Following a slow start to its 2021 VALORANT Champions Tour campaign, Fnatic has pulled the trigger on a roster move. Kostas “tsack” Theodoropoulos has been benched, he announced today.
Tsack said that “after all these bad results something had to change.” In the first stage of the VCT, Fnatic lost all three of their matches in the Challengers main events. They lost to Wave Esports at Challengers ONE, FunPlus Phoenix at Challengers Two, and Ballista Esports at Challengers Three.
Their start to the second phase of the VCT was even more disappointing, though. They made it to the round-of-16 of the open qualifier, needing one more win to ensure their spot in the Challengers One main event. But they fell to Alliance in two maps, including a heartbreaker in overtime on Haven.
With the change in format for phase two, two slots for European teams at the EMEA Challengers Finals are now unavailable to Fnatic. EMEA consists of Europe, Turkey, and CIS, and only four teams from Europe can reach that final. Fnatic will have to play through open qualifiers again for EU Challengers Two, then finish top two in that main event to reach the Challengers Final. Then, they’d have to finish top two in that event to make it to Masters in Iceland.
Following the end of First Strike in 2020, the future members of Fnatic were the hottest EU free agents in VALORANT. Competing under the name SUMN FC, they reached the grand finals of First Strike after a surprising reverse sweep victory over FPX. They fell to Team Heretics in the grand finals but got what they initially wanted by putting themselves on the map. Two months later, they were picked up by Fnatic.
The main event for EU Challengers One resumes on April 6. Open qualifiers for Challengers Two start on April 10. Fnatic has a week to fill the open slot in its lineup.