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Swedish revolution - who will win it big?

Napisał lecho, 08/12/2010 14:50

Great changes in Scandinavia - two top teams have rebuilt their squads. I've tried to evaluate who can capitalize on it in the best way.


Long time since we've last had an earthquake like this in Counter-Strike. Most recently such changes in top teams at one time came along with the restoration of Swedish SK Gaming division after the team had ended its Danish adventure. It was around the first half of 2005. Now we face another fuss with the Cologne-based team playing a leading role in.

Although his big game started in SK, it was fnatic who made GeT_RiGhT a foregrounder.

Source: fnatic

In fact SK has somewhat a tradition of "feeding" on fnatic. Back in 2006 the German squad tried to pick up f0rest and dsn, but came back with nothing. But Kristoffer "Tentpole" Nordlund, one of fnatic's key figures in 2007, did worn SK's white shirt just few monts after quitting his former team with plans of retirement. The history repeated itself in Rasmus "GuX" Stahl's case, who found a roundabout way from fnatic to SK using MYM and H2k as short stops. However, different from Nordlund he couldn't fit into a team based on former NiP players and after just a few months returned to fnatic, thus creating a scandal.

Finally the Germans accomplished their mission and brought two most amazing fraggers of the Counter-Strike world to their SK Gaming. The question remains - how was this transfer ever possible and what made fnatic to let f0rest and GeT_RiGhT go and strenghten their fierce domestic rivals.

The IEM win made WCG 2009 loss a little less bitter, but it still wasn't enough for f0rest.


When you don't know the reason, money can always stand as one, but for me it wasn't the case here. It's a little bit deeper, at least with Lindberg. He was tied with fnatic since the beginning of 2006 and won numerous tournaments, but - apart it can hardly be believed! - only one major title. The Intel Extreme Masters III. The most important glory in the gaming world - WCG and ESWC gold medals - never came to fnatic. They kept losing it while being constantly on the top, but always met a rival at their prime (like ESWC 2006 final with MibR, WCG 2007's groupstage and ESWC 2008's playoffs with eSTRO) who managed to edge them, sometimes in completely exceptional circumstances (tie-break with AGAiN in WCG 2009 final).

This was the way fnatic became - though a little bit wrongfully - the champions of paid tournaments, masters when it came to winning Asian invite competitions, but never the big titles. Yet their potential was so huge they should be in WCG's Hall of Fame long time ago. This is why I can believe in Patrik "cArn" Sattermon's and Sam Matthew's explainations that the team had run out of chemistry. How many times you can try - and lose? I think that f0rest had simply burned out with fnatic and came to a thought that if he is to be a world champion, he has to move teams.

Invidivually Patrik was always at his prime, but you can't say the same about fnatic.


The question is if it was about the team itself or maybe... his colleagues. Fnatic admitted that f0rest - GeT_RiGhT duo wanted to bring whole new SK Gaming lineup with them. But Sam Matthews had blocked the move. He values cArn's and dsn's commitment to the team much higher.

Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund's case is a little bit different. He was an SK player once but was soon removed from the squad with explaination that 17-year old flapper isn't getting along with elder colleagues. It was fnatic who helped him back then and who knows, maybe without them GTR would join the group of players who had talent to succeed, but never worked it out. Two years later Alesund is coming back to SK in completely different role. He's no more a teenage stand-in watching his team-mates, he has become a major star for which walle - one of those who didn't want to play with him - had to step back. It's obvious that for him returning to SK was a matter of ambition.

One victory in poorly staffed SEC obviously couldn't fullfill SK's ambitions.

Source: FragYou

There's one more thing that bothers me in this whole situation. Why fnatic let GuX go so easily after risking their reputation to bring him back? You remember their twisting excuses? But it was one, two and Stahl's gone with two young talents of Delpan and Xizt joining instead. Also with prospects of ganing recently a little bit "rusty", but still a star of Christoffer Sunde, who could get back to shape in fnatic.

Using football language, SK Gaming is Real Madrid of esports. They brought big names with big money, but don't grow new talents. The board's and Anton Budak's patience is short and the pressure is huge, so we can't even count minor and major changes to their lineup. This "Real" hasn't won any big title since the famous SK.swe era and the last really good year for them was 2008. Will the new team succeed?

Delpan (first from the right) played well with SK at WEM and earned himself a contract with... fnatic.

Source: MYM

On the other side we have fnatic, whom I would compare to Barcelona. The players like f0rest, Tentpole, GuX or GeT_RiGhT - all future SK signings - were making their names in this team. That's why Sam Matthews focuses on young players without fear; in Delpan's case though it isn't a question if, but rather when he will become a major figure. Taking his recent performances into accound I bet it will be rather quick. And then SK Gaming could regret that they hadn't offered him a contract after the World Esports Masters.

Unless GeT_RiGhT and f0rest dressed in white will start another winning SK dynasty.


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