Fnatic are the greatest Counter-Strike team in the world right now. Just look at this crushing defeat they inflicted on Astralis in their final match today at the Barcelona CS:GO Invitational.
Astralis were putting up an heroic fight against a heavily-favoured Fnatic on the Inferno map. Astralis had tied the match after starting from a huge deficit against Fnatic, and were keeping Fnatic from gaining much traction on the Terrorist side of the map, which is typically a strong point for Fnatic.
Things were starting to spiral for Fnatic, and they were forced into an eco-round (a round where a team hangs onto its cash so that they can afford good gear later) very late in the match. An eco-round often amounts to a forfeited round, so it's a risky move when you're that far into a close match.
But Fnatic have an almost spooky ability to find an extra gear in these situations, and today it was Dennis Edman who put his foot on the clutch. He took what would have been a decent round for Fnatic, and turned it into a disaster for Astralis.
Nobody saw this coming. The announcers thought the round is over. Dennis did his job, planted the bomb, grabbed an assault rifle off of one of Fnatic's players, and this is the part where a player will usually go and hide to make sure he doesn't give up a kill and lose an expensive weapon. So for Dennis to go back and wipe-out Astralis in a 1v2 is pretty gutsy.
Astralis rallied, however, and forced Fnatic into another pistol round. This time it was Fnatic's Jesper "JW" Wecksell who pulled a rabbit out of a hat.
With Astralis in a strong position, JW broke them by anticipating exactly where Astralis' Karrigan was hiding, and surprising him with a knife attack.
Astralis played well against Fnatic, and only lost their matches with Fnatic by two and three rounds, respectively. Both teams made big plays. The difference was that Fnatic seemed to produce made-to-order miracles.
When he was asked afterwards how Fnatic manage to eke out victories in situations where they should probably lose, JW simply shrugged and said, "We are Fnatic." With only two weeks until Fnatic compete at the Intel Extreme Masters Season X championship, Fnatic don't seem to have any rivals who can match their incredible performances. While their confidence seemed to verge on arrogance during the winners' interviews, it's hard to blame them for thinking that they are in a class by themselves when every new tournament serves to prove their point.
Top photo: Dennis and olofmeister at the Pro League Finals in 2015, by Carlton Beemer and ESL. Source