ZETA DIVISION knocked Fnatic out of VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 1 Masters: Reykjavík 2-0 after the team was forced to field two substitutes for the event.
Fnatic came into Masters: Reykjavík already at a disadvantage. The team needed to field two substitutes as its star Duelist player Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev was forced to quarantine before he could join the team on stage and an internal suspension forced Andrey “BraveAF” Gorchakov out of the starting lineup.
But despite these hindrances, many gave the team a chance to make it to the group stage to compete with Derke again in the playoffs stage because of their track record internationally and quality substitute pick-ups in Enzo “Fearoth” Mestari and Joona “H1ber” Parviainen.
Even so, Fnatic fell to Ninjas in Pyjamas in their first match 2-0 and lost to ZETA DIVISION Tuesday which eliminated them from the competition.
According to Fnatic’s coach Jacob “mini” Harris, the substitutions “destroyed” the team’s chances at a deep run at Masters: Reykjavík.
“We’re essentially a new team, we just watched a new team play the game, and obviously trying to watch a new team play the game on the biggest stage that we’ve got, that’s what happens,” mini said in a post-match press conference.
Fnatic had eight days to prepare with their Masters lineup before the tournament started and from mini’s point of view, it showed.
— FNATIC Derke (@derkeps) April 11, 2022
The Fnatic coach also pointed toward the team’s reliance on Derke and their tactical system as another reason that they left the tournament early. He specified that the team has known about this for a while and that this event was kind of a wake-up call.
“It’s no secret that we rely on a system and we rely on Derke because sometimes we get into sticky situations,” mini said.
ZETA DIVISION will go on to play NiP in the decider match for the final spot out of the group stage in their group while Fnatic will have to wait till VCT Stage 2 begins in Europe to start their international journey again, with possibly a new tactical and player system.
“As for the future, I think it just comes down to hard work to be quite honest and it’s a reality check that this is what happens if we don’t have that kind of system,” mini said.
“I think it’s up to individuals to kind of put in that hard work and me to figure out a system as a coach to facilitate the player’s growth.”