this new fnatic adventure, and the rest of the lineup soon took shape around him. The first of the three signings was the duo of roeJ and nicoodoz, who were on a high after finishing in the top eight at the Belgian Major five months ago with Copenhagen Flames. The Danes had proved their worth in their former squad, and roeJ, in particular, put in an impressive performance.
The regional Major qualifier itself was the most important event of all for mezii’s troops, as the previous fnatic squads fell well short in the last two Major qualifiers. The European team got off to a good start against Aurora before pushing the World FaZe to the limit in a 17-19 overtime loss. The team suffered another loss to B8 in Round 3 to come perilously close to elimination, but bounced back in style with comfortable 2-0 wins over Eternal Fire and 1WIN to qualify for their first Major since 2019.
In the end, Mezii’s burst into the tier one scene, where he hasn’t skipped a beat performance-wise, has been more than admirable. Couple that with him taking the leadership role in the game instead of passing it off to the more experienced KRIMZ, and the British captain has a chance to truly become one of fnatic’s most valuable players. It will be very interesting to see what kind of show this team can put on during their time in Rio.
IEM Rio Major Expectations for Fnatic
While this Fnatic is certainly in better shape than any of the other squads under the same banner in recent years, it’s hard to place the squad as a true title contender when teams like FaZe, Natus Vincere and Vitality are also present.
Mezii and company lack the experience to take on their tier one counterparts, and although they made it to the ESL Pro League Season 16 playoffs, they fell in the first round of the knockout stage; the squad still needs more time to reach its peak and be able to challenge for these coveted trophies.
In addition, the Brazil event marks the first time that each phase of the Major will be attended by a home crowd, adding another layer of pressure to already nerve-wracking matches. While some teams and players, such as karrigan, enjoy the atmosphere provided by the crowd, but fnatic’s largely inexperienced squad could falter given the team’s lack of playing time in these arenas.
“Qualifying for the Major again means the world to the team, fnatic, and our fans,” commented fnatic’s team director, Andreas Samuelsson, when asked about how it feels to be back at a Major after three years away. “We have been out of the Major cycle for way too long now. We have been playing very well on a consistent level with this lineup; our expectations for the Major are not just to participate, we are there to have a deep run, our fans can expect a lot of good games from us!“
Cloud9 vs Fnatic Match Information
- Date: Monday, October 31
- Time: 12:45pm ET
- Cloud9 vs Fnatic Live Stream: Twitch.tv
Cloud9 vs Fnatic Prediction
The chances of a deep run by fnatic are unlikely, with several things needing to go their way to get them far into the knockout stage. However, with mezii’s fragging output on the server still being as potent as ever in spite of the role change, and with his teammates continuing to be menacing in the server, fnatic have it in their arsenal to make their trip to South America worthwhile.
Past results have shown that the squad is able to go toe-to-toe with the world’s best, it’s just a case of seeing how far the European combine can go before the heat gets too much to handle. This is definitely going to be a tough matchup for fnatic, but they can give Cloud 9 a good run for their money, which makes me think that this encounter will be a lot closer than expected.
The IEM Rio Major is about to kick off, so make sure to stay tuned as we’ll be sharing our esports picks with you! Don’t forget to bet on esports at BetUS Sportsbook & Casino. We’ve plenty of CSGO odds for you to consider.