DJ in Fnatic colors


Fnatic Secures Upper Bracket Slot as PGL Arlington Major Group Stage Concludes

Rakshak Kathuria
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Fnatic has secured the upper bracket slot in the playoffs of the PGL Arlington Major. Its series in the first round of the playoffs will come against Team Aster.
The SEA squad finished in fourth place in Group A after winning nine of the 16 games it played.
Because of three stand-ins, Fnatic was not a particularly high ranked team among Dota 2 personalities before the tournament. Yet, it overcame the odds to be one of the most consistent teams in the group stage.

While it is BOOM Esports that has pulled the Southeast Asia (SEA) wagon in Group B, Fnatic has carried the hopes of the region in Group A of the PGL Arlington Major. As the group stage of the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) 2021-22 has come to a close, Fnatic has secured a place in the upper bracket of the playoffs with fourth place in Group A. Despite competing with three stand-ins from TSM, Fnatic won nine games against seven other competitors in Bo2 series, surpassing expectations. During the grueling group stage, Fnatic's hopes weren't high after visa issues prevented its whole roster from participating, but the squad quickly found its rhythm and emerged as a consistently strong team.

Fnatic to begin the playoffs of the PGL Arlington Major with series against Team Aster

With nine wins after 16 games, Fnatic and OG tied for third place, but due to tiebreaker rules, the latter secured the third spot. This results in Fnatic playing the leader of Group B, Team Aster.

The quest for an upper bracket playoff spot started off with Fnatic drawing two competitive series against two other teams that had also made it there - OG and Outsiders. This was an impressive start as the team’s position four player Djardel "DJ" Mampusti noted in a post-match interview that they had entered the tournament with just one scrim with the three stand-ins.

From there, the SEA team continued to show promise, tying other Bo2 series with other teams and also upping the ante against Team Liquid and Soniqs where it picked 2-0 wins. Chinese juggernauts PSG.LGD was the only one to beat it 2-0.

Despite the stand-ins, Fnatic hasn't had to change much regarding its lanes, something that appears to have helped the team. In addition to DJ and Anucha "Jabz" Jirawong's strong chemistry in the offlane, TSM's Jonathan "Bryle" Guia has proven his mettle in the midlane, and TSM’s Kim "DuBu" Doo-young has continued to provide unconditional support in the safelane to Enzo "Timado" O'Connor.

It is during the middle stages of the tournament that the two Fnatic and three TSM players have played like one strong unit and become one of the most formidable teams.

Fnatic requires just one Bo3 win in the playoffs to secure 360 DPC points, which would take the SEA squad's total tally to 1380 points, comfortably exceeding the current threshold of 1296 (according to Liquipedia) points for a direct invite to The International 11. So, starting in the upper bracket of the playoffs means that Fnatic has two chances to make it to the top eight. If it loses the series against Aster, it can still come back from the lower bracket where beastcoast awaits.

On the other hand, five teams have also been eliminated from the Arlington Major after the group stage, Talon Esports, Thunder Awaken, and Soniqs from Group A, and Natus Vincere and Tundra Esports from Group B.

The remaining teams must remain focused as the playoffs of the PGL Arlington Major start without a break on 9th August with games in the upper bracket.

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Rakshak is an undergrad, an inquisitive person who likes to acquire information and knowledge of varied sectors in esports. However, his current focus is specifically on Dota 2.

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