Xizt, twist benched as fnatic look to enter "new phase"
The news follows a series of disappointing results that culminated with the Swedish team failing to reach a Major for the first time in the history of the competition after finishing in fourth place at the recent Europe Minor.
In the official announcement, fnatic described this as "our lowest point in a long history of Counter-Strike" and admitted that "management and players agree that the current situation is unacceptable of the standards we set for ourselves and of the black and orange in general".
"We will now be working doubly hard to realign and regain our rightful spot at the pinnacle of professional gameplay," fnatic added.
"We will move into a new phase, and will look at all aspects of our Counter-Strike team."
HLTV.org knows that fnatic are willing to explore all avenues at this stage, including revamping their backroom staff and moving to an international roster after sticking to an all-Swedish team for the last six years.
Both Xizt and twist were in their second stint with fnatic. After putting together the current roster, in October 2018, fnatic briefly enjoyed an upswing in their form and ended the year on a positive note by reaching the semi-finals at IEM Chicago and winning the PLG Grand Slam.
Disappointment ensued as fnatic surprisingly finished in fourth place at the WESG Finals after losing to AGO in the semi-finals, but the team quickly bounced back and placed second at StarSeries i-League Season 7 and IEM Sydney.
The respite would not last, though, as the Swedes would finish top 12 at their next three Big Events - DreamHack Masters Dallas, the ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals and ESL One Cologne - before collapsing at the Minor, where they lost to mousesports and CR4ZY in the playoffs.
"I want to thank Simon and Richard for everything we have achieved together," Fnatic CS:GO director Andreas "Samuelsson" Samuelsson said in a statement. "I wish Simon and Richard nothing but the best in the future!
"We had a great time together outside the server and showed good potential in Shanghai and Sydney. It’s a great shame we never found any consistency nor the right chemistry in-game to achieve our goals.
"Given the magnitude of failing to qualify for a Major for the first time in Fnatic’s history, a change was indeed necessary. Now, sadly without Simon and Richard, we must build a strong, consistent line-up for the future and bring Fnatic back to the very top."
fnatic will make their next LAN appearance at DreamHack Masters Malmö, scheduled for October 1-6, with new players to join the squad "before then", according to the UK-based organisation. As for Xizt and twist, their future is now far from certain, with the Swedish tactician admitting that this was a wake-up call for him.
"I think being on the bench will be beneficial for Fnatic, but will also have a positive effect on me in the long run," Xizt said. "I know I haven't been playing well lately, and certainly far from the level where I want to be myself.
"I don't have any excuses for my bad performances, I only see this as a time for me to work even harder, to keep my head up and take this time to focus on myself and improve my individual skill. I am sure there will be more vetoes from me in grand finals in the near future."
With the double benching, fnatic currently have:
Jimmy "Jumpy" Berndtsson (coach)