Long-time European powerhouse Fnatic suffered a crushing defeat Sunday, getting swept by the Unicorns of Love in the Gauntlet to eliminate the multiple-time European champions and reigning Worlds semifinalists from this year’s Worlds. It is the first time since Season 2 that Fnatic has not qualified for Worlds and only the second time ever (Fnatic won it all in Season 1).
It’s a somewhat fitting ending to a bitterly disappointing season for Fnatic, which began with immense roster turnover from last year’s team, the first to ever go a perfect 18-0 in an LCS split. The team lost three starters to North America, including the powerhouse top-jungle duo of Huni and Reignover.
After a disappointing Spring Split which saw the team finish in sixth place in the regular season and third in the playoffs, Fnatic brought long-time support YellowStar back from North America. But the veteran had a very difficult split, and the team floundered to a fifth-place regular season finish before being swept in the first round of the playoffs by H2K.
The roster turnover wasn’t exclusive to the players — long-time head coach Deilor stepped down from the team shortly before the playoffs.
For the Unicorns of Love, it’s a thrilling continuation of a split that started in very undesirable fashion. After replacing three starters following a fifth-place Spring Split finish, the team started the Summer Split 1-0-5 and in last place after Week 3. But patch changes towards the end of the split favored the Unicorns’ style of play, and after sweeping Giants Gaming in the first series of the Gauntlet the team now advances to play Splyce in the Regional Finals.
The winner of Monday’s Unicorns of Love vs. Splyce series will earn Europe’s third and final spot at worlds. The series starts at 11 a.m. ET.