Last-minute moves for a final shot at Worlds.
FNATIC’s Halo division has been in a state of rebuilding since the end of June, but that journey has finally reached its end with a week to go before the HCS Orlando Major.
Today, the organization announced that it has signed two new players, Donnie “Suppressed” Lopez and Uriah “Artic” Legoretta, to replace the outgoing Rammyy and SuperCC. As an additional element to the reconstruction, the Halo roster also got an experienced new coach in the form of ex-MLG champion Mason “Neighbor” Cobb.
The need for rebuilding came following a pattern of underwhelming results for FNATIC in the North American division, as its original roster failed repeatedly to breach into a top-eight finish at any major online or LAN tournament. Even with the signing of Rammyy in July to replace Envore, the team’s results failed to improve. A top-20 finish at the Online Super last month placed the final nail in the coffin.
FNATIC was quick to part ways with Rammyy and SuperCC as well as the team’s coach Strobe, opening up a three-week period of trials that they state included approximately 10 players. At the end of those trials, it was Suppressed and Artictwo players who were formerly teammates on the XSET roster that achieved top eight at Anaheim and the FaZe Invitationalwho would be chosen to fill the void in the lineup.
According to FNATIC’s announcement, qualifying for Worlds is the “main focus” and the new roster that it has built “will be the most competitive we have ever had.” Player acquisitions alone aren’t the only factor in play though, as the organization continues on to say that the team’s new coach Neighbor “has been key in the new direction of the team and has already seen marked improvement in our scrims and synergy.” Neighbor is best known for taking a major event victory in both Halo 2 and Halo 3 with Str8 Rippin, making him a veteran voice on the otherwise young roster that FNATIC operates in Halo Infinite.
FNATIC failed to qualify for pool play at the Orlando Major, which starts Sep. 23, meaning that the newly refurbished roster will have to make a run through the open bracket for a chance at qualifying for that all-important spot at the World Championship. It’s a gamble but the only hand that remains in play for the struggling partnered organization.