fnatic Rising claim WePlay Academy League Season 5 title
The European mix dropped just one map across their playoff run.
fnatic Rising have been crowned victors of WePlay Academy League Season 5 after taking down Spirit Academy in the grand final. The European side had initially finished on top of Group A with an 8-4 record before cruising through the playoffs, dropping just one map to Astralis Talent in the quarter-finals en route to their first-place finish.
The European roster's victory in the event ushers in a new era for the league, with the past four seasons all being won by different iterations of MOUZ NXT. This time, however, that squad would fail to make it out of groups, finishing 5th in Group A with a 6-6 record.
WePlay Academy League Season 5 marked the debuts of both Filip "DEPRESHN" Jarkić and coach Mikael "sheddaN" Mellström who joined the team as replacements for Iulian "regali" Harjău and Benjamin "cube" Stabell, respectively. Despite losing the outgoing duo to Copenhagen Flames, fnatic Rising have rebounded with their new-look roster, winning this event outright after finishing in just fourth place last season.
The Mikkel "Maze" Sparvath-led lineup hit the ground running to kick off their group stage campaign, posting a 6-1 record with their first defeat coming at the hands of Astralis Talent with a 16-10 scoreline. Despite another loss to Astralis Talent, along with being overpowered by PROSPECTS and their eventual grand final opponents in Spirit Academy, fnatic Rising still managed to top Group A with an 8-4 record to secure themselves an upper bracket berth.
The European combine's run through the playoffs was near-flawless, completing the reverse sweep versus Astralis Talent, brushing aside BIG Academy with a 2-0 scoreline, before besting Spirit Academy in a grand final that started off with a hard-fought opening map before giving way to a walkover to close.
fnatic Rising performed strongly team-wide across the event, with every member of the lineup sitting firmly in the green. Regardless, it was Peppe "Peppzor" Borak and Maze who enjoyed the most success, putting up 1.20 and 1.18 ratings respectively across the 19 maps played.
The final standings for WePlay Academy League Season 5 are:
1. fnatic Rising - $45,000
2. Spirit Academy - $20,000
3. BIG Academy - $15,000
4. Astralis Talent - $8,000
5-6. Young Ninjas - $4,000
5-6. NAVI Junior - $4,000
7-8. OG Academy - $1,500
7-8. FURIA Academy - $1,500
9-10. ENCE Academy - $500
9-10. MOUZ NXT - $500
11-12. Apeks Rebels
13-14. Eternal Fire Academy
13-14. Young Gods (withdrawal)