Table of Contents
What Went Down
The Rise of Fnatic
On 4 Friends + Chrillee
More on Liquipedia
Thor Open 2012 Recap
While it was not the biggest of tournaments, the Thor Open 2012 certainly gave us the two things we love most as a community - games and storylines. It was only a weekend of Dota, and yet what a weekend it was for fans of this great game.
Firstly, the weekend saw the rise of Fnatic, something that scintilliaSD talks about in Fnaticism, a feature on the team that is now the talk of the town. The regular tournament recap is there as well of course, and we round up the update with a short piece 4 Friends + Chrillee, a new team that is ready to make a splash!
The second LAN in Sweden in as many weeks, the Thor Open featured a few big names, along with a large Swedish showing. With a relatively large prize pool for only a weekend of work, the tournament was bound to be full of surprises.
It all went as expected, except perhaps ROOT Gaming getting shut out, much to the dismay of their many fans. Favourites No Tidehunter and Fnatic.EU cruised through the group stages, securing top spots with ease. Of the 4 replacement invites, only 4FC made it to the bracket, with ROOT being the only qualifying team not to make it to the next day.
The Semifinals progressed with no upsets, bringing favourites nth and Fnatic to a meeting in the finals, with 4FC and Pulse dropping to the consolation match. In the 3rd place game, we have an all Sweden match-up, and, surprisingly skåne ends up losing in a close series.
As predicted, DreamHack Winter champion No Tidehunter faced off against the HoN champions Fnatic in the finals. With almost all the prize money allotted to the winners, there was lots of pressure to perform. The high stakes resulted in some exciting games, with not one, but two Divine Rapiers coming into play. In the end, Fnatic proved to be too much for nth to handle. They managed to win their first major prize in Dota 2, and proved to the world that they could change their game.
Since The International 2, Fnatic has had a meteoric rise to astounding success, capped off by their first place win at the Thor Open. In what is a true rags-to-riches tale, Fnatic has indeed come a long way from getting stomped by EG's Spiritbreaker in the Raidcall 2 Year Anniversary Battle Royale. In what was, quite honestly, a clinic of skill difference plus a lot of fooling around on the EG side, Fnatic's first showing in Dota 2 with their current roster was lackluster and somewhat painful to watch.
They did not fare much better in their immediate follow-up in Season 1 of the Raidcall Dota 2 League. In Week 1, they went 0-2 against Skånes Elit, notably losing to both a Treant Protector and an Ursa pick from the Swedish team. They then proceeded to go 0-2 against Evil Geniuses yet again before finally snatching a win from Quantic. Thereafter, they lost to Team Dignitas before winning against We haz Asian, and then in turn fell to Team Empire. They closed out the season with a 2-0 win against Mouz, ending their first major tournament placed 6th out of 8 teams, with a 3-4 record.
During this time, Fnatic was also trying their hand at qualifying for the Starladder Season 3 finals, pitting them against 16 other teams. Even with The Retry being disqualified and CLG unable to stay in the tournament due to commitment problems, Fnatic only managed to eke out three victories in the round robin stage. Though their first one was early in the season against Virtus.pro, their last two victories came during rounds 14 and 15, where they beat both Darer and MYM. These wins, if anything, can be considered the first flashes of brilliance on their part.
Fnatic's first major LAN experience, however, would come at Dreamhack Winter 2012 in late November. Two months before, they would win first place at the Dreamhack Valencia Invitational against a list of lackluster teams, securing them a place at the event in Sweden. Placed into group D against Team Dignitas, Pulse eSports, and team SkyHigh from the BYOC bracket, Fnatic shone with a flawless 3-0 record, landing them a spot in the playoff bracket. They then managed to win their Quarterfinal match against We haz Asian 2-0 before, falling 2-0 to their Raidcall sponsored brethren, Evil Geniuses, in the Semifinals. Nonetheless, this 3rd place finish showed that Fnatic were not a team to be trifled with.
A few weeks later, the team would show up in Sweden again for the Thor invitational, where they would be placed in the same group as Pulse, Gam.DotA and Team GO. Pulse eSports was formed out of the old Skånes Elit, the team that Fnatic first lost to in the Raidcall Dota 2 League. Times had changed though, and Fnatic would not fall to them again. They stomped through their group 3-0, and tore through 4FC in the semi-finals. Fnatic found themselves in the finals against No Tidehunter, the team that had just taken Sweden by storm by winning Dreamhack Winter. Fnatic cleared NTh out in a clean sweep, winning the entire tournament without dropping a single game.
In the course of three short months since The International 2012, Fnatic has gone from being a team that was getting well and truly stomped to a team that is spoken about, if not alongside, then atleast in the same ballpark as the greats of Western Dota. Though Fnatic's history and background as a HoN team has caused them to be the focus of much controversy, they have swiftly silenced all doubters with these top tournament finishes. Now, with their continued participation in major events such as Season 2 of the Raidcall Dota 2 League and their qualification for the LAN finals of Star Ladder Season 4, Fnatic seeks to show the crowd, both fans and naysayers alike, that their rise isn't over just yet.
Perhaps a lesser known story from this Thor Open is that of Chrillee and his four friends. Though thor marks the first time they have placed in a large tournament, they have been consistently climbing the ranks over the past few months. They managed to win the Revenge #3, and placed second in Starladder Season 4's Pro division. Clearly, this lesser known team deserves a second look.
4fc's results continue to be strong in ongoing tournaments. They have had a strong start at The Defense, and are leading their division in Gosuleague, a division to which they were promoted to this season. In fact, if they keep their current form up, it may be safe to expect another promotion into the top division of Gosuleague after this season.
They have also been racking up a decent amount of LAN experience, something that even many stronger teams have struggled with. Along with Thor, they have now attended two major DreamHacks. At DreamHack Winter they were placed in a very tough group featuring both eventual finalists in EG and nth, but managed nevertheless to bring about some very close games with unconventional picks such as Kunkka. In an interview at DreamHack Winter, Loda even remarked on how 4FC were not by any means a weak team.
If you are looking for a new team to cheer for that is likely to cause some upsets, this Swedish gang might be a good choice.