fnatic bench JW, announce plans to go international
The three-time Major winner has hinted at the possibility of moving to VALORANT.
Jesper "JW" Wecksell has been benched from fnatic as part of a big overhaul of the team, which will see the Swedish side switch to an international lineup, the organization has announced. The roster is now down to three active players after fnatic previously benched in-game leader Maikil "Golden" Selim in early July.
The organization has not commented on whether anyone else from the remaining trio (Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson, Ludvig "Brollan" Brolin, and Jack "Jackinho" Ström Mattsson) could be out of the door as well, or who they are looking at as potential candidates to replace JW and Golden.
The move follows a series of poor results dating back to the start of the year, which saw fnatic place last or next-to-last in their last four showings in top-tier tournaments and fall to 38th place in the HLTV.org team ranking — the lowest in the organization's history with the exception of a brief transitional period in 2016.
"After six weeks of deep evaluations and hard work, we have decided to bench Jesper," fnatic's team director and head coach, Andreas "Samuelsson" Samuelsson, has stated. "We have spent tons of hours deciding which route we are going to take to bring back fnatic to where we belong, and the final decision is to change to an international lineup."
JW's current contract with fnatic is expected to expire at the beginning of 2022 after he and KRIMZ signed new three-year deals with the organization in early 2019. He has addressed his future in a short statement, stating that he will take time to reflect on what he could have done differently and "bring that with me to whatever is next in life, be it CS, VALORANT, or esports in general."
JW was the longest-serving member of the team, having spent more than seven years playing under the black-and-orange banner over two stints between 2013-2021. The 26-year-old is one of the most successful players to touch the game to this day, as he helped form fnatic's CS:GO legacy by winning three of the first six Majors — DreamHack Winter 2013, ESL One Katowice 2015, and ESL One Cologne 2015 — and clinching over 20 more titles in his tenure with the organization.
fnatic's roster is down to three active players at the moment: