Doma “proud” of Fnatic’s 2021 despite early Valorant Champions exit to KRU Esports

doma fnatic valorant championsMichal Konkol / Riot Games

Domagoj ‘Doma’ Fancev and FNATIC were eliminated from Valorant Champions in a shock upset to KRU Esports. Even still, the Croatian star couldn’t help but be proud of what his team accomplished in 2021.

FNATIC’s year came to an abrupt end in the Valorant Champions 2021 quarterfinals — with an unlikely opponent in KRU Esports keeping the Orange-and-Black just short of another trophy.

For a team who’s spent most of 2021 together, the early exit should be a painful point to forget. However, Doma and his side have made a name for itself by accepting victory and defeat with the same high-spirited energy they put into their post-match celebrations — and this time is no different.

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“We came into this tourney with the mindset to win it because we prepped so hard for it,” Doma told Dexerto. “But at the end of the day it’s not the end of the world.

“We lost to the better team today. Overall, [the team] can agree the year was one to be proud of.”

fnatic valorant championsMichal Konkol / Riot Games
FNATIC’s year has ended after their quarterfinals defeat at Valorant Champions.

FNATIC are out, but not down

That’s not to say that the 18-year-old isn’t disappointed in the defeat. After a second-place finish at Masters Reykjavik and a tough elimination at Stage 3 Challengers 2, Doma was hoping for a different narrative at Berlin.

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Throughout the Group Stage, FNATIC had close wins against Cloud9 Blue and Korea’s Vision Strikers on its way to topping Group D. IGL Jake ‘Boaster’ Howlett and his team had an answer for every challenge they faced.

That was until they met the LATAM kings in the quarterfinals.

keznit kru esports valorant champions Michal Konkol / Riot Games
Keznit led KRU Esports over FNATIC in the quarterfinals.

“[KRU’s] improvement since Reykjavik was insane,” Doma said. “I don’t think any team in the world pulled off what they did.”

Doma wasn’t down on his luck losing to the top-seeded LATAM team. He pointed to simple mistakes and FNATIC’s general gameplan against KRU that led to their downfall. As he put it: “They were the better team today.”

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In fact, he was most impressed with his growth since adding Angelo ‘keznit’ Mori halfway through the year.

“I think the fact they added keznit, who is by far their best player now, that addition itself boosted them up by 50%,” Doma explained. “They still have good strats alongside Keznit being a beast so fair play to them.”

Looking ahead to VCT 2022

Doma is confident that FNATIC had everything they needed to beat every team in Valorant Champions. But he did miss being the dark horse team no one expects to succeed.

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“I don’t think [being favorites] put pressure on us,” he added. “From the beginning of the tournament, we knew we were good enough to beat anyone here.

“I guess we should just go back to being underdogs. Like just lose a bit and play again.”

But the days of being an unknown, rag-tag team are gone.

boaster fnatic valorant championsLance Skundrich / Riot Games
FNATIC IGL Boaster cheering on his team during their playoff match.

Martin ‘Magnum’ Peňkov and Nikita ‘Derke’ Sirmitev have made their mark in the scene. Boaster’s calls are respected for their ingenuity and effectiveness. Doma, along with James ‘Mistic’ Orfila, are known to be clutch backbones of the team.

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Improvement for VCT 2022 will mean pushing their game to another level or targeting a big-name talent to join FNATIC.

Doma was proud of what his team accomplished in their rollercoaster year and will wait to see what the future holds: “I mean, time will tell. We have to wait and see what happens, really.”