fnatic go international with addition of ALEX, mezii
The British duo round out fnatic’s roster, putting an end to the team fielding full Swedish lineups for the first time since 2013.
fnatic has inked deals with former Cloud9 duo Alex "ALEX" McMeekin and William "mezii" Merriman to round out the starting five after moving Jesper "JW" Wecksell and Maikil "Golden" Selim to the bench in July. The signing of the two British players comes as the organization announced a move towards an international roster, and although the team will still have a Swedish core in Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson, Ludvig "Brollan" Brolin and Jack "Jackinho" Ström Mattsson, shifting to English communication marks a new path for fnatic, something which is also seen in their new international academy squad, fnatic Rising.
"After the first careful consideration, we decided that our best way forward would be to adopt an international lineup to ensure our purpose and vision would best be met," coach Andreas "Samuelsson" Samuelsson said about signing the British players. "We have a huge amount of respect and admiration for the Swedish CS:GO scene, however, we felt an international lineup would provide us with many more options and greater flexibility for the future. Our first challenge following that decision was to find an experienced and dedicated IGL who shared our vision on how best to succeed in a modern CS era.
"Following that search, I’m very pleased to announce that we have signed ALEX, who we feel fits perfectly into that role within the new international structure. Alex is highly skilled, has a vast amount of experience, and is renowned for his professional IGL approach.
"To build on that, we also wanted to fulfill the role of the hungry up-and-coming player who shared our drive and ambition. At this point we’d been following mezii for a long period and we felt that he has everything it takes to become one of the best rifle players in the game. Not only do we feel that William is extremely versatile, but paired with great communication skills and being regarded as a proficient teammate, we feel he has huge potential."
ALEX and mezii will both be eager to prove their worth back at the top with fnatic after their previous venture together in Cloud9, where the two played in late 2020 and early 2021, ended up with Cloud9 shuttering its CS:GO division as strain built up at the height of the coronavirus pandemic and the high expectations for the squad, dubbed The Colossus by General Manager Henry "HenryG" Greer, weren’t met.
mezii lost no time returning to activity after the end of his tenure with Cloud9, and has been showing good form in the lower rungs of top European competition by averaging a strong 1.22 rating since joining Endpoint in April. "I'm excited to finally announce that I've joined the fnatic family!," mezii said. "I've achieved a lot with the Endpoint boys and wish them the best going forward! I'm ready to grind with this great international roster and represent new colours under a historic organization."
The French-British IGL, who made a name for himself leading LDLC and later the accomplished Vitality squad, with whom he won cs_summit 4, ECS Season 7 Finals and EPICENTER 2019, has been absent from servers ever since the end of his run with Cloud9, on the other hand, and his last matches on record date all the way back to the international squad's failed ESL Pro League Season 13 bid in March.
"It is with immense pride that I join fnatic," ALEX said of his next step as the team’s new in-game leader.
"I am honored to be given the opportunity to represent such a legendary team. I have nothing but respect for the legacy the past teams have created here and I know that there are big shoes to fill. I am looking forward to working alongside fnatic to develop the team’s performance both on and off the server.
"To say that I’m excited would be an understatement. Being given the chance to help rebuild fnatic into a title-winning team again is a big challenge but a fun one that I will take on with enthusiasm. I want to get back to winning ways here at fnatic and I will give my all to do so. To the people that have supported me so far, I would like to thank you for your continuous kind words and energy."
This move falls in line with what Patrik "cArn" Sättermon, fnatic’s Chief Gaming Officer, recently told HLTV in regards to the team’s direction, as the organization’s commitment to fielding a top Counter-Strike squad remains unwavering.
"Now is the time to think bigger and more long-term," cArn said. "What kind of an organisation do we want to be? The fact is that we are not a Swedish organisation, we are a global organisation with offices and staff around the world. Is it likely that some players out there with the best mechanics, or that tomorrow's best in-game leaders, might not have a Swedish passport and a flag that is yellow and blue?
"As long as you're willing to travel, you're a hard worker, you're willing to become a great teammate and you have excellent skill in one or more key areas, then you might be a great fit for fnatic. And we're proving this in every title."